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Parents in Action:
Spotlight on Positive Parenting

Although San Marcos, Texas is located between the thriving cities of San Antonio and Austin, parts of San Marcos are extremely rural with no public transportation, poor roads and few services for its residents.  Fortunately, it is the home of Southwest Texas State University, the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District and Sonya Lopez.  Sonya leads the Casa Esperanza Parent Alliance which successfully utilizes student volunteers from the university to assist her in delivering the Nurturing Program, a nationally recognized program focused on communication and family strengthening.  Translated into English, Casa Esperanza means "House of Hope."

The program, which meets for 2 1/2 hours in the evening once a week and runs for 12 weeks, has an excellent retention rate.  Between 20 and 30 parents participate in the program.  They sign up to participate to enhance their relationship skills in every facet of their lives - at work, at home, in the community.  There is a strong focus on their role as parents and an emphasis on drug and alcohol prevention within their families.

While the parents are meeting in one room, their children are learning communication skills, resistance techniques and developmental skills in another area.  At the end of the session, parents and kids join together for a child-friendly activity.

Several of the graduates are now volunteers helping with the adult and children's programs. Others are ambassadors to the community who sing the praises of Casa Esperanza.

For more information about how to replicate this program in your community, contact:
Sonya Lopez
Casa Esperanza Parent Alliance
500 W. Hutchison
San Marcos, TX  78666

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Last Updated 05.20.2002 | Email Parenting is Prevention | Privacy Policy