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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Parent Encouragement Program, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Children & Youth, Education, Family Services, Human Services, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Parenting can be a difficult task in our increasingly complex society. Since its founding in 1982, PEP has taught positive parenting classes and workshops to help parents raise children who are competent, caring, and responsible. The program philosophy is based on the work of Dr. Alfred Adler and Dr. Rudolph Dreikurs, whose theories of positive parenting promote mutual respect, personal responsibility, cooperation and social inclusiveness and social interest.

Target demographics: parents and others who care for children learn positive ways to help children grow.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 5,000 parents learn new and better ways to raise their children.

Geographic areas served: the Washington DC area

Programs: Over 175 volunteers join together to offer 150+ parenting education courses, workshops and community talks each year. Classes range from 1 to 10 sessions in length, meeting once a week for two hours. Over 1,800 different parents take the classes each year. Classes are taught by highly trained volunteers and are held in schools, churchs, synagogues, and community centers. Parents pay a fee for the classes, and fund raising supports the remaining 45% of costs. Need based scholarships are also available. In addition to the parenting education classes, workshops for teachers, and other child education professionals are offered. One time talks on positive parenting are given at PTAs, community groups and corporations. A bookstore and lending library are maintained by volunteers at the office location. PEP maintains a web site that offers updated information on classes, class status, special programs and items of concern to parents. Past issues of the newsletter (from 1990) are available on-line. A summer day camp for tweens with friendship and social skills challenges is run by child development professionals. A small staff (two full time and seven part time; 4.5 FTEs) provides support in publications, marketing and scheduling presentations.

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PEP has been a source of support for me throughout the time I was actively raising my children, and continues to be now that they are thriving adults. Because the principles apply to all human beings, no matter what their age, I find them useful with my spouse, my workplace, my relatives and friends. PEP is a gem of an organization that I was so fortunate to discover 27 years ago. I hope it continues to thrive so that it will be there for my grandchildren.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Professional counselors, doctors, psychiatrists and other health care professionals send parents to gain practical skills and support for a wide variety of parenting issues. I came to PEP when my children were very young, just to find some direction and a road map for parenting since I wanted a different approach form my parents punitive style of parenting. I have remained involved ever since. PEP changed my life.

Previous Stories
4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a client of PEP and a professional counselor, I would recommend PEP to all of my clients and friends. My parents were not the role models that I would choose. PEP helped me develop and work toward a vision for my family that made sense to me. We worked toward improvement, independence, respect and responsibility, not perfection. They are happy, well adjusted adults. I think it worked!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I started taking PEP parenting classes 17 years ago when my son was two and my daughter was a newborn. I have continued taking all levels of PEP classes as my children grew older and also participated in several workshops. I have found every PEP class incredibly valuable and helpful to me as a parent. PEP taught me how to be a thoughtful, caring parent who encouraged her children instead of my natural inclination as a strict authoritarian parent (which is how I was raised). It was not an easy process for me, and I retook several classes. I found all PEP instructors to be empathetic and encouraging and most of all, patient. In the 17 years of taking these classes, I have never heard any words of criticism or judgment by any PEP instructor to anyone in any class. I have also felt supported by the other class participants, and in one case, several of us decided to continue meeting informally. Everyone in my family has benefited greatly from PEP.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found PEP literature in my daughter's school in 2012 and decided to take a free class. I have taken PEP 1, PEP 2, and currently taking PEP 2+ and a PEP leadership class. The knowledge, wisdom, and information presented by the PEP leaders and parents is undeniably the BEST form of "education" for anyone with children in their lives. The Adlerian approach is a much needed source of encouragement for parents while providing the tools, instruction manual, and over all philosophy in a culture desperately seeking for more practical answers.

PEP also does a great job of bringing in expert authors to add additional information for those interested in learning more. Below are some of the authors that I was fortunate enough to hear their presentations and currently reading some their books.

Vicki Hoefle is a professional parent educator and the creator of the Parenting On Track™ Program. She began teaching more than 20 years ago, while running a daycare center in Seattle, WA.

Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He also serves as Director of Health Services at Covenant House Pennsylvania, an agency that serves Philadelphia’s homeless and marginalized youth.

Rosalind Wiseman is an American parenting educator and author of several publications. Her New York Times best-selling book Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence, released in 2002, was the basis of the hit comedy film Mean Girls (2004).

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND PEP to those seeking real answers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found PEP when my twin girls were 2. Two very different temperaments and PEP was the resource I needed. I loved my classes so much I went on to lead classes and I have never looked back. It was just the approach I was looking for...respectful and caring and everything about it felt right. I highly recommend this organization for any parent who is looking to better their relationship with their children. I loved PEP then and I love it now.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Parenting is the hardest thing I've ever done. Whether you had good role models for parenting or not - to me, parenting education is as normal and necessary as Drivers Education. Who would send their teenager out to drive their car with no instruction other than watching them drive it for years? PEP is a life changing organization as it has so much to offer. The "old" methods of parenting don't always work now and PEP empowers you with new strategies to interact with your child to get to the root of issues, manage your reactions and teach the child positive, encouraging ways to respond. I am still not always the parent I want to be (and PEP teaches it takes courage to accept that no one is perfect), but I have strategies to fall back on and guide me which gives me unbelievable peace of mind and has helped my entire family.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

PEP has been an incredible influence on the life of my family. When I was in the throes of parenting two children under age 3, I found myself repeating patterns of yelling that I experienced in my childhood. I took PEP's course on managing anger and my entire perspective on myself, my parenting and my relationships changed...for the better. I have been taking courses with PEP throughout the last 10 years, and I feel continually better equipped to be an encouraging parent through the ups and downs of life. The greatest things is, PEP has provided many community PEP talks in my children's schools and for other community groups. We have been able to spread their message of encouragement and provided needed training to many parents. PEP is absolutely life-changing.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Like every other PEP volunteer, Leader, Board member I know, PEP classes made profound changes for the better in our family. My husband and I learned how to understand our children when they misbehaved and how to respond with respect, encouragement and love to help our children do better. Not only did this help our kids grow more kind, helpful, and responsible--it also made our home a happier and more affectionate one.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I started taking PEP classes when my now 15 year old was 2. I felt I was a lousy parent and I wanted to learn a better way. Fast forward 13 years - after having taken every single class and workshop there was to take not once but 2 or 3 times, I felt that the only way to "stay with the program" was to start teaching the classes (yes - to some people things come a little harder than others!!!). It has changed my parenting, it changed my marriage, I changed my profession as a result of my learnings at PEP and it truly changed my entire life. My family would not have survived the trial and tribulations life threw at us if it hadn't been for the COURAGE we learned at PEP. PEP is definitely a gift that keeps on giving and that everyone who comes in contact with it wants to pay forward.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

PEP has given me powerful strategies to use with my child and in our child based business. I use the concepts as often as I remember with my son and they work beautifully. I also teach my instructors many of these strategies & concepts so they can apply in the classroom and camp setting. PEP's presentation of Adlerian Theory is on target and pragmatic, now I can respond with a loving message vs an emotional reaction or threat.






1 Connie30

Client Served

Rating: 5

PEP was recommended to me when we had our son. When we was about 3 I started taking classes. Have taken most of their classes. Great and wonderful program! Can't say enough good about the classes, can do fair, special lectures etc.

Wendie L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first came to PEP 19 years ago when my daughters were 4 and 2. I knew I wanted to learn a different way to parent than the way I was raised. I learned so much more than I ever imagined, and I have never left. Now I teach parenting classes at PEP and the things that I learned are reinforced regularly and have application to so much more than my relationship with my children. PEP has improved nearly every aspect of my life, because it has positively affected the way I interact with everyone in my life.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found PEP through a friend who had a friend who had heard PEP's founder speak at her child's nursery school. I needed help and had tried many things offered in the Washington DC area. My friend wanted to take PEP's 10 week parenting class. I wanted to take another group's 6 week parenting class. I thought I'd be able to solve all my parenting problems in less time. A win-win, right? Fortunately my friend convinced me to take the PEP class. On the first night we were asked to name something we liked about our child. I was so discouraged from the constant power struggles that I couldn't come up with an answer. However, I did all the reading, the practical homework assignments and attended class regularly and found the answers to my problems. At the last class we shared something we had learned from the class. After sharing my favorite PEP skill--encouragement--I said, "And the best thing is that I've got my wonderful little girl back again." PEP transformed our family.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

PEP literally saved my relationship with my 3 children. I started taking classes when my oldest was 4 and second child was 2. She was a challenging, strong-willed child with ADHD and an incredibly strong personality. 18 years later, she's a confident, independent, responsible college student and we have a wonderful relationship because of PEP. It helped me be the parent I wnated to be to all 3 of my kids even though I had no parent model to follow myself.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started taking PEP classes when my oldest son was 4, today he's 17. I still take classes. Parenting teens is obviously different from parenting preschoolers, as a matter of fact each stage of development brings changes and challenges. I can say, without reservation, that I can't imaging parenting without PEP. From the 4 year old issues like getting dressed and out the door on time--to struggles with adolescence-- screen time and homework--to the questions I have today ranging from internet safety to snarkiness to college applications, PEP has been with me every step of the way. have two great kids to show for it; nice kids, well mannered, capable of advocating for themselves, and doing well in school.
Thanks PEP!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had heard of PEP many times over the years by friends, clients and my pediatrician. I had called to ask some questions and get recommendations for books. They were helpful and friendly.
Then one night I yelled at my son so much that he had such a petrified looks on his face and he was crying so hard. I started bawling my eyes out and I've never felt worse in my life! The next morning I called PEP, I was crying in the phone and the person who answered was so helpful and understanding!
I've taken 3 PEP classes so far and have read 3 books recommended by them. My relationship with my children has never been better and the classes even helped improve my relationship with my husband. I plan to continue taking PEP classes for years to come as my children get older and different issues come up. PEP IS AMAZING!!! Thank you PEP

Client Served

Rating: 5

PEP classes and class leaders, philosophy and warm inclusive atmosphere, constitute a unique organization. My family had relocated from NYC in 1994, where I had unsuccessfully searched for this type of help and instruction. I was fortunate to pick up a free Families magazine where PEP advertised. I was at the end of my rope. My husband and I did not agree on parenting styles. With the knowledge gained from PEP classes, I was able to stand my ground. PEP helped me and my family with anger management and communication to the point where I prevented fights from escalating, calmed everyone and resolved issues. In gratitude, my husband and I donate each year to help PEP to hopefully reach increasing numbers of families. My children are now in their 20s---I don't know how I could have raised them without PEP. I am so grateful.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to PEP when my oldest children's sibling rivalry had reached a point where I was "pulling my hair out" and I had no idea what else to try. It took awhile, but the PEP philosophy really turned my family around. My youngest benefited the most as he was only 3 when I started classes. He's grown up with a PEP mom and what a difference that makes! I read and still read a lot on my own, but our family is stronger, more efficient and happier because of what I've learned in my classes at PEP. My relationships with my boys are stronger and will remain so. PEP classes, truly, are the best investment you can make as a parent.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PEP came to the rescue when my son was 3 years old and I was at the end of my rope. After my very first 2-hour workshop, I came away with effective strategies for dealing with problems in the moment and a new mindset that enhanced my overall approach to parenting. The atmosphere of our household became so much more cooperative and pleasant--I was stunned! At last I was able to be the kind of parent I wanted to be, and my son responded so positively that I just kept coming back for more classes. Eventually I trained to be a parent educator myself and I have found a second home among the warm, supportive, and engaged community of PEP volunteers. It is deeply fulfilling to work with people who share a dedication to being the best parents they can be, and who are committed to helping other parents by volunteering their time to provide peer-to-peer training and guidance. PEP is an inclusive organization that provides a warm welcome to all kinds of parents and families. We are so lucky to have this unique resource in our area, with a 30-year track record of success and a vibrant program of classes, workshops, and other services provided by an all-volunteer workforce. Anyone involved in raising, teaching, or caring for children would do well to get involved with PEP and learn about an approach to child-rearing that has helped thousands of families enjoy more pleasant, harmonious and mutually supportive relationships.

1 Suzanne35

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a PEP participant, PEP leader, and Professional Coach, I highly recommend PEP and all of its programs to other parents. The education PEP provides has helped me do what I can to improve my relationship with my husband and children, and as a result, has supported and fostered my personal and professional growth. The curriculum is just what I needed to get out of the throws of daily battles and frustration with my family and back into the joys of being a parent and a child! Because of PEP, I have confidence in myself as a parent and confidence in my children, even when we mess up "royally!" I wish every parent could feel that way and access what PEP has to offer.