Sandy's Story -
It's hard to believe that 25 years have passed since my first introduction to Child, Home, and Community! But as you can tell by my 80's hair and the acid washed jean jacket I elected to put on my child as seen in the picture above, it's true! Way back in the fall of 1987 I learned that I was expecting Nick. Now's he's all grown up and working as an accountant...who could guess?? While you all know how eternally grateful Nick and I are to all of you for the love and support you've provided to us throughout our lives – we were also extremely blessed to have received the support of Child, Home, and Community (CHC) throughout that tough transitional time in our lives...and far beyond.
For those who are not familiar with the agency, CHC's mission is to build a better future for children by empowering young parents through education, advocacy and collaboration. In support of that mission, CHC offers a variety of programs and classes to support young parents from pregnancy through birth and beyond. CHC also offers other services, including support for young parents to pursue higher educational opportunities which allow for them to continue following their dreams and help build a better life for them and their children.
I was fortunate enough to participate in a class called Focus on Motherhood (FOM), which is a child birth preparation class that includes instruction on infant care, health and nutrition, and overall life skills. My instructor at the time was Beth Styer, who ultimately moved on to become the Executive Director of the organization. Beth is an amazing person who has an aura of comfort and grace that she extends to all that she meets. One of the most wonderful memories of have of my experience during FOM is that Beth never treated me like a teen mom; she just treated me like a mom. That encouragement and acceptance helped to foster my confidence in myself that I indeed could embrace this challenge and be a successful mother to my son.
This class has been so incredible for me; my instructor is the best!! I have learned so much useful information and I will be recommending this childbirth class to any young pregnant woman I know. The 12-week class not only taught me about healthy pregnancy and labor and delivery; it also made me feel more comfortable with being a teen mom. During the 12 weeks, I met other girls in my situation and talk more easy with my parents and other people about being a mom. I really appreciate this class more than anything. This organization is amazing, I will be donating whatever I can to CHC for being so amazing and wonderful!!
Child, Home and Community is one of the best things that has happened to me! This monthly support group gives me a chance to get out of the house and for my son and me to socialize with other young parents and their kids. Time and again if I have needed help with diapers or clothes CHC has come through and helped me. Most importantly, I learn if my son is developing at a normal rate. BTF also teaches me things to do with my baby! Itʼs a HUGE help!
This program held right in my high school helped me so much during my labor and delivery because it provided so many ways to ease pain during childbirth. I also loved being able to interact with other teen moms with similar issues and problems. This school-based program gave me a better perspective of my babyʼs health and developmental needs and the steps I should take to make sure his health is at ￼￼its best. This program taught me different ways to protecting myself from getting pregnant again by showing me different methods of birth control.
I was a senior in high school with a baby and felt so discouraged about my future. Then I started working with Ms. Randi in the "Road To Independence Program." She helped me with my applications, completing financial aid forms, and cheered me on. Ms. Randi took me on a tour of Bucks County Community College campus. Without CHCʼs help, I would have been lost at graduation.
I truly believe you are on the right track in helping to prevent teenage pregnancy. Kids need to see (and wear) the "Empathy Belly" to help them realize the reality of the situation . . . the point was clear. I have been teaching Health Education ￼￼￼for 19 years, and I have written 9 books with Prentice Hall; so I feel that Iʼve been exposed to many varied teaching ideas. But this impressed me as one of the most effective tools that could be used to show the reality of teen pregnancy.
Dear Mrs. Cissne, I wanted to send a note to let you know how very much I enjoyed visiting your Focus on Motherhood class. I reveled in your encouragement and wisdom, and was so inspired by your compassion and by the impact in your work. In your class, your mothers have found a safe place (so important and rare) in which they can make important decisions and learn effective skills to give their soon-to-be sons and daughters a life of good health, support, and love. I learned some helpful tips to use (especially regarding perinatal advice), and I just had so much fun! You are such a unique and special person, and I hope you feel proud of the priceless legacy you leave with each session you lead. Thank you for allowing me to take part in that magic. Please keep in touch! Take care.
I'm an expectant mother and "Focus on Motherhood" made me feel very confident about giving birth and being a young mother. I really appreciate the educators, Barrie and Liz, and the time they've spent answering any questions we've had and telling us about other programs (such as parents as teachers) which can offer us assistance. I really liked learning about the difference between medical and natural births, and I feel much better being armed with this knowledge. Thank you.
This class has not only provided a source of invaluable information but also a great way to connect with other young mothers. It's so nice to feel prepared, and even better to know you're not alone in what you're going through.
This class was very helpful in many ways. I feel like I'm as prepared as I could be. I have learn so much in this class that other mothers are surprised with what I know. I would reccomend this class to any exspecting parents, it really gets you ready for labor and parenthood.
This program helped me to better understand pregnancy and parenthood especally labor. My favorite part of the program was learning labor techquies and breathing exercises. I also think it helped to learn how to calm a newborn that is crying. After participating in the program I felt more prepared and knowledgable about pregnancy and delivering a baby. I would definitely recommend this program to other pregnant and parenting teens.
After attending this class I feel more comfortable and confident that I will be well-fit as a parent to my child. Barrie was a great teacher and helped to cover all different areas of pregnancy. She broke down each topic and was able to teach/demonstrate different neccessities required for caring for a new born. Now I feel that I have enough information to start a successful journey of parenthood. I'm very grateful CHC was able to provide this class for me and better prepare me as a new mommy!
Our CHC class with Barrie was not only educational but also interactive with the other couples in our class. I love the way she teaches and her thoughts on not only being a teacher but an experienced mother. We didn't start from the beginning so we had a late start on our class, but we still learned a lot. We are also starting the next class so we can get everything we need to learn for our new baby. Not only does this class teach us a lot but Barrie also gave us stuff for our baby, which helps even more!
As a teen father there was a lot of questions I had about pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. Coming to these classes really helped me with questions and also to have a safe and comfortable environment to talk about my experiences. The course has provided me with practical knowledge I am sure to use in the coming weeks. Meeting with other young adults has helped me with by allowing me to see that I don't have to feel shameful of what has happened and there are resources and people who are willing to help. Thank you, CHC and thank you Barrie for taking the time to help us both with this seeming impossible feat.
I really enjoyed group today. I think it is really helpful meeting up with other teen moms and giving each other advice and just being around people who understand our situation. Our instructor is also very helpful and is easy to talk to. I am looking forward to coming back each month. Thank you for providing us with a support/educational group.
This class has made me more confident as I prepare to become a mother. The class not only covered labor and birth, but topics like breastfeeding and infant care. Our instructor Barrie, made the class interactive and was open to answering all of our questions. I definitely feel more prepared and at ease about starting the journey as a teen parent. Thank you, CHC, for all the knowledge and support!
Our core values are:
Motherhood for a woman at any age is a joyful but daunting task. For a pregnant teen and her family the challenges become that much more pronounced. The Focus on Motherhood program offered at Doylestown Hospital has become an excellent support system for both my daughter and myself, her mother.
When my teen daughter approached me with her impending delivery, my heart sank. Being a single parent without a sufficient income to support a family is not what a parent hopes and dreams for her child. The Focus on Motherhood classes helped me accept and eventually become very excited about the pending birth of my grandchild. As with any significant life change the move from acceptance to joy is a slow and many times a heart wrenching journey. These classes helped me take this journey in a productive and healthy manner.
In addition to the emotional support, these classes have provided us with education. Many aspects of childbirth, infant care and birth control have changed since my children were born. As a result, my teen learned from a professional the latest facts about these subjects. I am sure these lessons will help her become a good mother.
I hope my daughter will take advantage of the classes on childrearing, the Building the Family, once her baby is born. The information and support was and will continue to be invaluable.
This group was an amazing experience. It taught me a lot and helped me to prepare for my big day. All the gifts had helped me a lot because there is no possible way for me to get all these things myself. Everyone is very supportive and understanding. I feel much more comfortable with myself.
This group has really put a lot of knowledge into my mind with making sure I can be the best mum I can be. All the support was greatly appreciated, the women were lovely and always concerned about my situation. I loved this group and I honestly enjoyed coming every week. I felt accepted and loved.
I LOVE this group! This group has taught me so much. I began to look up to the teachers in this group and began to feel inspired by the information and people in this group. Can't wait till next year!
"I think it is wonderful what you guys do for the teen parents. I’m thankful for all that you guys have done for me and my twin boys. All the different events and programs give me a chance to converse and interact with other teen parents. Thank you so much CHC!"
"I’m thankful for Child, Home and Community in so many ways. I’m thankful for Mrs. Ann coming to my school and helping me get through my toughest time in life as a teen mom. Child, Home and Community is a great parenting program. It helped me learn what It took to be a teen mom. It also helped me become the wonderful person I am today. Watching the parenting movies and reading other information really helped me prepare during my pregnancy. I love every bit of Mrs. Ann’s help. I’m very thankful for Child, Home and Community."
"I just finished my last class for child birthing and wanted to thank everyone who has made this possible for us to attend a class like this. Now after our classes I am more confident to be here for my better half. It means so much to me to be this confident for this important time in my life. Thank you so very much for this class so I can be much better prepared for this."
"I am so glad to have this class available for me because I am so young and did not know much. Also this information helped me make some hard decisions. Thank you so much for allowing us to come and learn about pregnancy and labor. "
"This class [CHC’s Focus on Motherhood] has helped me become more comfortable with my pregnancy and the thought of having a baby. I’m no longer afraid of labor and delivery. All the information has eased my spirit and made me confident of the journey ahead. Teen Mom
I’ve learned ways to make labor easier to cope with and I’ve learned a lot about safely parenting an infant after birth. I‘ve learned so much from Barrie and I know that I wouldn’t be at ease and confident about this without her or without this program. I think there are healthier babies being raised due to this class."
"This class [CHC’s Focus on Motherhood] has been marvelous for my daughter-each week she came home full of information and excited about all she had learned. She faithfully ate a balanced diet-checking the diet chart and keeps moving and “in shape”. Meeting others in her situation has been terrific and having classes over an extended period of time allowed so many topics to be covered in depth. I have been very thankful and impressed."
"I attended the teen childbirth classes with a friend of mine...The classes were awesome! Barrie brings so much enthusiasm to the class. It is obvious that she has an extreme passion for pregnancy, labor and delivery & parenting. She is able to be very informative in an interesting manner. I have 6 kinds and I still learned new things. This class is a blessing to the community and I would highly recommend it."
"I’m very thankful for this program [CHC’s Focus on Motherhood] and that it was free and it was with other young mothers. THANK YOU!"
"I didn’t join till the second to last class [CHC’s Focus on Motherhood] and hated it for the first hour. After I started to warm up to everyone I started to feel real comfortable and took in a lot of info I didn’t know. I thought I knew everything, boy was I wrong."
"This class [CHC’s Focus on Motherhood] has really educated me on all the many options I have when it comes to birth and infant care. It also informed me on a lot of the many side effects of medications. This class has provided me with so much information that I can use. I really appreciated this class and all that has been provided for me. I ‘m extremely happy I decided to participate."