This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, October 11, 2000

October 11, 200 - Parent University

Something happens to you when you become a parent. Before you have kids, when you watch a movie about a boy who runs away to join the circus, you think, "What a brave young man!"

After you have kids, you think, "What, you're not going to phone your mother?"

Let's face it. We don't do much to prepare ourselves to be parents. You have to take driver's ed before you get a license. Heck, you need a license. But with parenthood, it happens when it happens. The qualifications are entirely physical.

So it is that sometimes, often about the time that kids go off to school, parents begin to wish they'd been more prepared mentally and emotionally. They wish they could go off to school themselves in order to become better parents.

But there's no such thing as a Parent University. Or is there?

Yes! Since 1997, the Douglas County School District -- with funds from the Douglas County Education Foundation and Terrabrook Communities -- has offered a variety of classes and workshops to teach parents. Some topics include how children learn differently, how to help students in the classroom as well as in home, successful parenting strategies, and much more.

These classes are all taught by qualified instructors. The current round of classes runs from October 5 through December 11. Most classes consist of just one session, usually on week nights. The cost: $5.00 each.

Since 1997, about 3500 parents have signed up for classes. Based on their evaluations, the program works. Parents found the materials useful. An average of 91% said that classes exceeded what they hoped they'd find.

This semester, the Douglas Public Library District is pleased to team up with this successful and important program to extend local offerings. The School District has always offered workshops at their own facilities. Now, we'll be offering them at our libraries, too.

Here's just a sample of some upcoming classes:

- Natural Remedies for Winter Wellness (Highlands Ranch Library, October 25) - for ages 2 through adolescence.
- Colorado's Best: Recommended Places and Activities with Kids (Parker Library, November 28) - for kids K-12.
Early Childhood Language Development Birth to 5 Years (Highlands Ranch Library, November 2 and 9) - kids ages birth to 5.
- From Frustration to Celebration: Schoolwork Made Easy! (Lone Tree Library, October 24) - kids K-12.
- Pop Quiz! Everything You Need to Know about the CSAP Test (Philip S. Miller Library, October 25) - grades 3-10.

Registration for these and many other offerings is due one week before the class begins. To pick up the special Fall 2000 Course Book, stop by your local library, or call Debby Novotny, School-Community Partnerships, at 303-814-5283. The Course Book is also available from Debby's office at school district headquarters, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock.

Another one of our community partners in this undertaking is the News Press, which assists in the printing and distribution of the course catalog.

So consider going back to school today. The child you help may be your own.

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