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Classes refresh Jackson County grandparents raising grandchildren

RIPLEY — Kinship classes are starting in Jackson County centered toward community members who may be raising children many years after their own children are grown.

Starting March 12, the Jackson County Extension is offering 10-week program.

The classes are designed to provide new information about the current culture and environment for raising children in modern times.

“Many times, these folks (have) already raise their kids and it’s been quite a while since they’ve had kids in the household,” Gina Taylor, extension agent for family and community development, said.

These classes aren’t new to the county but Taylor said it had been a few years since they’ve done them.

“It’s just kind of a ‘how to’ manual to people who haven’t been parents in a long time,” Taylor said.

Taylor said their stats are pretty high with families in the county in that kind of situation.

“When there’s a disruption in the family like that, it’s a ripple effect. It starts in the family and goes out in the school system and on the local government level,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of people in that situation who can really use that help.”

Topics for the course include parenting in the 21st century, self-care and stress management, family relationships, healthy eating, social media and technology, navigating the school system and navigating the legal system.

Some of the topics will involve a guest speaker.

“We usually get somebody who’s in the drug treatment counseling business to talk about how things can be made a little bit easier,” Taylor said.

The classes are the result of a joint effort from several of the community organizations, Taylor said. They have partnerships with the Family Resource Network, Community Resources Inc., WVU Extension and the Jackson County Ministerial Association.

Those organizations are helping by recruiting families and working to provide the meals.

“This program could be really expensive if it’s not for volunteer help so it’s really nice that they’re willing to do that for us,” Taylor said.

Classes will be held at the McDonald’s Building at the Jackson County Fairgrounds starting March 12 and will occur every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

For more questions or to register for the classes, contact Gina Taylor at (304) 372-8199 or by emailing Gina.Taylor@mail.wvu.edu.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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