LIFE SKILLS 4 PARENTS – This group of new parents listens intently as Jackie Berg from the MSU-Extension presents a lesson on nutrition and wellness. Parents cooked their own nutritious meal during their lesson. I-O Photo by Deanna Wakkinen
By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter
A new program has been set up in Conrad to help expectant and new mothers and fathers learn about pregnancy, parenting and other life skills. Life Skills 4 Parents is a not for profit ministry that is based solely on donations.
Although it is not affiliated with any denomination, it is based out of the Assembly of God Church at 1 S. Maryland in Conrad. Classes are currently held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday. All who are expectant parents and those with young children under the age of six regardless of household income are always welcome. The classes are free. Hours of the program can expand with need.
Life Skills 4 Parents uses the “Earn While You Learn” program, allowing parents to earn rewards to be redeemed on items such as diapers, wipes, cribs and other baby necessities. The process is simple; the client watches a DVD or reads a book from the curriculum and then writes a quick report on what they learned. They are then rewarded the appropriate amount of “Mommy Bucks” to be used on diapers and wipes at the Conrad Life Skills or on other items such as baby and maternity clothes in Great Falls at the Life-Way House.
Although non-denominal, Life Skill 4 Parents is centered on Christianity and is 100 percent pro-life. The Life-Way House in Great Falls offers options to women expecting and is proud to share that they saved 12 babies from abortion in 2010 through counseling and support. Free pregnancy tests are available there and they will also be getting new ultrasound equipment soon thanks to a grant. A technician will also be hired as part of the grant.
Thrivent Financial has agreed to match up to $500 in funds collected for the Life Skills 4 Parents ministry. There will be a Diapers and Dollars fund drive in April in conjunction with local churches. Those wishing to donate simply fill the bottles with cash or checks and return them. The same campaign has been run from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day in Great Falls in the past.
The ministry is currently developing a board and is always looking to train more volunteers. Dollar and baby merchandise donations are always appreciated.
As a bonus to those participating in the program, a van will take clients to the Life-Way House in Great Falls for a small fee every six weeks to use their services and to redeem bigger items for “Mommy Bucks”.
If you would like for information, please contact Maria Elings at 289-0419 or attend a session on Tuesday.