November/December 2001Vol. 2, No. 6Programs for Parents and Teachers Aim at Better Outcomes for Children
A national program that aims to prevent child maltreatment and improve outcomes for children has opened a new National Center for Parenting and Character Education.
EPIC (Every Person Influences Children), which offers training and education for both parents and teachers, has been implemented in 16 States and the Virgin Islands. Although primarily based in schools, EPIC also has been implemented through churches, hospitals, and community agencies. The new center, located in Buffalo, New York, will serve as EPIC's headquarters and as the hub of EPIC's training activities, including distance learning activities, Web-based learning, online discussions, and other Internet-enabled outreach.
EPIC offers workshops on developing parenting skills in order to:
- Reduce risk factors associated with child abuse and neglect
- Improve parents' relationships with their children
- Increase parents' knowledge of and ability to implement new parenting techniques
- Improve parents' ability to communicate with their children's teachers.
EPIC trains parents to serve as workshop facilitators, and materials and training are available in both English and Spanish. Other workshops for parents focus on learning to advocate for children and assuming leadership roles in the school community.
Programming for teachers focuses on infusing character education in the classroom and strengthening parent-teacher partnerships. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, EPIC collaborated with Teachers College-Columbia University, and the New York State Education Department to develop the Pathways to Character pilot program, which integrates character education into the K-6 curriculum with age-appropriate activities. (In New York State, where EPIC was founded, public schools must provide civility, citizenship, and character education in grades K-12.)
EPIC's services also include presentations, referrals, and home visitation.
Further information about EPIC, its programs, centers, and locations can be obtained from its national headquarters or Website:
EPIC National Center for Parenting and Character Education
1000 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14202