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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

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

3 Susan182

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I have taken many of PEP's parenting classes over the past 5 years and feel it is, without a doubt, the best investment we could make in our family. PEP does not teach one philosophy that all parents must follow. Instead, PEP helps parents discover their own family values and raise their children within them. PEP teaches parents to be supportive, encouraging, positive, firm and friendly. Families just work better with PEP in their lives!

2 Laura B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I send every struggling, or simply willing to consider another way, parent to this organization. Talk about no stress, or at least much less stress parenting -this is it. Now.....that's not to say YOU (the adult/ parent) won't have to do some changing, bending reconsidering.

I believe that the default setiing for all of our parenting is what ever we were exposed to as children. How could it be different? If you didn't like how you were parented, or think it could be iimproved upon. This philosophy - practical skills oriented approach is really effective.

We have an obligation to our kids, the workld and our species to evolve ourselves on down the road as quiclky as possible and sane, respectful, co-operative parenting is the fastest way I can think of.

Cheers for PEP!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The parent educating classes taught me how to encourage my kids so they no longer expressed their needs in a negative way, manage my anger so I no longer expressed my needs in a negative way, and build a culture of respect, responsibility, and love in our family.