Ten years of family fun
Aki Dyke went exploring at the Family Center's birthday party last Friday. Photos by Ralph Stewart
It was playtime as usual at the Family Center last Friday afternoon, but this day had a special added attraction. While toddlers tumbled and explored and older youngsters made themselves at home in the playhouse, built towers with wooden blocks, or sat at low tables to color or read, parents and staff members chatted beside a festive birthday cake. Friday marked the 10th anniversary of the center, sponsored by Martha's Vineyard Community Services, which offers a range of services to families with children from infancy through age six. Pre-natal and pre-adoption services are available too.
Chloe Hoyt (left) and Alley Estrella concentrate at the kid-style computer, one of many activities for older children at the center.
Weekly activities include several playgroups, a day each week for parents with babies up to one year old to gather, and casual drop-in times. There is even an early evening playgroup just for dads and their children. Every Friday morning parents can get together for coffee and conversation, to share insights and concerns about raising children in a quiet setting, while childcare is provided. Group meetings for families with adopted children are held regularly as are gatherings for "waiting parents," those who are considering or planning for adoption. Along with regularly scheduled workshops on specific topics, parents can gain valuable information just by talking with other parents and staff members at the center, or browsing the bulletin boards which are packed with ideas and resources.