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SPACE, School of Performing Arts & Cultural Education in Ukiah, California, offers after-school programs for young people ages 0-18. SPACE’s acclaimed musical theater program emphasizes diversity, youth leadership, cross-cultural arts, and exemplary training in the arts.

Building Emotional Understanding Through the Arts (BEUTA) is a fully articulated curriculum, and is the foundation of SPACE’s approach to teaching. Teachers at SPACE use BEUTA to create a safe environment in which students are free to be curious, explore, and take pleasure in learning, infusing them with a “super protective factor” against high-risk behaviors later in life. To maximize the support for youth in its programs, SPACE offers parents Building Emotional Understanding classes four times per year.SPACE, School of Performing Arts & Cultural Education, is a 501 © (3) public benefit organization established in 1995 offering after-school programs for ages 0-18. SPACE’s acclaimed musical theater program emphasizes diversity, youth leadership, cross-cultural arts, and exemplary training in the arts.
Co-Artistic Directors Paulette Arnold, Laurel NearBUILDING EMOTIONAL UNDERSTANDING THROUGH THE ARTS (BEUTA)BEUTA is a philosophical approach that is woven throughout all SPACE’s programs. BEUTA is based upon the fundamental conviction that fulfilling its mission requires a holistic view of children and their families—learning about, caring about, and attending to the context of their lives.Although this philosophy has always been implicit in SPACE’s approach, BEUTA—as an articulated curriculum infused into all of SPACE’s programs—was developed over the past few years as the Co-Director’s noticed that SPACE was playing an increasingly important role in the lives of students and their families as a trusted source of social and emotional support and connection. SPACE has evolved to be a place where students and their parents are invited into the fold of the organization and in this way, find the emotional safety and nurturing relationships that used to be the province of the family unit.The Co-Directors also observed that the positive youth development impacts of their program—resilience to adversity, avoidance of high-risk behaviors, and the development of leadership skills—appeared to be related to the quality and intensity of relationships that participants built with students and teachers while participating in classes. In response, the SPACE co-directors initiated a collaboration with Patty Wipfler, founder of the Hand in Hand approach to parenting, to adapt Wipfler’s research-based approach to meeting children’s core emotional needs to a performing arts context.The result is Building Emotional Understanding Through the Arts (BEUTA), now a fully articulated “curriculum,” which is the foundation of SPACE’s approach to teaching. Teachers at SPACE do not only instruct in technique—they use BEUTA to create a safe environment in which students are free to be curious, explore, and take pleasure in learning, infusing them with a “super protective factor”against high-risk behaviors later in life. At the same time, parents are offered BEU classes four times per year.
www.spaceperformingarts.orgSPACE’s Building Emotional Understanding Through the Arts philosophy is centered on giving young people a sense of safety and respect, while maintaining necessary behavior standards without punishment, blame, shame or humiliation. It assumes the best in young people, expects the best from young people, while taking into account the emotional experience and burdens that young people may bring with them into their interactions at SPACE. Adults and allies learn how to handle behavioral difficulties without stigmatizing the young person who carries those difficulties.
~ Patty Wipfler, Founder, Hand in Hand Parenting

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parent-to-parent peer support project

Los Angeles, California
Hand in Hand Instructors: Dana Davis, Martín Lamarque, Keiko Sato-Perry, Zelon Harrison (in training), and Ellie Hidalgo

As part of Project ABC (About Building Connections), the Parent-to-Parent Peer Support Project brings together parents from seven agencies, community-based organizations, and government departments serving families with young children (birth to age 5) in LA County Service Planning Area 8.

Project participants have been identified by their sponsoring agency as parents who received services while their children were young (e.g., mental health, child welfare, early intervention, family support) who could play significant roles in reaching out to and mentoring other parents currently facing similar challenges. This project is supported by funding from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

At Hand in Hand Parenting we know that the work of parenting deserves to be the focus of down-to-earth, easily available help that is tailored to the needs of parents and their children. Lack of support leaves most parents feeling guilty for their short-tempered moments, confused about what their children really need, isolated and unable to talk frankly about the real difficulties they face, and exhausted–so tired that it’s hard to solve problems or care well for themselves. Being listened to without judgment and without suggestions helps! It’s a practice that lifts the frustrations and loneliness that come with the hard work of parenting. When a parent can express his or her thoughts fully in the presence of another parent who is not judgmental, the isolation loosens. It’s easier to take positive initiative.

Project ABC is designed to create change at the beginning of children’s lives. Even as infants and toddlers, children need support to optimize their healthy social and emotional development. The goal of Project ABC is to ensure that families, professionals, and community organizations work together to support every child’s healthy development through awareness of the central role that relationships play in building healthy lives. The training that Hand in Hand will provide through the Parent-to-Parent Peer Support Project will help the parent participants learn how to exercise listening skills in supporting other parents to handle stressful circumstances, stay close to their children, and make certain that their families stay strong and healthy.

Learn more about Partnering Well in Parenting.

Learn more about Project ABC.

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ohio statewide medical home and listening with connection project for children with special health care needs

State of Ohio
Hand in Hand Instructor: Pam Oatis, M.D.; Meliss Klorer assisting

Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health, Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH) and Family Voices of Ohio was awarded a federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) three year grant for the statewide implementation of services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN). Research on Hand in Hand Parenting

The purpose of the project is to increase understanding and expectations among parents and providers such as public health nurses, Help Me Grow and Early Intervention specialists regarding medical homes. In Ohio, a significant proportion of the population of CSHCN does not have a true medical home. These children and youth have more health care needs and less health care than those who do have a true medical home. The project will implement statewide training to create sustainable improvements in the system of care by changing cultural expectations regarding medical homes among families, family support providers and medical providers.

The project trainers currently utilize Listening Partnerships in the educational trainings under the title “Listening with Connection”. Participants are taught how to listen using this approach and how to teach listening to the families they work with. The program goal for the families is that they will use the Listening Partnerships to clear their minds and assist them in becoming full partners on the medical home team.

At Hand in Hand, we recognize that parents’ unresolved emotional experiences have a huge impact on their interactions with their children, however, even parents who have had very difficult childhoods can offer their children a very secure attachment if they can talk about their life story and be listened to. This does not have to occur in a professional setting. Learning how to give and receive listening time that is supportive and without judgment on a regular basis is important to parent. Parents can learn how to offload the stress they feel, so they are genuinely available to connect with their children more often, and enjoy their children and the challenges of nurturing them. ”

To date nearly 300 public health nurses have participated in the education and coaching on medical home and a listening based communication tool, Listening with Connection.

For more information on Listening Partnerships read: Why Listening Works.

For more information on the Ohio Statewide Medical Home and Listening with Connection Project go to: Family Voices of Ohio

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wakanyeja “sacred little ones” project

Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, WA
Hand in Hand Instructor: Shelley Macy, Principal Investigator

This four-year project is supported by a grant awarded to Northwest Indian College by the American Indian College Fund’s “Wakanyeja ‘Sacred Little Ones’ – Tribal College Readiness and Success by Third Grade Initiative.” The Wakanyeja project is generously funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation*.

This project brings training in Hand in Hand’s pivotal Building Emotional Understanding curriculum to Head Start staff, Campus Child Care Center staff, and parents of young children in the Lummi Nation tribal community where the college is located. The objective is to improve educational outcomes for tribal children through improvements in early education and parent support.

The Building Emotional Understanding curriculum helps parents and those who work with children get a new perspective on children’s emotional needs and how to set limits in a way that builds strong relationships. Participants take home six new tools for resolving children’s off-track behavior and for getting the support they need. They learn stress-reducing listening skills and how to develop a Family Connection Plan.

The Wakanyeja “Sacred Little Ones” early childhood education initiative is for and by the Lummi Community’s children and families. Two cohorts of children and families will be formed—one from the children and families who attend the NWIC Early Learning Center (ELC) and one from the children and families who attend Lummi Head Start. Increased services at the ELC, adoption of Creative Curriculum and the Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment tracking system at both Centers, and Parenting and Teaching by Connection classes for parents and teachers began in January, 2012.

Our Precious Children–Hand in Hand Parenting Research Results.

Learn more about Building Emotional Understanding.

Learn more about the “Sacred Little Ones” Project.

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New-LogoThe Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center

The Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center is dedicated to nurturing children pre-birth to five, through inspiring partnerships and community resources that address pre and post-natal well being, infant/ toddler development, and parent education and support.

In partnership with parents, health professionals, educators and the community, they create opportunities to connect, to explore, and to engage directly in the development of healthy approaches to early childhood education.

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