Parent and Family Engagement Workgroup
What We Do
The goal of the Parent and Family Engagement Workgroup is to provide skill building, educational opportunities and social marketing to support parents and guardians in raising healthy drug-free children. Workgroup strategies include:
  • Creating and supporting social marketing campaigns geared to parents.
  • Providing research-based parent education, including the curricula such as Nurturing Families, Strengthening Families, and Guiding Good Choices to parents/ caregivers of children aged 9-18 years.
  • Educating families about the importance of family connectedness, and the role that family dinners can play in nurturing connection. Research has linked family dinners to young people's resilience and academic performance, as well as to reduced rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders, and depression.
PEER Ambassadors

We are launching a new program for reaching out to local parents!  The PEER Ambassador Program (PEER stands for Parent Engagement, Enrichment, and Resources) is a collaboration between a number of different community organizations that work with parents and families.  Currently the host sites include The Recover Project, The Salasin Center, the North Quabbin Community Coalition, and Community Action’s Family Center (who also works with the Center for New Americans).

These organizations have nominated parents who are natural leaders from within their programs to participate in the PEER Ambassador self-paced training program, and then to represent their organizations and the Communities That Care Coalition in providing outreach and education to other parents in the region – helping to connect families to important online and local resources. PEER Ambassadors receive monthly stipends for their participation as well as ongoing professional development opportunities.

Social Marketing
The Parent and Family Engagement Workgroup is helping to develop and disseminate social marketing messages addressed to parents:

Parent Guide
Each year in September, the Parent and Family Engagement Workgroup creates a Parent Guide that is published as a supplement to the Recorder and the Athol Daily News. The parent guide includes features on local families, articles on parenting challenges, and lists of resources for local families. The 2020 edition is available here.

Minigrants for Parent Education
Since 2011, the Parent and Family Engagement Workgroup has awarded minigrants to support workgroup strategies in the community. Awards have gone to organizations to support research-based parent education to parents and caregivers of children age 9 through 18 years, and to fund events that encourage families to connect over shared meals.