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Family help, in their own words

Sisters Silvia and Maria Elena Rodriguez learned new ways to raise healthier children at Spanish-language parenting classes at Encompass. A new round of classes begins Tuesday, April 14. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Sisters Silvia and Maria Elena Rodriguez learned new ways to raise healthier children at Spanish-language parenting classes at Encompass. A new round of classes begins Tuesday, April 14.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

For parents who don’t speak English, it can be a big challenge raising children in a place where few people speak your language.

But Spanish-speaking parents in the Snoqualmie Valley have a place to go where everyone understands exactly how they feel.

For Valley sisters Silvia and Maria Elena Rodriguez, the “Criar Niños Sanos,” or Raising Healthy Children class, at Encompass has been a lifeline to learning with parents who are all on the same page.

The free classes are taught in Spanish by Rocio Collado, a psychology teacher who was raised in Chile, and Celina Travis, an Encompass Early Learning teacher who is from El Salvador.

The Raising Healthy Children class helps parents understand the skills of effective parenting, through praise, communication, problem solving and responsibility.

Silvia and Maria Elena, who spoke to the Valley Record with Travis as translator, said that their experience with a past Encompass parenting class has greatly helped their own families.

Based on the lessons they’ve learned, their children are becoming more responsible at home, helping to solve problems.

Learning to praise her son has helped Silvia, who sees better behavior with him, as she helps her little boy potty-train. Maria Elena said the class has helped her communicate better with her children. They have stopped begging for things the family doesn’t need while in the store.

The class helps parents meet and learn from other families that may be going through the same issues at home.

The Rodriguez sisters were among the first graduates of the first parenting class last fall. Eight families took part last year; the fall class was supported by a grant from the Children’s Trust Foundation.

Encompass has sought to offer a parenting course in Spanish for the last four years. Last year, the curriculum, funding and teaching staff all came together to make it happen, said Kerry Beymer, family support and parenting education manager.

Raising Healthy Children runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday, April 14 through May 12, at Encompass, 1407 Boalch Ave. N.W., North Bend.

A light meal will be served, and free childcare will be provided.

Parents can register at (425) 888-2777 or visit www.encompassnw.org.

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