Recently, I received a message from our Playgroups Program Manager Julie Trickett. She wanted to share with me a wonderful and impactful volunteer she met through working with the program. I think that what she said about Whitney introduces her in the best possible way:
"Whitney Glazier started Tremonton Playgroups with huge success, in no time she had about 40 kids and 25 families participating! She leads four other volunteer parents in organizing Tremonton Playgroups. She gives feedback, participates in meetings, and takes attendance and is constantly trying to improve our process. She has an altruistic outlook and I wish we could clone her! I would love to spotlight her and thank her for her tremendous effort and success! She was also once a Welcome Baby volunteer here in Ogden."
We are so lucky to have volunteers like Whitney working with us to improve the lives of those in our communities. I asked Whitney a few questions about her experience with Welcome Baby and starting the Tremonton Playgroup. Here's what she had to say:
When did you volunteer with Welcome Baby?
I heard about the Welcome Baby program within the first week of my moving to Ogden back in July 2016 and got into contact with Julie Johnson not too long after that. I was in the process of training to become a newborn care specialist where I wanted to eventually design a parenting class towards expecting parents on the ins and outs of raising a newborn, so that volunteer opportunity was right in the direction I was wanting to head. I believe it was by October of that year I was officially trained and by November.. I was able to start doing home visits on my own. I worked with three families the full eighteen months I volunteered, right up to the point when I had my own newborn that I wanted to focus on.
What made you want to start the Tremonton Playgroup?
Oh lots of things! After my first child, Ian, was just a few months old I decided to become a participant of the Welcome Baby program and started receiving home visits for myself. My husband and I moved to Tremonton in January of 2019 and I didn't know anyone and didn't really know how to meet other new moms with being a stay at home mom.
I honestly don't remember who approached who first, whether it was Heather (who was my Welcome Baby home visitor at the time) to me, or I to her, about starting a Playgroup up here in Tremonton, but when it was first brought up I was all over it. I really wanted an opportunity for moms, especially those who are stay at home ones who don't get lots of opportunities to get outside the home, to be able to meet other moms and develop genuine friendships and all be able to help each other out in the craziness of raising children.
To me, the crafts, story time, preschool learning opportunities, etc. were all just big gigantic perks to have people in the community come together and form connections they would otherwise not have had. We were able to start our first Playgroup early in the summer of 2019 and have been able to keep it going, despite some ups and downs.
When I wanted to 'help' out with the Playgroup clear at the beginning I had no idea that it would quickly become me who was leading over the Playgroup, but after figuring things out along the way of how best to run Playgroups in Tremonton, it has become something I love to do and have greatly enjoyed all the relationships I have been able to form because of this Playgroup opportunity!
What do you think is the most beneficial part of Learn with Playgroups?
By far I think the greatest impact these Playgroups have is on the moms, I don't think that was UWNU original goal with the Playgroups, but overall I think they are the ones who benefit the most. It not only allows other moms to meet each other and learn from one another, but gives them that much needed adult social interaction that is often missed in the hustle and bustle of raising kids.
If moms don't get a 'break' and/or support from the demands of raising children they can quickly get to the point of not being able to give their kids their best self. These Playgroups gives moms an opportunity to bring their kids to a structured activity where the kids can play and have that priceless interaction with other kids their own age (which I think is one of the greatest benefits for the children for school readiness and learning how to socialize with peers), that also provides not only learning opportunities for the children, but for the parents as well.
The kids get to learn an array of things to help them prepare for school and the moms get to hear some expert advice on an array of common parenting situations/techniques. And when moms get that consistent education, they are able to more fully handle the everyday situations that come from day to day life of raising children and also apply the other moms advice of the do's and the don'ts of those same situations. And when mom's have lots of tools and knowledge in the heat of a parenting moment (along with the emotional benefit of knowing other moms are going through these same challenging situations like them) they are able to better handle those moments and give their kids their best self instead of their worn-out/I don't know what to do in this situation self; which in turn will also be the most beneficial for the children, which is what UWNU goal is I believe, that children can be raised in an loving and learning environment with nurturing parents where they can become their best selves and grow into future productive citizens.
If you're interested in joining a local Playgroup, visit our website for opportunities.