A PLACE FOR PARENTS
The Early Childhood Center at BCC is known nationally for the preschool education it offers to the children of BCC students while Mom and Dad are studying elsewhere on campus. But the EEC’s focus isn’t limited to the kids it serves — it also provides assistance to their parents. And now there is a special place on campus for those services, which was officially launched on August 21.
“Welcome to our Family Resource Room!” read the program for the official opening in Room B-3 of Carl Polowczyk Hall. “This unique support has been designed by the BCC/ECC to offer student-parents a safe space to enhance their social and emotional well-being, improve their parenting skills and experience community that promotes student-parent retention and graduation.” The back door of the cheerily decorated room faces the front door of the Children’s Center, a physical expression of the philosophical link between the two facilities.
“Children are our priority and collaboration is our strategy — that’s what this room is all about.” ECC Director Jitinder Walia told the crowd of well-wishers from all corners of the campus. “We believe in the two-generational approach. When the parents are not doing well, the children are not doing well, and no parent can succeed without support across the board.” At the Family Resource Room, that support will include life coaching, social groups, parent cafés, workshops on child development and parenting and more — even Zumba and Pilates classes during midterms for pressured student-parents.
Among the others who spoke at the kickoff of the EEC’s latest innovation were Dr. Irene R. Delgado, Vice President of Student Success, Dr. Nancy Ritze, Dean of Research, Planning & Assessment, and President Thomas A. Isekenegbe, who praised the room as “a new beginning.”
The Family Resource Room was made possible by a grant from The City University of New York of $500,001 over the next three years as part of a CUNY pilot project intended to support student-parents.
On the horizon for the Early Childhood Center: a program for infants and toddlers. Once in place, it will allow the EEC to serve children from six weeks to 12 years of age, so no BCC student has to drop out because of the responsibilities of parenthood.