The month of June always sees a flurry of graduation ceremonies. Olympic Corrections Center is no exception as classes come to a close, the final days will give way to summer academic breaks and a chance to engage in more programming until school starts once again.
Olympics Parenting Inside Out Program is a source of pride for the students and the coach of the program, Psychology Associate Harold Curtis. Every June the Parenting Inside Out Program concludes with a graduation ceremony for the dedicated fathers who committed to the 60 hours of course work to break patterns of incarceration not just for themselves, but for their children.
The graduation was a source of pride to the fathers who also planned the ceremony and participated by speaking to their class and guests. One graduate even wrote and performed his music. This year was the biggest graduating class so far. There were 13 out of 15 fathers enrolled in the course that graduated.
The standards are set high for those parents who enroll, but this year, as in the prior years, each father stepped up to the challenge. About halfway through the class, a teddy bear was assigned to each father. They were to stay with the bear throughout the class and in their daily interactions as if it were a child. At the ceremony, the fathers were able to present the bear to their families as a sign of success. Now the dads have a full toolbox of new and useful skills in parenting to make impactful changes in their families’ lives.
Parenting Inside Out (PIO) is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral parent management skills training program created for incarcerated parents through a six-year collaboration of scientists, policymakers, practitioners, and instructional designers. Both the information in the program and the way that information is presented were informed by knowledge derived from research and practice.