Searching for a venue a local that offers a wide range of classes and activities not only for kids, but also for the whole family? The Parent Resource Center in Port Washington is a gem of an organization for Long Island parents and their children.
The Parent Resource Center’s primary goal is to provide a safe and healthy environment for parents and children to learn, have fun, spend time with friends and meet new people. It’s a co-op environment which provides parents a unique opportunity to be involved first hand in supporting their community and children’s lives.
Founded in 1980, the Parent Resource Center had originally offered only three discussion groups and a few hours of drop-in play time for families. Now 32 years later there are over 500 member families belonging to this co-operative facility. As a co-op, member families actively participate and volunteer as Board members, leaders or members of a committee as well as teachers or assistants of classes and developmental playgroups.
The facility holds many classes for infants and toddlers, from birth to 4 years old, in areas such as art, music, movement and science. Specialized classes for school age children in those areas are offered, too. One of the many classes scheduled by the Parent Resource Center is Tumbling Tots. Offered on Wednesday for 18-36 month olds or Thursday for 2-4 year olds, this class is great for physical and gross motor development as well as listening skills for following directions.
My son and I had a great time attending this class. We felt very welcomed, and my son got comfortable right away. Beginning with free play, he and the other children had the opportunity to climb and slide, run and play with hula hoops and balls, crawl through a tunnel and jump on a small trampoline.
Next, they lined up and followed the directions of the instructor while doing brief stretching activities and races. He and the other children had a blast running from the line to the wall and back. After the movement activities, the children went back on the mats and followed instructions for other stretching basics. They also did a forward roll and attempted to do jumping jacks. When the class was over, the instructors praised the children and rewarded them with an ink stamp on their hand or arm.
The Parent Resource Center is not just for the kids; it also offers classes for adults such as Mothers of New Infants, exercise and CPR. In addition to classes, the facility has an outreach program to assist local families with financial, legal and job training.
Have a special occasion to celebrate? Parents looking for a safe and fun environment to hold a child’s birthday party can use the Parent Resource Center’s classrooms, kitchen and equipment. Staff members will assist with set up and clean up. Parents supply paper goods, refreshments, entertainment, crafts and favors. The venue is a nut-free facility, an important fact to consider for those with allergies.
To participate, families can sign up for a lifetime membership or pay a yearly membership fee instead. Families are asked to volunteer a minimum of five hours per year to help run events or programs. In lieu of volunteering, families may pay an additional fee to waive the co-op requirement.
The Parent Resource Center offers financial assistance to qualified families based on certain income requirements so that all members of the community have an equal opportunity to participate and enjoy the facilities. Membership is not necessary, but fees for classes are slightly higher than those for members.
For more information, please contact www.parentresource.org.
Parent Resource Center
232 Main Street, Suite 4
Port Washington, NY
By Pamela Boccia