CONYERS -- Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale is gearing up for another year of helping families, and it's all for free.
The free parenting programs begin on Jan. 24 for the winter courses.
This year, programs include Active Parenting Now; Managing Stress & Anger in the Family; 1, 2, 3, 4, Parents for parents who are 25 years old and younger; and Parenting Skills for Families with Children who Have Learning Differences. A Spanish program also is available.
"Parenting classes are always very helpful -- there isn't anybody out there who doesn't need them," said Diane Howington, executive director for PCAR. "Our community has suffered so much with unemployment and other stress factors, so it's wonderful for parents to come take a proven curriculum and learn how to manage their stress and become a much more effective parent."
The classes are designed to give residents the opportunity to fine-tune their parenting skills. The program provides communication skills, problem solving, self-control plans and discipline techniques, among others.
The public is invited to sign up for the programs, which are held at Conyers First United Methodist Church, 921 Main St. in Conyers.
They are held Tuesdays from Jan. 24 through March 6. The night begins at 6 p.m. with a family dinner that has been donated by local organizations or individuals, and then attendees split into groups for classes from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Free child care also is available.
Howington said the program is in desperate need of volunteers, especially for the nursery and meals.
All classes are free, but families have to register in advance by calling 770-483-7333 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Each class is limited to about 20 individuals.
"They are filling up fast," Howington said.
Rockdale and Newton residents get first priority, but the classes are open to anyone -- Howington said residents from surrounding counties often are registering for the program since their counties charge for such services, but they are usually put on a waiting list.
"Our community is really lucky to have this offered to them for free," Howington said.
PCAR also offers adult and teen parenting classes at the Rockdale Department of Family and Children Services, Project ReNeWal and various schools throughout the week, as well as in-home parenting programs for young mothers who need more resources.
PCAR is funded through donations, grants, local business support and fundraising.
Volunteers and those interested in providing meals and other assistance should contact Howington.
A new session of parenting programs will begin in March.