Oh Baby: PASS Program helps young parents succeed - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Oh Baby: PASS Program helps young parents succeed

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Most parents agree that raising healthy children is the most challenging, yet rewarding job of their lives.

One program helps young moms and dads be the best parents they can be.

Mother Kristy Cannon admits it's hard being a single parent.

"They help me out with parenting skills. They taught me a lot that I needed to know," she said.

At Waterloo's YWCA Cannon and her four children participate in the PASS program, which stands for Parents Achieving Success with Support.

It welcomes parents ages 20 to 30, and is co-sponsored by the Family and Children's Council of Black Hawk County.

"We teach parenting and life skills. Budgeting, nutrition, healthy relationships, literacy, parent and child interaction," program director Cyndi Ritter said.

PASS meets every second and fourth Wednesday, offering instruction, family activities, a meal and free transportation.

Cannon says PASS has helped her become a more patient parent.

"If you get frustrated, walk away," she said.

"I wish all the fathers in the United States would step up and be role models for their kids," father Timothy Young said.

Young came to become a better dad.

"I learned about the heat index, not to leave a baby in the car seat," he said, "How to prepare meals."

"Being young," Cannon said, "I didn't have experience with kids. It helped me learn what you need to do."

Through positive interaction, support and learning, these parents say the PASS program helps them earn more than a passing grade.

Because of a decrease in funding, PASS hasn't been able to recruit young parents as much as it used to, but they invite any parent, married or single age 20 to 30 to join them at the YWCA in Waterloo.

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