Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Nurturing Parenting Dinner Program

Nurturing Parenting Dinner Program

What is it?: The Nurturing Parenting Program® is a curriculum used by the Fairfax County Department of Family Services.  See http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/childrenyouth/nurturingparenting.htm  for more information. It offers caring, comprehensive classes to parents and their children to teach them new ways to work together as a family. Nurturing parenting is based on the philosophy that parenting is learned – the way parents were raised directly influences the way they raise their children. A basic principle of the nurturing philosophy is that most parents would rather build happy, healthy interactions in their families rather than struggle with problems they were never taught to solve. On Wednesday evenings, the families attend classes, break for supper at 6:30, have a brief social period, and then return to their classes.

St. Mark’s Role: We provide the classroom space and a nourishing meal for about 50 adults and children on Wednesday evenings. We serve the food family-style at round tables in our parish hall (Patience Hall). Many of our volunteers sit down to eat with the participating families. Afterwards, the families return to their classrooms and we clean up.

***Your help and support is always greatly appreciated!! We would love to have new volunteers—men, women, couples, or groups. Boy and Girl Scouts as well as teens are welcome to volunteer. Together, we can make a difference that will last for generations.***

How you can help: We need setup and cleanup volunteers each time, and are always looking for people to help with the cooking. The cooking crew starts around 2:30 p.m. preparing the meal.  At around 5 pm, we need at least 5 volunteers to help set up tables and chairs, put out place settings, and get food on the table for the 6:30 meal. All the volunteers are welcome to eat with the families. Afterward, the crew cleans up, finishing about 7:30-8:00.  We leave after having had a good time and knowing we have served others. Please contact the Parish Office if you want to help!