July 13—TUPELO — An unexpected 18-month training and supplies grant has enabled missionary care organization Global Outreach International to empower local families.
The organization is preparing to implement the Raising Highly Capable Kids program, a 13-week parenting program developed by the educational nonprofit Rezilient Kidz.
Leanna Hollis, director of prayer and community outreach, said the need for a parenting program to help families, especially in difficult situations, has been an ongoing conversation. Global Outreach has previously focused its efforts on supporting children through ongoing involvement with the Fillmore Center, the Tupelo Public School alternative school.
Hollis’ desire to launch the program was partially sparked on July 24, 2021, one of the deadliest days for Lee County in recent history. Five shootings took place in 24 hours, including Tupelo’s first triple homicide. Five of the six suspects were teenagers. The hope is that reaching parents can help prevent violence.
“So many people wanted to be able to do something, make a difference,” Hollis said. “It gives people the opportunity to participate.”
Global Outreach International encourages interested parties to register by Friday, July 15 to attend its vision casting event. Entrants can still attend the vision casting program after the deadline but may not receive materials.
Through presentations, discussions and activities, the goal is to tap into another form of local outreach from Global Outreach International by directly supporting parents, Hollis said.
“It’s too big an opportunity to miss, but it’s a little too big for just one person to take,” Hollis said. “The community needs to come together, and I think we will.”
The program consists of weekly Monday evening sessions with small groups of 10-20 participants beginning in early September and ending in mid-December.
Parents will have the opportunity to come together and build community. There is no charge, but it does require a commitment for the duration of the program. To encourage parents of younger children to take part, a daycare service is offered to children aged 5 and under.
The nonmonetary grant includes a regional coordinator who will share the vision casting with stakeholders, such as churches, schools, and nonprofit organizations. A meeting will be held on August 4 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall to encourage community participation, explain the program and determine next steps.
For the program to be successful, Global Outreach International is looking for churches and organizations to adopt a week to help with food, childcare and be a cheerleader for parents.
Hollis is looking for facilitators to lead sessions throughout the 13 week period. A two-hour facilitator training session will take place on the evenings of August 28 and 29. However, the community response has already been impressive, Hollis said.
Global Outreach International aims to run two 13-week sessions per year, with its second offering in the spring. It is possible to accommodate several groups participating simultaneously if there are many volunteers. Hopefully, parents will find tools to help them parent better, problem solve and learn ways to be supportive, Hollis said.
“One of the things that I see kids don’t always have is a vision of what life could be like,” Hollis said. I hope parents leave the program well equipped and excited to help their children perform at their best. »
Those interested in attending the vision casting event can contact Hollis at [email protected]