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Lakeview looks to help parents

April 5, 2012
Kylie Saari - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - Lakeview Health Services in Fairmont is known for being a place for elders to live, surrounded by services they may need now or in the future.

But the facility has been recognized by Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation for helping people on the opposite end of the age spectrum - children and families.

The foundation recently launched a new early childhood effort in partnership with Lakeview and the Fairmont Early Childhood Initiative called "Parenting Matters a workplace education program." It is a series of classes directed at employees of Lakeview to help them gain parenting skills and techniques.

Four sessions will be offered throughout the spring, giving parent-employees a chance to learn about children and talk with other parents.

Jessica Gronewald, volunteer coordinator at Lakeview, said the business had good feedback from employees after the first session.

"They felt it was good we cared about their families," she said.

The 30-minute sessions are offered twice on a given day, giving employees a chance to go to them on a break, or at the beginning or end of a shift.

Parenting classes are a common occurrence in Fairmont, with Early Childhood Family Education offering classes to children under 5 and their families during the school year. But working families often face a challenge getting to the classes and benefitting from the tips and advice.

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation provides the instructor-facilitators for the Lakeview sessions. Gronewald, who attended the session as a parent, was glad to have the opportunity at work.

"Parenting is probably the toughest job out there," she said. "It was great to talk to other parents and know your kid is normal."

Lakeview was chosen to pilot the Parenting Matters program because it has been active in promoting family within its workplace in the past.

Gronewald said the company recently hosted a family open house and a holiday party for families.

"I am pleased to partner with Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation to launch a new early childhood effort," said Bob Lake, executive director of Lakeview Health Services. "I have had the pleasure of volunteering with the Healthy Youth Initiative [in Fairmont] several years ago, and I recognize the valuable work they do to promote children and families. I appreciate the opportunity to bring this program to the employees on our campus."



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