Successful Results from "A Great Start"

A few months ago, we introduced you to one of our latest innovations – the addition of mindfulness training to our A Great Start for Parents and Children program.  This addition came as a response to parents telling us that they needed help dealing with stress. We already knew that parents and children who live in low socioeconomic status neighborhoods like Peoplestown are particularly susceptible to financial and economic stressors and we felt compelled to take action. Read more about the background and details of this program and our partners here.

This past spring, our first cohort of parents participated in A Great Start, including the mindfulness component. Using detailed pre and post-testing, a graduate student from Georgia State University came to the following conclusion:

“As reported by participants, partaking in the integrated mindfulness-parenting education program lead to an increased level of mindfulness. Program participants also demonstrated a decrease in self-reported anxiety and depression” (Josephine Ojo, Evaluation of an Integrated Mindfulness Parenting Program for Parents in a Low SES Neighborhood).

Based on a pre and post survey, all of the parents and caregivers in the class reported an increase in knowledge of how to handle stress in their lives.

One of the keys to success for this program is the peer support developed between parents. As one parent reported: “I learned more than what I thought I would. It was good to know other people had the same things happening.”

We’re excited by these initial very positive results and plan to incorporate mindfulness training into some of our other offerings, such as our CDF Freedom Schools® summer program.

Our mission at Emmaus House is to use a two-generation approach to help families achieve economic self-sufficiency and children to increase academic success. By helping parents and children to respond to stress in positive ways, we are helping both generations to meet these goals.