We recently hosted a special drive-thru graduation in El Cajon for the families who completed our First 5 First Steps (F5FS) Program. Twenty families participated in this fun and socially distant celebration with organization and program staff lining the parade route to congratulate and cheer on the parents and children.
What Is First 5 First Steps?
F5FS is responsible for helping parents nurture the development of healthy relationships between the parent and child. The program also enhances the parents’ knowledge about the growth and development of their child while supporting positive parenting practices and stress reduction techniquess. During sessions with highly trained Family Support Specialists, families create manageable goals that help parents gain the confidence and skills needed to create a successful family.
What Do Graduates Learn?
After being enrolled in F5FS for just two years, one participant, Alexis*, took the next step in providing stability for her daughter by purchasing a home for the two of them.
“I loved the Home Start program and was thankful for the services offered,” she said. “It made me feel comfortable while [my daughter] Nina* was growing up. I didn’t know what was normal or if she was developing well, and all the info given made me secure as a new mom that my daughter was developing healthy.”
Another participant, Molly*, entered F5FS while she was pregnant. During her time enrolled in the program, she learned to pay attention to healthy pregnancy methods and how to care for and speak to her unborn baby to build a strong and lasting relationship between the two.
“The monthly sessions that I attended helped me a lot to think about myself and the importance of self-care,” Molly said. “During this program, I made many positive changes. I started going to college to improve my English first, and then I will continue my education to find a job and provide for my family’s needs.”
At the end of the parade, families participated in a no-contact photo booth and had their cars loaded up with goodie bags filled with helpful items and fun activities for the children. Overall, the drive-thru graduation was a fantastic way for the community to come together to celebrate the resilient program participants.
We’re so very proud and honored to have been a small part of these families’ bright futures. Congratulations to all!
*Participant names have been changed for privacy.