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Free Parenting Classes at Project Self-Sufficiency


Parenting workshops for families with children of all ages will be offered this fall by the Sussex County Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency.  Participants will learn about the different stages of physical and emotional development during childhood, as well as techniques for positive discipline and improved communication.  All classes will take place from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.; the sessions are free and open to the public, but registration is required.   The agency is located at 127 Mill Street in Newton. 

  • A course for those parenting infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children will be held on Tuesdays, September 12th – November 28th.
  • Parents of school-aged children, ages six through twelve, are invited to attend a course on Tuesdays, September 12th – November 28th.
  • Classes for parents of adolescents will be offered on Wednesdays, September 13th – November 29th.
  • Expectant parents can take a prenatal parenting class on Thursdays, September 14th – November 9th.
  • A course designed just for fathers will take place on Thursdays, September 14th – November 9th.

The parenting classes offered by Project Self-Sufficiency incorporate the Nurturing Parent curriculum, which teaches age-specific parenting skills and includes components designed for parents as well as children.  The workshops encourage parents to share their experiences with each other.

“The philosophy of the ‘Nurturing Parenting Program’ emphasizes the importance of raising children in a warm, trusting and caring home with the belief that children raised in this environment will develop the capacity to trust, care and respect other people and their environment,” explains Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “This program stresses discipline that is nurturing and there is no accepting of any kind of physical force.  The emphasis is on an attachment parenting approach, gentle touch, like infant massage, and the reinforcement of positive behavior.”

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The curriculum is supplemented by small group discussion for adults along with play groups for children which reinforce the weekly lesson plans. “A great number of parents would like to meet others in similar situations.  This offers a group dynamic where families can share experiences and learn from others.  The end result is a tailored program that partners the curriculum with each group’s shared experiences,” adds Berry-Toon.

The Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency is a program of support offered to all families.  In addition to parenting skills training, local families can participate in family activities, receive information about health and nutrition, take part in economic self-sufficiency programs, receive legal education, obtain referrals, and other services throughout the year.  

To register for the free parenting workshops, to discuss your parenting needs, or to find out more about other programs and services available at the Sussex County Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency, call 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500, or visit

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