1 of 1
Nona BoydNona Boyd has taught free parenting classes for more than 10,000 participants since beginning the program in 2005. (Photo from Therese Horvat, communications director, Wyandot Inc.)
Since February 2005, 10,442 participants have attended the free parenting classes offered by PACES. Some may have attended more than one class, but that staggering statistic represents a lot of lives touched by Nona Boyd, parent education coordinator.
Boyd recalls that only one or two persons attended her first class in 2005 and that in the beginning she offered only one or two classes a week. Today, she draws from a curriculum of 46 different classes, teaching two to three classes a day and offering six a week. Some classes include two or more sessions. And some sessions attract up to 25 or more participants. Adriana Galvan, parent support specialist, teaches bilingual classes in Spanish.
Most classes take place at PACES mid-Wyandotte County location, 1301 N. 47th St. However, three times a month, Boyd is at the Keeler Women’s Center, 22nd and Central Avenue, Kansas City, Kan., for classes. All sessions end with participants completing evaluations — most of which rate the classes excellent or good.
Varied topics covered
Class topics vary from how to discipline to raising toddlers to parenting teens.
“Becoming a Love and Logic Parent” is a popular course that Boyd describes as "tried and true. People like these sessions because the videos are well done and entertaining. They feature real parents telling real stories that our participants identify with,” Boyd said, adding that she intersperses discussion between clips from the videos.
With background as an educator and experience teaching parenting classes for many years, Boyd researches new curricula, constantly striving to be responsive to participants’ requests for new topics. She also keeps her ear to the ground to receive feedback from case managers about what they perceive as needs of parents of consumers.
Referrals for the parenting classes come from diverse sources including case managers, the Department of Children and Families (formerly SRS), the school district truancy program, KVC, DCCCA, social workers, diversion officers, the Keeler Women’s Center and the courts. Others come by word of mouth or from seeing the schedule on the PACES website. The classes attract participants from across the metropolitan area.
What Boyd likes most about the experience is hearing parents’ success stories with their children. She emphasizes the importance of parents’ roles in their children’s lives and that the behaviors and attitudes they instill will last lifetimes — both their children’s and their own.
“I have a passion for what I do,” Boyd concluded. And the more than 200 participants in her classes each month recognize and appreciate this, and benefit greatly from it.
PACES provides services to address behavioral and emotional concerns of children, adolescents and families. Free parenting classes are available to persons in the community and metropolitan area. For more information, visit www.paceswc.org or call 913-328-4803 or 913-563-6541.