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Child Start provides help for families


November 8, 2018

After successfully raising four of her own children as a homeschooling mother, Lisa Snell just embarked on a life as an empty-nester. But her days of encouraging compassionate learning and facilitating healthy growth of youth and family are far from over.

Snell has recently accepted a position with Child Start, Inc., Head Start, where she will implement the home-based program in Noxon, Trout Creek and Thompson Falls.

The federally-funded program allows Snell to meet families in their homes for 1.5-hour increments each week.

“During that time, I bring activities to engage the parent with the child,” Snell commented. “I foster attachment of parent and child.”

Snell stated that a new curriculum has been adopted by Child Start, Inc., and the curriculum contains both a parent and child component. “Growing Great Kids, Growing Great Families” is research based and has a goal of “parenting attachment, child development and family strengthening.” The curriculum has been proven to make a difference with families, according to Snell.

Anita Marsh has been executing the program in the Plains and Hot Springs area and has seen great results, Snell commented with excitement. “It really is a solid curriculum,” she added.

Many facets of the family are considered by Snell when she performs a comprehensive home visit.

“We try to assess a family’s needs and provide resources from the community that the family needs,” she said.

Snell works closely with other services in the area and incorporates them to help local families develop stronger overall household functions. This approach includes support from Sanders County Coalition for Families, Women, Infant and Children, the Sanders County Community Housing Organization, and other family assistance programs. Supporting the health and wellness of the family as well as providing nutrition education and assistance through the USDA Child & Adult Food Program is another service Snell is proud to be part of.

In addition to home visits, Snell hosts a group socialization class two evenings a month at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Thompson Falls. This gives families a chance to come together and interact with one another while participating in organized activities. Parents are encouraged to interact with the kids activities, which nurtures a strengthened family and community bond.

“We can all improve our parenting skills and we can all use reminders about basic parenting,” Snell said, emphasizing that even though we all have a basic parenting instinct, new ideas and encouragement on parenting is always good. She added that this is especially important right now, saying that current times have made our lives busy and hectic, resulting in parenting being set aside sometimes.

Child Start, Inc., Head Start’s free preschool is available for children ages three to five. Snell has spaces available for new enrollees and encourages anyone interested to contact her at (406) 827-0041 or email [email protected]


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