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July 23, 2012

By SUSAN ELZEY/Danville Register and Bee 

Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania is offering a new
parent education program, "The Incredible Years," beginning Aug. 6.

Smart Beginnings is one of 29 school readiness coalitions in
Virginia with a mission to "ensure that all children are ready for success in
school and in life," according to a news release.

The program will be available at no cost for parents with
children ages 3 to 6.

"The Incredible Years program helps parents to connect with
children through play, to set clear limits and consequences and to build a
child's self-esteem," said Ann Vandervliet Stratton, executive director of SBDP.
"Parents will also learn effective strategies for handling misbehavior and how
to motivate children in healthy ways. If a parent or caregiver is stressed out,
Incredible Years can help."

Child care specialists will watch the participants' children
if they would like to bring them along, but advanced registration is required
for child care. Parents are not required to bring the children, however.

The program is being offered at multiple community sites.

"We wanted to offer this class as close to families as
possible. We are launching Incredible Years at five separate locations
throughout the community," Stratton said. "With 15 spots available at each site,
we hope to impact up to 75 households in 2012 and would like to double our
efforts in 2013."

The classes are taught by trained leaders and co-leaders with
a curriculum that was developed by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, professor and
director of the Parenting Clinic at the University of Washington.

Classes will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays at
the Danville Science Center and Danville Head Start. They will also be held from
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Southside Elementary, Park Avenue Elementary and
Johnson Elementary.

The classes run for 18 weeks.

Free child care is available with advance registration, and a
free dinner is provided for the family.

"Parenting can be stressful. It's nice to know there are other
parents experiencing the same problems and triumphs and there are proven methods
to address any challenge that might be out there," said Russell Carter, public
engagement coordinator for Smart Beginnings. "This is a great one-of-a-kind
opportunity for parents of children ages 3 to 6."

For more information or to register, call Smart Beginnings at
(434) 797-8887 or visit

Space is limited. The deadline to register is July 27.

For more information on the curriculum, visit