for Parents and Youth 10-14 Years

Strengthening Families Program

Strengthening Families Program Celebrates Family Bonding

Over 120 parents and youth came together June 2 to celebrate their family at the first Skagit Strengthening Families Program Family Fun Night.  Skagit County families who have participated in the 7-week Strengthening Families Program within the past five years were invited to the family fun event held at Mount Vernon High School.

Kenya Masala, an international motivational speaker and African drumming instructor, lead families in amazing RHYTHM POWER! drumming exercises.  Everyone in attendance played their own drum. Grandparents, parents and youth of all ages learned how to make a variety of different sounds with their individual drum.  The sound of over 120 drums beating together was quite powerful!  Six families gave short testimonials about how the Strengthening Families Program has helped their family.  “Strengthening Families has helped me stop yelling,” a 
La Conner parent explained.  “Now I listen to my kids.  They are also listening to me now thanks to the Strengthening Families Program.”

Other family fun activities during the evening included a bungee run and airbrush face painting from Airplay, large group games from Source Consulting, family photos, and information from a variety of community organizations who serve youth and families in Skagit County.   Jose Ortiz provided Spanish translation for the evening event.

Skagit Strengthening Families Program has served over 100 families since January 2008. Approximately 38 of those families have participated in the Spanish Strengthening Families
Program, “Fortaleciendo Familias.”  In the past five years, at least one Strengthening Families Programs has been held in each Skagit County community.

Washington State University Human Development Research Department evaluates all program data for each Strengthening Families session held in Skagit County.  According to recent reports from Dr. Laura Hill, WSU Human Development Research Department, “Skagit County saves $7.82 (in criminal justice costs related to substance abuse) for every $1.00 invested in the Strengthening Families Program in Skagit County.”

The Strengthening Families Program is a nationally recognized, science-based, best practice program developed by Iowa State University to serve families with youth ages 10-14.  The program is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the national Center for Prevention of Substance Abuse and the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Skagit Strengthening Families Program is supported by a variety of community organizations, including the Skagit Prevention Council and its member health councils in each Skagit County community, Skagit County Human Services, Northwest ESD 189, and United General Hospital. For more information on upcoming Strengthening Families Programs in Skagit County, contact Jennifer Fix, Skagit Strengthening Families Program Coordinator, 360-422-7621 or

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