Parent University Hosts Free Community Event with Service Providers

Parent University is back to offer parents and guardians a chance to learn and experience new skills, opportunities, and organizations available to help participants improve their quality of life.

The free program is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Ensley Elementary School, 501 E. Johnson Ave.

Parent University is a non-profit organization that helps bridge the gap between community and schools. Started by Michael O’Neal in Savannah, Georgia, it offers classes and events tailored to the individual needs of parents, providing food, transportation and childcare during in-person sessions to make it as convenient as possible for busy parents.

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Parent University started in Pensacola last year and has had hundreds of attendees at each of its Zoom meetings and monthly in-person meetings.

“The people that we want to reach and connect with and provide these products and services, they’re going to be at this event – ​​it’s a community event – ​​we like to show up and be in the community and get that connectivity,” Betsy said. McDonald, director of programs for Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity, which builds and improves homes in partnership with individuals and families in need of decent, affordable housing, is one of more than 20 organizations and services showcasing the opportunities available to attendees on Saturday.

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Launched nationally in 1976 but arriving in Escambia County in 1981, Habitat for Humanity has built nearly 1,400 homes in the Escambia County and Santa Rosa area. They also have several services and programs to transform communities, such as their homeownership program, community development, and HUD housing counseling.

Other nonprofit organizations like Neighborhood Wireless want to connect with the community to provide better services to residents.

Marcus Mickles, team leader at Neighborhood Wireless, said Parent University is a great opportunity to meet not only customers, but also other organizations that help the community.

Neighborhood Wireless is a nonprofit outreach program designed to help low-income individuals and households who receive government assistance such as WIC, Medicaid, or SNAP.

Through the Affordable Connectivity Program, Neighborhood Wireless is offering families earning less than $56,000 a year a free 8-inch Android tablet with 12.5 GB or an Android smartphone with 7 GB.

“Everyone has their own little contribution and it hopefully helps me partner with them to spread the word not (only) with Parent University, but you might have a place to improve the sans- shelter or whatever,” Mickles said. “So we’re all coming together just to try to help communities.”

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