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      Home-visit program benefits parents and children

      When April became a mom for the first time three years ago, she didn't know everything there is to know about raising a child. But she says thanks to BHK TMs home-visit program, she can learn alongside three-year-old Megan about child development and parenting.

      "We're learning how to motorize, how to grasp things, how to get her more verbal because she TMs really lazy with that since I know everything she wants," says stay-at-home mom, April Loveless.

      Those are just some of the things parents and children learn when a volunteer from the program visits their home. It's a head start program for families with children up to three years old. It promotes effective learning and growth for both the child and the parent.

      "I go, ~Oh Heather's coming today!' She gets all excited and she wants to start doing stuff, cleaning up and everything, getting ready for her, but I like it because then I get information that I wouldn't normally think of," Loveless said.

      All volunteers are certified parent educators. They work with children on various skills: language, social development and problem solving.

      "We bring activities that are appropriate for the development of children, said parent educator, Heather McGee, "and we really work on teaching the parent why those activities are appropriate.

      The program is free and offered to families in Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw counties. Volunteers are flexible with hours and work out of the comfort of the families' homes. "We don TMt come in and teach parents about what they TMre doing wrong, McGee said. We come in and teach parents what they TMre doing right and ways that they can really shine as parents." Expecting mothers can also benefit from this program; they can start early, meet with a volunteer who can teach them what to expect while they're expecting and when the child is born.