Parent Education Series | Metrowest YMCA | MetroWest YMCA

Parent Education Series

SAVE THE DATE and PLAN TO JOIN US for one or all of these dynamic evenings as we explore a wide variety of topics related to parenting, child development and more! Our sessions will include a brief presentation, followed by an extensive and lively Q&A. We will meet in the large conference room of the Ashland Public Library. This FREE parent education series is offered through a grant funded by a collaboration between the MetroWest YMCA and the Early Childhood Alliance of Ashland and Framingham (ECAAF) . If you have questions about the Parent Education Series or any of our other activities related to children and families in Ashland please contact Brenda Halloran-Donald, CFCE Program Coordinator at, or Sally Sweitzer M.A., YMCA Developmental Specialist at


Child Development 101

Wednesday February 24th 6:30 pm -7:45 pm, 
Large conference room of the Ashland Public Library
Facilitated by Sally Sweitzer, M.A. Developmental Specialist

In this workshop we will explore Child Development, learning about the developmental “tasks” of each age and stage, exploring what is normal and when to discuss concerns with your pediatrician. We will also look closely at social and emotional development and learn why skills in this area are crucial to being ready to learn in school. Bring your questions and concerns for our Q&A and take home  resources to guide you on your parenting journey!


Positive Discipline :  It Actually Works!

Wednesday, March 16th 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
Facilitated by Sally Sweitzer, M.A. Developmental Specialist

Come learn about the power of Positive Discipline! How often do find yourself in a power struggle with a 3 year old? Do you ever feel like all you say is “No?” Learn about negative attention seeking, why children and adults get caught in patterns of negativity, and how Positive Discipline can raise a child’s confidence and decrease feelings of anger and stress. We will engage in a lively discussion of real life challenges and provide take home strategies that really work!


STEAM & STEM – What Do These Buzz Words Mean for My Child?

Wednesday, March 30th 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
Large conference room of the Ashland Public Library
Facilitated by Courtney Arseneault, M.S., Owner/Director of Adventures In Learning, Ashland

“STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) and STEM ( Science, Technology & Math) have certainly become common language in early education circles, and amongst the parenting community. Come and find out what these curriculum concepts are all about. Learn how to ask the right questions to stimulate your child’s curiosity and help them learn to ask the right questions as well. Find out how you can encourage your child to develop crucial problem solving skills and creative thinking through exploration and play with open ended materials, keeping the emphasis on the process, rather than the final product! Experts agree that the development of these skills is integral to a child’s success in school and in their adult life.


Early Literacy

Wednesday, April 27th 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
Large conference room of the Ashland Public Library
Facilitated by Kathy Simpson, M.Ed Instructional Coach for Literacy and District Trainer

We all know that reading to our children is important. This evening’s presentation will focus on the “how” of exploring books with your child, how to engage with your child around books in a way that sparks their imagination and creativity while setting them up to be not just readers, but life long readers and lovers of books! Kathy will share her expertise and also share some of her collection of award-winning children’s literature, giving you an inside perspective on what makes a really great children’s book, and helping you become an expert in choosing and sharing books with your child.


Helping Your Child Reach Their Greatest Potential

Wednesday, May 18th 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
Large conference room of the Ashland Public Library
Facilitated by Julie Hanes, M.Ed. Program Director of Criterion Middlesex Early Intervention

We all want our children to reach their fullest potential. Each child is unique and will navigate this path in their own special way. When we understand our child’s strengths and challenges, we can help them achieve success in life. Experts agree that the earlier we understand a child’s challenges, be they small or big ones, the sooner we can provide the supports they need to be their best! Come for an informal evening designed to dispel the myths and fears parents sometimes have about the term “Special Needs”. We will have both experts in the field of Early Intervention and parents with real life stories to share, answer questions and support you and your child on your parenting journey.


Managing Stress

Wednesday, June 15th 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
Large conference room of the Ashland Public Library
Facilitated by Liz Law, former Program Associate at the Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY

Stress and parenting often go hand in hand, but we don’t have to let our stress define us. Come and enjoy an evening of stress reduction! We will practice techniques and discuss the barriers we sometimes encounter as parents around our own self care. You will come away from this evening feeling better and armed with realistic, concrete ideas for how to reduce stress and increase well being in your own life.