Eat pizza, learn about parenting

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The "Parenting and Pizza" event Oct. 25 is designed to attract busy parents -- it's short, child care is provided, and dinner is free.

But what might be more important about the casual get-together is that parents should leave with practical tips about how to help their children be successful students and citizens.

"We want to introduce (parents) to ways to help their children grow and succeed in school and succeed in life," said Renee Donahue, early childhood manager for First Impressions of Routt County, an advocacy and support group for early childhood education programs and organizations. "It's going to be a place for parents to get ideas."

An interpreter will attend the meeting to assist Spanish-speaking families.

The meeting will include discussions about parenting issues, such as how to deal with behavioral problems and how to positively manage children, Donahue said.

Another meeting focus will be "developmental assets," which are positive experiences and qualities that children need to succeed as people. For example, developmental assets for toddlers include family support, positive peer interactions and creative activities.

Ideally, the concept of developmental assets will be incorporated throughout the community, including schools and other agencies that work with children. The Steamboat Springs School District already has trained teachers and officials in that area.

Brooke Sanchez, program manager for the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, emph--asized that the goal of the meeting is not to overload parents with information but to give them manageable ideas they can use.

Parents will hear about how to help their children learn before they get into a classroom and ways to encourage children to treat others well, play fairly and be considerate, she said.

Plus, there will be good conversation and free pizza.

"Parenting and Pizza" is from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Oct. 25 at Olympian Hall. Child care will be provided for children 8 and younger. Call Brooke Sanchez at 879-8632 to RSVP.

Parenting and Pizza is sponsored by First Impressions of Routt County and the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail scunningham@steamboatpilot.com

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