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    New Parent Support Group ends the year with fun holiday social

    New Parent Support Group ends the year with fun holiday social

    Photo By Katisha Draughn-Fraguada | 231206-N-UA321-1004 PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Dec. 6, 2023) Kim Bowen, an educator with Fleet...... read more read more



    Story by Katisha Draughn-Fraguada 

    Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads

    Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) ended the year in a fun way with families from the New Parent Support Group program during their holiday social on Dec. 6 at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads-Portsmouth Annex.

    “Military families are often away from family during the holiday,” said Veanna Pitts, New Parent Support Home Visitor. “I wanted to provide a positive outlet while connecting them with other families who may have similar dynamics.”

    During the social, families sang songs, read books, ate holiday treats, and participated in a mittens and book exchange. In addition, presentations were given on managing holiday stress and staying within a budget, important topics for new parents and families.

    “The New Parent Support Program offers expectant parents and parents of newborn and young children the opportunity to learn new skills and to improve existing parenting techniques,” said Pitts.

    Lieutenant Latriva Johnson from Supervisor Shipbuilding Newport News has been with the New Parent Support Program for three months and has enjoyed everything that has been offered to her and her daughter.

    “This program has shown me that I am not alone and the support is definitely there,” she said. “They have provided care and support that I would not have received anywhere else.”

    Johnson is the youngest of four children and raised a few of her nieces and nephews, so she has always had that motherly instinct. She hopes to establish different holiday traditions and fun outings with her two-year-old daughter as she gets older.

    “I used to always love to go ice skating every Christmas Eve, so I hope to do that with her, and pick out cute holiday ornaments,” she said.

    During the social, parents were able to talk about fun holiday events and activities and get to know other families with the same interests.

    “I am excited to drive through different areas and look at Christmas lights with my son,” said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Michelle Ducezil from Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, whose son is 20 months old.

    Ducezil has been an active participant in the New Parent Support Group since she was pregnant.

    “I enjoy the outings and events as it is always someplace fun and allows my son to use his senses,” she said. “It has been amazing and wonderful, and they provide so many resources. I love the warmth and care that I feel with the program and staff here.”

    Planning the holiday social entailed Pitts sending an invite to all of the Navy New Parent Support Home Visitors within the Hampton Roads area requesting participation.

    “At Portsmouth Annex we have a strong history of connecting our families together. We offer a Parents Connection Playgroup where we partner with Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Aquatics Center for Aquatics, Gym for Stroller Strides and most popular, our Parent and Baby Yoga,” she said. “So I followed this format. As an educator, I am always looking for additional ways to equip our program participants with resources.”

    Information on those resources were also made available at the holiday social with a table filled with flyers and educational handouts.

    “It is my hope that military families will gain strength by building healthy connections at this social,” said Pitts. “Military life can be challenging. It helps to know that you are not alone.”



    Date Taken: 12.06.2023
    Date Posted: 12.11.2023 12:20
    Story ID: 459635
    Location: PORTSMOUTH , VA, US

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