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Coalition gathers to focus on parenting resources

By By ANNA M. LEE Managing Editor
When the Coalition for a Healthier Escambia County met last Thursday, there were 19 organizations from throughout the county gathered to discuss what they're doing to provide early intervention and parenting activities to area families in need. From the Poarch Creek Indians to the Brewton Area YMCA, each of the organizations present share a common goal of reaching out to children and families in need of resources.
For example, Kay Barrow with Sav A Life spoke to the group about how they begin educating young mothers before the child is even born with information on what to expect, proper nutrition, preventing child abuse and more.
Dr. Marsha Raulerson with Lower Alabama Pediatrics said that the most important thing she does for the health of families is to give them books. "The education level of the people and healthcare go hand-in-hand," she said.
Karen Steenwyk represented the Kids and Kin program, which serves people who care for relative children up to 12 years old on a regular basis. Kids and Kin provides its clients with information on nutrition, language development and other topics, Steenwyk said.
Kathy Hill spoke to the group about how the Child Advocacy Center serves abused children by providing a safe environment where they only have to tell their painful stories once.
Dr. Margaret Breland Bradley of Alabama State's local branch filled the group in on its Learning to Read Through the Arts program, which just began last year.
Other groups represented at the meeting were Noah's Ark, Right From Birth, Hope Place, Escambia County Schools, Head Start, D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, Rainbow Family Resource Center, Escambia County Health Department, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Bright Start Project, Atmore Family Life Center, People United Community Coalition and St. Stephen's Preschool.