SMIF to host parenting classes

Published 5:46 am Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation will host a series of early childhood parenting classes in the area.

The classes, called the “Parenting Matters” program, is done in partnership with Mayo Clinic Health System — Albert Lea and Austin and Austin Public Schools. The four-part series of classes demonstrated effective parenting skills and techniques to the employees at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, recognized by SMIF as a family-friendly employer.

The focus of the program is to teach parents about the importance of social-emotional development in young children.

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Many working families find it difficult to participate in the traditional parenting classes due to conflicting work schedules, time commitments, and cost. To help remove these barriers, SMIF is engaging parents where they spend a majority of their time-the workplace. This opportunity to host “Parenting Matters” is a way for businesses to help employees learn more about the importance of early childhood without taking the extra time after work to attend early childhood classes.

A total of 18 staff attended the Mayo Clinic Health System workshop at the Austin location. Tara Franzen, information management specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System, said the workshop provided her with valuable parenting information. “Both me and my husband now better understand what stages our children are in because of the class,” Franzen said. “It was also nice to listen to other parents’ struggles with their children and how they cope, and listen to the knowledgeable and informative speakers. I would highly recommend this class to other parents and would attend these classes again.”

For more information about this program, contact Teri Steckelberg at or 507-455-3215.