People may ask me, I even ask myself, at times why I open communications with the term “Friends”. Self, I say, everyone is working towards the same goal, we are all here to support, assist and be there for one another. When someone fulfills that role in my life, they are my friend. With that said, I consider you all my friends. I am here for you and I have seen that you are there for me as well.
How do I appropriately capture the energy and the enthusiasm that we have witnessed with the completion of the first Parent Cafés in Chico and Oroville. Both Parent Cafés, Chico and Oroville, were filled with those that really wanted to look at an age old situation through a new lens, the perspective of self. As the Parent café coordinators, we have been inspired by the attendance and the kind words of those that have participated in the Parent Cafés. In Oroville, a gentle man was so happy that we would bring the Butte Parent Café to his community. This man felt that Oroville gets left out and he was happy that we came out there to share with them the experience. In Chico, many parents were very surprised and happy that there is a new program like the Parent Café here in Chico. Many parent, through the evaluation or conversation, stated how they really wanted to attend another Parent Café. Many of the parents have only participated in programs where they are talked to or told what they should do. We were pleased to hear that the food was a huge success as well. Panighetis was a smashing success as well. A full stomach, smiles on the faces, and interactions with peers is what the Café is all about. This is your program, led by you, the parents. The energy, the life, the flow is what you all bring to it. Keep that energy alive and join us for an amazing evening. The next Parent Café will be held Friday October 4th at 5:30 pm at Emma Wilson Elementary School. If that date does not work, please join us in Oroville Friday October 18th at 5:30 pm at Oroville High School. We look forward to meeting new friends.
Butte Parent Café
OH WOW, I am not sure where to even begin with the description of the first Butte Parent Café. To say that it was amazing to see the culmination of months of hard work, determination and passion displayed that first night, does not do it justice. With the Parent Café a day away, Shauna and I spent Thursday doing a mock run of the Parent Café. With the Butterflies and the anticipation at a high, there were many pep talks and realizations that we did our best to present the Parent Café as it should be. With the numbers counted and the reservations all set, there was still that little twinge of doubt. We are all human and wanted the confirmation of the work and the feedback we have been getting. Little did we know how much of an impact and reception that we would have.
The event started with the set-up at Marigold Elementary School around 4pm. The facilities were the right size and there was more than enough space. We could not have been happier with what Marigold Elementary school had to offer. The dinner arrived during set-up and made the concentration a little harder. It is not always the easiest task trying to work with fresh hot Panighetti’s siting a few feet away. With Great help from Gloria, and my youngest child Mr. Devin, the set-up went great.
With every first there are always aspects that can be done a little different or pieces that need a little more attention. To be honest about the process and the evening, we are no different. The participants arrived shortly before 5:30 and were ready for a great evening. I originally was on the fence about how much food that we would need, Shauna was adamant that we would need more. Thankfully I listened to her. The food was amazing and the participants were well fed. With 56 confirmed adults and 66 confirmed children, the food went fast.
The event started and I was amazed at how awesome the flow of the night went. I know there were people that were not sure of how everything would go. I noticed that people quickly let down the guard and were in the moment participating in the process of the Parent Café. The Parent Café is all about the people and the participation. I was energized by various quotes that I heard ex “I will see you next month” was one from a male participant. Another quote that I received from our evaluation form was “It was awesome and the hosts were amazing”. Another quote from a participant was “It was awesome and I really appreciated it”. This Butte Parent Café program seems to fit what this community is looking for. It is a break from the general class or counseling session. The Parent Café focuses on the community led participation, the key ingredient.
Thank you very much Chico, we are excited to see you tomorrow Oroville. Set the date everyone. October 4, 2013 from 5:30-8pm at Emma Wilson Elementary school will be the next Chico Parent Café.
In the preparation for the Parent Cafés we sent out participation flyers geared towards the days and times that would best work for you? I would like to thank you for taking the time to fill out the questionnaire. After tallying the results, it was discovered that Friday evening were the best for your families. With that said, if you have not already been notified or heard, the first Chico Parent Café will be held September 13th , 2013 from 6-8pm at Marigold Elementary School in Chico. The first Oroville Café will be held September 20th, 2013 at the YMCA in Oroville from 6-8pm. We are really excited to have you join us at one of the two events.
In an effort to better serve the community we would still like to ask you when would be the best day and the best time of day for your family to attend the Parent Café. If you can let us know if you are in Chico or Oroville, that would be great. This is an event for you, and making sure that we can accommodate as many of you as possible will really help us out.
I am really excited to let you know that this is an amazing time for the community and the families of Butte County. There are times that things happen that can really change the lives and the direction that we are all heading as well as how we think about ourselves and our lives.
I truly feel through the Butte Parent Cafés, this is one of those times. There are many programs in this community that are for families and children. The Parent Café model is different from them all.
The Parent Café is a tool to help the dialogue happen between community members in a safe place. The Parent Café is not a place where you are judged for how you feel; everyone’s thoughts and feelings are accepted and welcomed. The Parent Café is not a place to feel ashamed for the your parenting style, the Parent Café is a place where you can come and share and get new ideas, support, build community connections and have a support system there in times of need.
The training that we received in early August through be STRONG families was an amazing experience. The Parent Café model is like nothing that I have ever experienced before. The Parent Café is a community led event. The Parent Café Coordinators are there to assist, keep the time in order and facilitate the event.
Other than that, The Parent Cafe is YOUR event to take ahold of and run with. We want the Community to feel like they have ownership in the Parent Cafés. In reality, without the community support, there is no successful Parent Café.
Please mark the calendar and save the date so we, together, can make these Parent Cafés a huge success.