April 4, 2017
For Immediate Release
Jefferson County Public Health
Free Program Offered to Strengthen Your Family
Pictured Left to right: Denise Banker, Damon Flowers,
Henri Huber and Sophia Huber (back to camera)
Photo Credit: Lori Fleming, 2017
Port Townsend, WA – Beginning April 20, 2017, the Chimacum Prevention Coalition will host their Spring 2017 Strengthening Families workshop. This nationally-recognized free program will meet weekly on Thursdays from 5:30 – 8:00, April 20 – May 25. This fantastic communication workshop is proven to be effective in building relationships between parents and their youth.
Strengthening Families, a nationally recognized evidence-based program, was developed by researchers at Iowa State University. Participants learn and practice how to listen, be assertive, redirect behavior, use I-statements, give praise, and more. All skills taught at each of the sessions are designed to foster healthy communication that strengthens entire families. Each weekly gathering is divided into three segments, which includes a free, delicious family meal, prepared by Chef Camille Hildebrandt; concurrent youth and adults workshops; and a family workshop. All sessions are led by WSU-trained facilitators, Cheryl Brunette, Felicia Allen, Cynthia Koan, and Denise Banker.
Of the many lessons each session focuses on, Cheryl Brunette notes her favorite is the “Youth Session of Strengthening Families in which we address that dreaded threat, ‘peer pressure.’ We teach participants that yes, peer pressure is real but it cuts both ways. YOU can be the one who helps your friends make good decisions and here’s how you do that, step-by-step. Peer pressure to encourage positive behavior. What a concept!”
Cynthia Koan, who, along with Cheryl and Felicia, has been facilitating Strengthening Families workshops for several years, believes “what sets Strengthening Families apart from other parenting classes is the empathy that grows in both directions – parents for their children and children for their parents.” Over the years, Koan has observed “the genuine respect that empathy engenders in families as they learn together; and as parents learn practical ways to balance love and limits."
The workshop is generously funded by the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery and is offered free to the public. “The focus of each workshop is to help families bond, and support one another. Youth and parents who participate develop a range of skills to aid them in asserting themselves constructively with respect and positive self-regard” said coordinator Denise Banker.
If you would like to register for the April / May workshop or have any questions about this program, please contact Denise Banker at 360-385-9438.
Always working for a safer and healthier community