ACAP wants to shoutout to one of our Head Start parents, Shavonna Grayton. She is a superstar and we have been so lucky to be working with her and her daughter. As part of our Early Childhood Education (ECE) program, ACAP developed the Strengthening Families program which includes the Positive Solutions for Families parenting curriculum. Even with all the barriers of the pandemic, Shavonna completed the entire curriculum this past school year and completed the program in March 2021. She was so excited to learn more, she asked to be involved in the next cohort starting in April. Due to her success, ECE staff asked if she would co-facilitate this cohort. She agreed and was a fantastic contribution to the group.

When looking for educational options for her daughter, Shavonna knew right where to turn. As a Head Start kid herself, she knew her daughter would receive quality education supported by trained and compassionate teachers. As she searched for a local Head Start, Shavonna came across ACAP. She completed her intake and was pleasantly surprised when she realized there was a Head Start site right in her neighborhood! This was perfect since it would fit into her schedule of finishing her schooling and work in her chosen field in healthcare. Even so, when presented with opportunities to support her family through parenting classes, Shavonna was able to adjust her schedule to make sure she attended every single class.

One of her favorite parenting tricks she learned was helping her daughter manage behaviors out in public, dubbed “the Walmart trick”. Anyone with a child (at any age) knows how tricky this can be, especially with a 3-year-old in the middle of a busy shopping trip. Any time her daughter was having a difficult time with hard behaviors, Shavonna learned to quietly ask her daughter to take a 3-minute timeout. This allowed them both to have a cool down from the moment and reassess. Now, if her daughter is having a difficult moment, Shavonna needs to only mention the timeout, and her daughter has learned to pause and redirect herself. Shavonna said, “I used to be a yeller, but now I have become a whisperer”. These positive behavior changes have really made for a stronger family unit and an already wonderful home life become even better.

Thank you so much to Shavonna. We’re so happy to have her part of the ACAP family and look forward to the upcoming year.

The Positive Solutions for Families program helps parents promote positive and effective parenting behaviors, which promotes children’s social and emotional development and addresses the challenging behavior and mental health needs of children in childcare and Head Start programs.

If you are interested in learning more about the Strengthening Families program as well as Head Start, call 518-463-3175 Option 2 to speak to ACAP staff. You can also start your intake at www.albanycap.org/apply-now.