This wonderful story of a grandmother’s commitment to her grandchildren’s success was prepared by The Boys Town South Florida staff and edited by Dr. Seth Bernstein. Boys Town South Florida Parent-Child Home Program services are overseen by the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County and funded by the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Florida.
Little Lenarris is the youngest of six boys, who was adopted by his grandmother, an extraordinary woman. She goes through painstaking efforts every day to ensure that she provides the best education and quality of life for her six grandsons.
In fact, she goes to the library and studies topics related to their homework so that she can assist them with their assignments. She also single-handedly prepares nutritious meals for them, does their laundry, irons their clothes, is actively involved in their extracurricular activities, and has rearranged her house to accommodate their individual needs.
When Lenarris first began the Parent-Child Home Program, provided by Boys Town South Florida, his grandmother was so busy with the school-aged children that she found it difficult to make time for Lenarris. She believed that since Lenarris was only three years old, it was less important to dedicate time to teaching him as much as the others.
Now that she has witnessed the great developmental strides made by Lenarris in such a short period of time in the program, she realizes the importance of early literacy and now makes time to do “homework” with Lenarris and her two year old granddaughter who she also babysits.
“Early intervention is key to a child’s success,” says Jennifer Abaid, Supervisor for the Boys Town South Florida Parent-Child Home Program. “Lenarris is a perfect example of how a little extra support for families can make such an extreme difference in their quality of life.”
Grandma says that the curriculum guide sheets have helped open her eyes to the type of age-appropriate activities she should be doing with Lenarris, such as asking open-ended questions and singing songs with him. And now that she has been interacting more with Lenarris, both the Home Visitor, Beryl Williams, and Grandma have witnessed a new Lenarris emerge from out of his shell.
When he started the program, Lenarris was very shy and reserved. Now he shouts out answers with great enthusiasm and laughs out loud much of the time. Grandma is so taken aback by the results of participating in the program, that she raves about it to her friends and neighbors and has even “sold” the program to a couple of acquaintances who are now eagerly awaiting to see if their children can be enrolled in PCHP.
Grandma placed such a great value on the Parent-Child Home Program that she had put off a move with the family until Lenarris successfully graduated from the Program.