Heights Parent Center connects
The Heights Parent Center has exciting news. Effective Aug. 1, HPC will merge with Family Connections, its partner family support center in Shaker Heights. HPC and Family Connections have a long history of working together and sharing the same mission. The partnership enables these two centers for families with young children to become stronger and to offer expanded services. The new entity will use the Family Connections name, as it best reflects the organization’s focus on programs that enhance relationships between parent and young child, parent and other parents, and families and other community organizations.
Heights Parent Center participants will see few, if any, changes in existing programming. All existing programs and staff located at the Family Connections sites at Taylor Academy and at Shaker Family Center will continue as usual, and remain open to all families with young children. Off-site programs will go on as usual too, including Little Heights at Lee Road Library and Play and Learn Station at the Shaker Heights Public Library and within the elementary schools.
Joanne Federman, Family Connections executive director, will become the director of the newly merged organization. Louisa Oliver, director of Heights Parent Center for the last 11 years, will retire. Federman emphasized that area parents and young children will now have even greater access to learning experiences and expertise that enhance family relationships and help parents prepare their children for success in school.
Family Connections will serve 2,000 families from more than 20 Cleveland neighborhoods and suburban communities. In addition, the merger will increase the organization’s capacity to provide home visits to families with young children, and develop new partnerships with corporations to help international employees and families acclimate to the community.
According to Federman, the two strong and financially stable entities combined as one now gives local communities a true “best practices” organization in the field of strengthening families and promoting parent involvement in their children’s education. The organization derived its moto – Strong Families Build Strong Communities –from research indicating that strengthening families is paramount to the process of building and sustaining strong communities.
Federman expressed her appreciation to everyone involved in the merger and said, “Family Connections is a name that will represent everything our communities have come to know and trust…and so much more.”
To learn more or to make a donation, please visit www.familyconnections1.org.
Louisa Oliver is the outgoing executive director of Heights Parent Center and a longtime resident of Cleveland Heights.