vision and background

My Grandson’s passing affected me greatly. As my family made arrangements to bury Isaac Jr., I felt convicted in my spirit that I must do my part to help parents in crisis. I spoke to my family immediately about my desire. I envisioned a place where parents who needed help could go to get help, whether that help took the form of encouragement and conversation, a listing of community resources, counseling, pregnancy help or establishing good basic dietary habits. I didn’t know what form the work would take until my daughter spoke to me about Isaac’s PowerHouse.

As a parent and educator, I have been inundated by parents expressing a sense of helplessness during the most critical years of their children’s lives. Many children lack guidance in their lives and, as a result, continue to fall between the cracks. They fall behind academically, spiritually, socially and they often exhibit negative mindsets and behaviors. Even middle class parents who have the financial means to provide for their children often express a sense of hopelessness as they struggle to motivate their children to perform at their best in school. Most schools do not have the manpower or resources to provide services to both educate parents to aid children in setting and attaining meaningful goals.

In an age when a high percentage of children are being raised by single parents, children are at a disadvantage in getting the support they so desperately need. This is especially true at the end of the school day when the child is left alone after returning home. The lack of supervision and meaningful time with the parent leaves the child to turn to electronic devices and outside friends as ‘safe havens’. This is also true for families where both parents work outside the home. School work is not foremost on the child’s mind at the end of the day. I have encountered parents who are not even aware of how many hours of sleep are adequate for a child to function well in school.

I firmly believe that parents from every socioeconomic status want what is best for their children, but often lack the time and resources to attain what is best. A plethora of research exists to show that too many children pass through the early grades without having the skills to read and comprehend simple text. Solid early childhood education is integral to these children having the best opportunities to succeed. Parental involvement in the educational process is another key component in the road to success for these children. I strongly believe that the vision of the Parent Powerhouse is one that will create successful children and effective parents.

— Dr. Verna Benjamin-Lambert, Director

parent power

parent power

Parent PowerHouse is the name of the program designed by Isaac’s PowerHouse for the betterment of individuals identified by the PowerHouse as parental risks. Parental risks will be defined as parental figures taking care of, or potentially caring for, a child who are deemed to be major contributors to an unstable home environment. For Parent PowerHouse purposes, an unstable home environment caused by a parental figure can be based on lack of professional stability, lack of spiritual direction, substance abuse issues, sedentary habits, lack of education or lack of resources on the part of the parent.

Isaac’s PowerHouse endeavors to meet the needs of children by supporting their parents. We, at the PowerHouse, believe that a broken home cannot be restored solely by making children whole again. We believe that often times the good works of community organizations and schools are lost when a whole child is returned to a broken environment. We know that parenting is an imperfect process. We believe that, if homes are to be made whole again, we must support individuals who are willing to be better as parents for the benefit of their children.

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curriculum

Once identified as a parental risk by Isaac’s PowerHouse, a Parent PowerHouse Counselor will conduct a 30 minute interview to determine if the individual is a good candidate for the Parent PowerHouse Program. Good candidates will demonstrate a sincere interest in the program, a willingness to commit the full amount of time to participate in the program and a genuine interest in self-improvement for the benefit of the child.

Once admitted to the program, each participant will fill out a questionnaire geared toward identifying the support services necessary for parent progress. Once the information is gathered and appropriate research is performed to determine whether community resources exist for the needs particular to a given participant, the participant will be assigned a Parent PowerHouse Mentor who will introduce an action plan to be carried out over a set period to be defined by Parent PowerHouse Counselor. The Parent PowerHouse Mentor will monitor the progress of the participant on his/her action plan and continually assess whether action plan goals are being met.

The Parent PowerHouse Mentor will provide encouragement, support and accountability throughout the Parent PowerHouse process. Once a participant graduates from the program, after having carried out his/ her customized action plan, The Parent PowerHouse Counselor and Mentor will submit a joint report and recommendation, indicating whether predetermined goals have been reached and a determination of what steps are necessary to accomplish any missed milestones, if the exist.

power couple

Healthy, happy couples make healthy and happy children. PowerHouse Couples is about sustaining the relationship responsible for a quality home environment. The PowerHouse Couples Program (PCP) is a social group geared toward married couples and couples seeking marital relationships who are actively enrolled in the PowerHouse Pre-Marital program (PCPMP). The PCP coordinates movie nights, group travel, game nights, sporting event outings and concert events throughout the year. The PCP offers quality child care while couples enjoy these relationship enriching outings and events.

The PCP is also a couples’ enrichment program. Participating couples serve as a support group for one another while attending a series of workshops dedicated to family planning, leadership and sustenance. Upon enrollment, married PCP participants agree to pair with unmarried PCP participants to lend support during the unmarried couple's participation in the PCPMP.

premarital

premarital power

Parents who get married and stay married have children who endeavor to do the same. The PowerHouse Pre-Marital Program is a program designed for couples in committed relationships who have Christian marriage as a mutual goal. The PCPMP is a twelve-month program geared toward the culmination of the marriage of the participant couple. The PCPMP pairs an unmarried couple with a married mentorship couple for support and encouragement during the premarital process. The participant couple will meet with a marriage counselor and attend a series of couples workshops and activities centered around the strengthening of the marital union. The PCPMP is open to unmarried couples with children.

Couples who successfully complete the PCPMP and demonstrate significant hardship will be eligible for a wedding and reception at no cost to the couple. Couples who successfully complete the PCPMP and demonstrate some financial hardship will be eligible for a wedding and reception at a reduced rate.

families

Each Benjamin School family, once enrolled in our program, will be assigned a Parent PowerHouse Officer. Together the PPO and the family will assess the family’s needs well as their goals and develop a plan. Services will be offered through Parent PowerHouse or referred to a community partner or agency.

Conferences are scheduled monthly to discuss progress, or you may request one at any time. The Benjamin School offers Parent PowerHouse classes in parenting, pre-natal care, nutrition, ESL (English as a second language), GED classes, career counseling, one-on-one counseling, spiritual counseling, and Parent Advocate workshops, parents and grandparents are welcome to utilize these services. The Benjamin School also hosts fun outings and events at the school to encourage family to “pray together” and “play together.” We believe that these events help families grow closer together and create positive home environments for the children that they serve.

A healthy family + A happy family = A healthy, happy child ready to learn!

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