History

There have been many partners who have helped Parents Forum in a variety of ways since we first organized in 1992.

Beginning anything can be a challenge! Keeping our program going has been more of a challenge than any of us expected and has certainly been a collaborative effort. The Acknowledgements section of our handbook Where the Heart Listens has a longer list of individuals, donors and grantmakers who have helped us along the way. Several donors who have made significant financial contributions are Gravestar Foundation, John DeCuevas and Baker Foundation, Nelson Costa and the Hilda Leveen Family Foundation and Reed Elsevier Cares. A grant from The Technology Foundation allowed us to upgrade this website with the capable help of Annkissam who thankfully  continue host it. The contributions of Pippin Petty-Schroepel and CyberAccess in hosting our previous website were invaluable!

In 2006 Inez Foster and the Fellowes Athenaeum Trust funded Parents’ Management Inc.’s initiative, allowing PMI to license our curriculum and present a year-long program of Parents Forum workshops and other activities ad the Dudley Branch Library in Roxbury, Mass. We very much appreciate Hafeezah Bell’s energy and commitment throughout our work together.

From 2003 to 2008 (once or twice each year) we were able to present Parents Forum to inmates of MCI-Norfolk and appreciate the cooperation of program officials in the Department of Corrections as well as the enthusiastic response of the inmates themselves.

In 2007 Jackie Coogan and the Joint Committee for Children’s Health Care in Everett invited Parents Forum to join in their effort to better support parents. They licensed our curriculum and founder Eve Sullivan trained a dozen volunteers. The Joint Committee renewed their license for a second year 2008-2009. On-going activities include parents meeting in homes, training members of Everett Police Department -at the invitation of the Chief- and a Parents Forum presentation at the April 4, 2009 Parent University.

In 2011 and 2012 we worked with Dimock Early Childhood Center, presenting four workshops to parents of children in their program.

SEL4Mass.org

We welcome inquiries from parents and parent group leaders about how you can put Parents Forum to work in your community!

Please contact us: info@parentsforum.org  -or-  call: +1 617-864-3802.

About Our Logo

The simple visual, a house, is a familar shape with broad appeal. The design, first developed by the program founder, is the creation of Marie Sheridan, a University of Cincinnati graphic design graduate.

The door symbolizes the welcome that Parents Forum offers to all those interested in parent and family issues as well as the freedom that the program gives participants to come — and go — as their time allows and their interest determines.

The circle formed by our tagline “come share your strength” represent a crystal ball in which we see our vision realized: communities where family life is celebrated and parents are supported in caring for their children.

The five sections of the fanlight above the door, like the five fingers of our ‘handy guide’ (explained in our handbook Where the Heart Listens) and the five sides of the house, represent:

  • SELF-CARE AND DECISION-MAKING
  • RELATIONSHIPS WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN SCHOOL & WORK
  • LEISURE ACTIVITIES
  • COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES or SERVICE

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The Parents Forum approach raises participants’ awareness of the balance — and imbalances — in our lives among these five areas. Individuals’ activities fit into at least one category and more often two or three. Sports, for example, may be considered under the SELF category as exercise for personal care, or under FAMILY & FRIENDS as a way of developing relationships, or under LEISURE as a recreational activity. If an individual coaches a sport, for example, that would be considered WORK if he or she is paid, or it could be considered as service under COMMUNITY, the fifth category, if it is done as a volunteer.

The window also represents the program’s effort to shed light on the parent’s job, too often undertaken without training nor supervision. The five sides of the house may represent five years of program involvement, after which a participant can be considered a ‘graduate’ of Parents Forum.