What we’re hearing from families: A Q&A with two ParentCorps facilitators

Updated: Jun 21

As the pandemic turned early childhood education upside down more than one year ago, forcing so many interactions onto computer screens, ParentCorps’ Parenting Program also made its way online.

A group-based program for all families as part of the pre-K experience, Parenting Program is designed to support families to promote children’s early learning and development. In a culturally affirming environment, parents connect, share experiences, and explore evidence-based parenting practices they may choose to incorporate at home, in alignment with their values.

We asked ParentCorps Educator Sair Goldenberg and ParentCorps Supervisor Denise Ramirez to reflect on this past year, how they recreated the magic of Parenting Program online to foster community during a time of extreme disconnection, and what they’ve learned from listening to families.

What feelings were coming up for you as you prepared for the first group?

Sair Goldenberg: I was really excited to be sharing new content with caregivers because our virtual Parenting Program, while very similar to the one that we’ve been doing in person for years, has some new content. I was excited and a little anxious about how the information would be received.

Denise Ramirez: This year, we’re moving in the direction of being more intentional about naming race and racism allowing opportunities for conversations about ethnic identity to come up, how race impacts parenting and the individual, and really wanting to open up a space where that was a conversation that you could have. We’re trying to build community for parents, to have parents just feel like there’s a space for them.

"We’re trying to build community for parents, to have parents just feel like there’s a space for them."

How have you been able to create a sense of community in this disconnected time?

DR: Part of what we are trying to do is really invite people to show up as themselves. The way in which we do that is by us showing up ourselves, and naming different parts of our identities.

I love when Sair brings in her parenting identity — that sense of connection that is instantly made when you’re like “Oh, you’re a mom too. You’ve gone through the same thing I have.”

And even when I bring up that I’m not a mom, but I’m a daughter. I am light-skinned Dominican American, the daughter of immigrant parents. When there are immigrant parents in the group, that right there tells them — oh, this could be my daughter. It creates connection and community.<