Family Lifeline is celebrating 140th years of service to the Greater Richmond community and in an effort to engage the families we serve in this momentous milestone, we held a 140th Birthday Party Parent As Teacher (PAT) Group with the supported of local company, Fidelity National Title. Held at the Greater Richmond ARC’s ARCpark last month, this was an opportunity for the children of the families we serve to experience the fun and excitement of a traditional birthday. Needed items were supplied by Fidelity National Title and their staff was also on hand to help set up, decorate, and engage with the children while their parents received educational information regarding safety in parks and around strangers from our trained staff.

PAT Groups, also known Group Connections, is a way for Family Lifeline to engage the families we serve with other families, while providing parenting support and connecting families to resources in the community. Held monthly at different locations in the community, PAT Groups are free and focus on a variety of parenting topics and activities. Each group provides a way for the parent to engage with their child in new places in the community while also meeting families who have children of similar ages.

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Leading up to the 140th Birthday Party, volunteers from Fidelity National Title had collected supplies and created two Parents As Teachers (PAT) activities including magic sand and sensory bottles for participating families. These PAT activities were put into goodies bags along with an age-appropriate book for the children to take with them following the party.

Recognizing that parents are their children’s first and most important teachers, we utilize Parents As Teachers (PAT), a nationally recognized curriculum, used by Family Lifeline to create learning-rich environments in a family’s own home. PAT activities employ every day materials with very practical steps by which parents can support optimal child development.