Groton's Families! is a grant-funded project of the TST-BOCES Even Start Family Literacy Project and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County.
Since 1993, Even Start has offered families in Groton free early childhood, parent-child literacy, and parent GED programs in a classroom space provided by Groton Elementary School. A 4-year grant from the New York State Children & Family Trust Fund allowed Even Start to drop its family income requirements in 2008 and to open its programs to all Groton residents.
The grant also helped expand the Groton's Families! program to offer free workshops in parenting, cooking and nutrition, home energy savings, and home financial management that can help families gain skills, improve parent/child interactions, increase their social supports, and improve family self-sufficiency. Groton's Families! provides child care, family enrichment activities, transportation, and a light meal at the workshops to encourage families to attend.
Groton's Families! has no income or eligibility requirements; programs are open to all. Families can take advantage of a wide variety of offerings, from one-time events or activities, to 8-week workshops in many subjects. Families also can make new friends and meet and socialize with other families at the Groton's Families! center site.
Some programs offered through Groton's Families! have included: a "Lunch-and-Learn" series for Even Start Nursery families; "Story Time" and "Tiny Tales" workshops (with The Family Reading Partnership); a CCE-Tompkins' "Save Energy, Save Dollars" workshop; and a parent Resource Fair. CCE-Tompkins' nutrition staff have offered the 8-session "Cooking Together for Family Meals" series in which middle-school aged youth and adults learn to make family meals together, and "Color Me Healthy", a 4-part, hands-on series that encourages youngsters to eat more fresh vegetables and fruits.
Several other local organizations have come to make connections with Groton's Families! participants, and to share information about their services and programs, including the Mothers & Babies Perinatal Network (speaking on Child Health Plus), and Tompkins Community Action (speaking on Head Start, HEAP, Weatherization, and Section 8). Groton's Families! participants also have held a number of one-time community events, including picnics, hikes, field trips to a blueberry farm and to the Cornell Plantations, and community events such as the Youth Commission Carnival, Groton Old Home Days and the Groton Elementary UPK open house.
Many of these workshops and activities are repeated, so watch our Upcoming Events for events in Groton. For more information about Groton's Families!, please contact Elizabeth Wolff, Parenting Educator, at (607) 280-5224 or email@example.com.