MCH Family Outreach in Waco brought Spanish-speaking caregivers together for a summer event called “Películas y Palomitas” (translated to “Movies and Popcorn”). This special event took the place of its Caregiver Empowerment Group (CEG) meetings during June and July.
Caregiver Empowerment Groups are regular meetings designed to offer support and empowerment to caregivers through education, discussion, and connection with others. This specific CEG group formed after a local nonprofit serving Latino families suspended services. MCH Family Outreach staff discovered there was a need for a place where Spanish-speaking caregivers could come together in the community. The group has been meeting consistently for about two years.
Waco case managers Sara Beth Stoltzfus and Ana Chatham, who facilitate the group, decided to switch up their typical routine by hosting a family event during the summer. About 15 to 20 families gathered in the MCH Family Outreach Center to watch the movies “Coco” and “Ferdinand.” Staff provided popcorn, activities and discussion questions for families to take home. At the July meeting, Chatham arranged for the Lions Club to provide free eye exams to all adults and children who attended.
“I think the group is special because of the opportunity for caregivers to talk with one another about their struggles and joys and connect with others in similar situations,” Stoltzfus said. “Caregivers have said that having the space to step back and reflect on their parenting journey has been one of their favorite parts of the group. The Películas y Palomitas movie events have been fun because families interact and enjoy each other and get to know other families as well.”
Most participants of the movie events were regular attendees of the CEG group, however several families attended for the first time. The next Películas y Palomitas event will be held on Aug. 14 from 1:30 -3:30 p.m. at MCH Family Outreach Center, located at 524 W. Waco Dr. For more information on Caregiver Empowerment Groups in your area, visit MCH.org and click on the “Locations” tab.