April 13, 2023 – In fall of 2020, Collinsville High School health teacher Julie Hazzard agreed to be among educators from sixteen high schools in Illinois to pilot ParentABLE parenting curriculum in her classroom. Two years later, her positive experience, feedback and passion for the program led to being asked to participate in a new documentary about it.
ParentABLE from positive parenting education and advocacy group ParenTeach, is a ten-day curriculum to help students develop a foundational understanding of positive parenting and caregiving practices. The web-based tools provided to teachers include a teacher’s guide, PowerPoint presentations, videos, interactive exercises, quizzes with feedback, note assists and handouts.
ParentABLE curriculum includes:
- Information about the effects of unintentional harmful parenting
- The consequences of adverse childhood experiences
- The power of resilience and positive parenting and caregiving
ParentABLE topics and techniques are evidence-based and supported. The pilot program was developed and evaluated in partnership with Harvard and Northwestern Universities. ParentABLE is aligned with many of the Illinois Social Emotional Learning and Health and Wellness standards for grades 9-12.
According to ParenTeach founder/CEO Katharine Bensinger: “The curriculum includes information that defines ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and their effects on childhood development, along with the power of resilience and positive parenting and caregiver practices and competencies. The unit aims to reduce child abuse and neglect rates, break the cycle of unintentional harmful parenting, promote Relational Health, create a level of comfort with seeking future parenting and caregiving resources and support, and increase students’ understanding of empathy.”
“I advocated for this program in our school because I feel like teenagers want and need to know how to be positive caretakers.” said Hazzard, “My health class is a perfect arena to discuss and learn positive parenting skills – not only out of necessity but also to meet Illinois state health standards. ”
ParentABLE is concluding its three-year pilot program and will be offered to high schools in the State of Illinois next year through grants or for a fee. The research conducted through the pilot program will continue by collecting follow-up surveys from students in the years to come.
“I have seen my students soak up this information and open up about their own lives and families in a way they had not before. It has been an incredibly impactful unit that I would like to see continued in our health curriculum,” says Hazzard, “It is exciting to be part of a program that is working to lessen the rate of child abuse and neglect in the state of Illinois.”
The ParentABLE documentary film crew visited Collinsville High School in October 2022 to interview Mrs. Hazzard, sit-in on a health class and talk to students who have experienced the ParentABLE curriculum. CHS student Eli Velasquez is also featured in the documentary.
Click the image below to learn more about ParentABLE and watch the documentary: