February 01 2017
The Elmira Family Resource Center (EFRC) started out as a hypothetical idea. Today, it exists as a new resource to help the growth, development, and health of children in Elmira.
The EFRC, which opened to the public during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 31, was the brainchild of Elmira College nursing professor, Debby Woglom, her daughter, Lauren Spaulding, and the Elmira College nursing faculty.
As a teacher in Baltimore, Md., Lauren witnessed many of her students trying to parent children of their own with few resources to help. When returning to the Southern Tier of New York, Lauren and her mother recognized this same need in the Elmira area. After brainstorming with members of the nursing faculty, the idea of the Family Resource Center was conceived.
“The hope was to create a warm, welcoming place where families could receive support as they learn how to be parents; how to teach their children to read, love, play, and be healthy; how to discipline with love and consistency; and how to overcome the challenges that life will inevitably send their way,” said Woglom during the ribbon-cutting event
The EFRC, a program of the Chemung County Child Care Council (5Cs) and located at the Elmira Transformation Center, 314 W. Church St., offers a variety of free programming for parents with children of all ages including breastfeeding classes, mommy and me experiences, and baby sign language classes.
“The Transformation Center is the perfect location for EFRC families. It has a wide variety of community programs that families will be able to access, including laundry and family meals,” said Jessica Belgrave, EFRC director, in a press release.
The Resource Center’s proximity to the Elmira College campus also creates an opportunity for nursing students to volunteer and interact with families at the EFRC.
“Conceived as an academic-community partnership, the Elmira Family Resource Center not only provides support for families to flourish, but also a learning experience for students at Elmira College,” said Dr. Kathy Lucke, Dean of Health Sciences and Professor of Nurse Education at Elmira College. “Our hope is that students in nursing, art, education, theatre, psychology, and speech will have an opportunity to work with children and families in a fun, stimulating and supportive environment.”
In addition to Woglom and Lucke, other Steering Committee members present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony included Don Keddell, Ruth Harvey (Executive Director of the 5Cs), Joan Ostrander (Director, Horseheads Family Resource Center), Nykole Parks (Arnot Health), and Kellie Lowman (Department of Social Services).
For more information on the Elmira Family Resource Center, contact Ruth Harvey at (607) 734-3941 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.