Dayneisha and Micheal Nelson have five daughters ranging from 2 to 15 years old. Some would say they are experts at parenting at this point.
But even they have more to learn, they said.
So, the couple decided to attend Pine Tree ISD’s Raising Highly Capable Kids program Tuesday night.
“I’m always getting myself involved in things like this, from parenting classes to anything that has to do with my children. And my husband, he comes along with me,” Dayneisha said.
The district’s parent liaison, Miranda Chism, said the 13-week course teaches parents researched skills to help children with leadership and other development needs.
The course is free to parents, Chism said. A grant from the nonprofit organization Rezliient Kidz funds the program, which is being presented at Pine Tree’s Pirate Alternative to Continuing Education campus.
The Longview Chamber of Commerce started teaching the course at Longview ISD’s Ware East Texas Montessori Elementary School a couple of years ago, Chism said. After attending, she wanted to bring the program to Pine Tree.
The first session, titled “We’re All in This Together,” had 11 parents in attendance. Some were married, some engaged, some single and some with a spouse who works a lot of hours.
Melissa Wright, an English teacher at Pine Tree High School, taught the first session.
“Having been a single mom for 15 years, if I had known some of these things, it would have been easier to get through,” she said. “I think it’s important to pay it forward. When we have a chance to help the community, we should.”
Micheal said he wanted to attend the class to polish up his parenting skills.
“To become a professional in anything, you have to be trained up. To become a parent, you don’t get any training,” he said. “I just feel I need to get some training, so I can take my parenting to the next level.”
Dayneisha said a rule book for parenting doesn’t exist, and she finds something new to learn every day.
Micheal also is a basketball coach for a team of 10-year-old girls, and he said he will use some of the training with his team, too.
“I’m going to slow it down some and be more delicate,” he said.
The course also provides parents with a support group, Wright said during the class.
Micheal said he felt the community aspect even on the first night.
“I could feel the Pine Tree parents getting together and forming a village to help raise these kids,” he said. “I think things like this have a future to help raise strong communities.”