The Office of Durham and Regional Affairs formed its Education Architecture to help meet the challenges of low student achievement and high teacher turnover in Durham Public Schools. Incredible Years, featured below, is one of the evidence-based programs that form the continuum of the Education Architecture. One by one, the other programs and support services will be featured here every month.
If you happened upon Lakewood Elementary’s cafeteria on a Monday evening, you might think you’d wandered into a party. Parents laugh, enjoying dinner, while their children chatter and play between bites.
In fact, this room is host to important business. The laughing, dining families are participants in Communities in Schools of Durham’s The Incredible Years program. After bonding over dinner, the parents will head to their weekly class.
The Incredible Years is an award-winning, research-based program that builds parenting skills through a fourteen-week class series that prevents long-term problems such as drug abuse, crime and gang involvement. These skills are taught to parents of elementary school students, preventing problems before they become lifelong habits. The program, which provides meals, transportation and childcare, covers topics such as “The Importance of Parental Attention and Special Time” and “Rules, Responsibilities, and Routines.”
Communities in Schools of Durham operates the program at 5 Durham Public Schools sites, including two schools that are part of the DukeEducation Architecture, E.K. Powe and Lakewood Elementary.
This is the first year that Lakewood Elementary School has had an Incredible Years group, thanks to support from Duke’s Office of Durham and Regional Affairs.
“We saw what a positive impact this program was having on students at E.K. Powe, and wanted to make sure that these same parenting support skills were shared with families at our other partner schools,” says Vice President for Durham and Regional Affairs Phail Wynn, Jr.
So far, parents at Lakewood agree wholeheartedly.
“All of the sessions have been very helpful for me. I am learning things that can help me with my children, and we are exchanging ideas that can help us at home,” says Silvia Mora Pavon, a parent of two Lakewood students.
Natasha McCurley and her sister, Megan, are the bilingual facilitators of the group. They lead parents in a collaborative model following the Incredible Years curriculum, which utilizes videos, role-playing, home activities, and incentives.
“Parents are the foundation of a child’s success in school,” explains McCurley. “We hope that by intervening early on with families whose children are experiencing behavioral difficulties, we can save everyone the pain of more serious problems in the future.”
To learn more about Communities in Schools of Durham, visit http://www.cisdurham.org/.