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My Baby’s First Teacher: Changing Lives One Family at a Time

May 22, 2019

 

By Bright Horizons Regional Manager Sara Hannah

Sara volunteers to facilitate a parenting program called My Baby’s First Teacher at Bright Spaces in her area. Read more about her experience:

I have been facilitating My Baby’s First Teacher classes for 4 years now.  Every time, I learn something new and I make a new friend. At first, I thought I was doing something good for the community, connecting deeper with an agency, and bringing my experience and knowledge to people that needed it. But as I lived through the transformation of mothers (and fathers) over and over again, I realized just what this simple class can do for anyone who touches it.

A couple things I learned:

  1. Throw away everything you think you know about people who are experiencing homelessness. Just be open to another human, love them and their story, and you both will receive blessings as a result.
  2. Keep it simple. The simple ideas are what they need (and most of the time already know). They need encouragement and reinforcement that they can be and are their baby’s first teacher and that simply being with their babies is the most important thing they could ever do.
  3. Always bring food! These parents are in a situation where the next meal has strings attached or doesn’t come easy.  Give them a place to come, be fed, and open up about their experiences as a parent.
  4. I have also come to learn that people want to be a part of this.  You need volunteers to do this program, and it shouldn’t be something you do yourself.  We have found that turning the graduation into a real baby shower has been a touching experience for both participants and volunteers. We bring back alumni that have lived their story to speak life and share the new story of hope with the graduates.  We encourage the participants to bring friends and family members so they can be proud of their accomplishment.

What I would say to anyone who is thinking about bring this program to life at an agency or in their community…..DO IT! The curriculum is easy to facilitate and follow, and the directions share step-by-step directions on how to implement. You will get back more than you give.

To find out more about My Baby’s First Teacher:

www.mybabysfirstteacher.com

brightspaces@brighthorizons.com