Maine Families in Knox County Newsletter, July 2022

Welcome, Summer!

Our home visitors and families have been enjoying the nice weather with fresh air visits and in-person group connections!

Parent Educator Spotlight:

Hannah PenningtonHannah Pennington, M.Ed, MS Ed in TESOL
Parent Education Professional/Maine Families Visitor

Hannah has worked in the world of education, most recently as an early childhood educator for seven years. She loves helping families work through the challenges and triumphs of raising children. Along with education, Hannah is passionate about foreign languages and language acquisition. She holds a Master’s of Education and a Master’s of Science in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. In her spare time, Hannah enjoys anything related to food, travel, gardening, and reading. She lives in the midcoast with her fiancé and two cats.

Group Connections:

a group of parents and children attending a walk at a farmers market for Group Connection
Group Connections walks the Rockland Boardwalk and tours the Farmers Market, on June 16, 2022. (Photo, Maine Families in Knox County)

We are taking advantage of the beautiful weather and have held a few in-person group connections throughout the state. Here is a photo from our most recent one held in Rockland. We took a stroll along the boardwalk, toured the farmer’s market, and everyone who attended got sent home with the book “Goodnight, Veggies.” We are looking forward to hosting more of these this season so stay tuned.

Provider Resource

We know that there are a lot of distressing current events happening nationally and here in Maine. As parent educators, we are having these conversations every day with parents and their children. If you or someone at your workplace is looking to support parents this way, or how to have these conversations, we offer up this resource from Sesame Street in Communities.  We have found that it is helpful when guiding parents on how to have conversations with children around tough subjects, how to care for themselves, and even how to limit media.

For related resources: visit the Resilience in Times of Stress page on UMaine Extension’s Parenting and Family Caregiving website.

Activity Spotlight

beach ball and paddles for activity
Items for the Racket Ball Activity.

During each home visit, visitors share activity ideas with families provided by Parents As Teachers (PAT) curriculum. Activities are a fun way to engage infants and toddlers in developmentally appropriate play while supporting secure attachments with their grown-ups.

A favorite activity with the toddler group is the Racquet Ball Activity. With paper plates, tape, paint stirrers, and a ball, lots of laughter can be heard during this activity.  It is a fun and simple way to play while fostering language, social-emotional, and motor skills.

How To Refer:

We are accepting new referrals!

Every birthing family in Maine is eligible to enroll in Maine Families prenatally or until their child is 3 months of age. Our Parent Educator Professionals are currently visiting with families over zoom and outside in-person visits.

Here are two common ways to refer, through the CradleME form on the CradleME: A Referral System for All Birthing Families in Maine website, or simply by going to the Parent Program of Mid-Coast Maine, Inc. website and clicking on the “Learn More And/Or Enroll” blue button in the sidebar menu.

Thanks for reading and we will update everyone next quarter!

— Hannah Pennington, Claudia Williamson, and GG

This brief newsletter will go out quarterly and will keep providers up to date on what is happening within our program. It is being provided by three Parent Education Professionals who cover Knox and Lincoln Counties: Hannah Pennington, Parent Educator, Maine Families in Knox and Lincoln Counties; Claudia Williamson, Parent Education Professional/Maine Families Visitor, Knox County; and Gretchen Gee (GG), Parent Education Professional, Knox and Lincoln Counties. If you think of someone who would benefit from receiving this newsletter please share it with them.