Kinships Caregivers resume meetings.

July 29, 2021

Kinships Caregivers resume meetings.

By Kate Goodman, MCP correspondent 

SCOTTVILLE — Opening your home to children can sometimes be difficult to do, especially if you are to raise grandchildren, which is why Bill Kerans, director of the Scottville Area Senior Center makes it his goal to advocate for “kinship caregivers.”

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren is a program for kinship adults who are raising young relatives. “We have monthly meetings encompassing both adults and children,” Kerans said. The meetings consist of a discussion meeting with the adults, normally with a guest speaker or two, with topics relating on how to raise young relatives. Normally meetings also include a fun activity for the kids, such as building bird houses. 

“At these meetings, relatives create a support network, learn strategies to help raise children and other challenges they may face. “I consider them heroes,” remarked Kerans, “I am happy to help in any way I can.”

The pandemic devastated the program and stopped its monthly meetings, but Keran announced the return of meetings this summer. On July 21at Mason County Central Middle School the Kinship Caregivers held its first meeting of 2021.  The meeting was held outdoors as “an easier way to restart the program and make sure we were in a healthy and safe environment for the kids,” said Kerans.

The first meeting focused on summer safety and summer fun. Members had several opportunities to learn new tasks, all while enjoying a spaghetti and meatball dinner prepared by the MCC Food Service. Guest speakers included Scottville Police officers Katrina Skinner and Steve Case who showcased the important aspects of bike and water safety. Skinner and Case demonstrated how to properly wear a helmet, look for cars, obey traffic laws, wear the proper life vest, and float in the water when stuck in a current. Joining them was Grace Richardson, health educator from District Health Department No. 10, who spoke about the dangers of substance abuse in young kids. Her presentation focused on how to look for the symptoms of drug abuse, how to lock up prescription drugs, and most importantly how to keep kids away from the dangers of drugs. While the adults listened to the guest speakers, kids had the opportunity to play team games, fly a kite, or enjoy the school’s playground.

After the success of its first meeting, Bill Kerans announced the Kinship Caregivers future schedule of events.  The next meeting will be held outdoors, weather permitting, on August 18.  Guest speakers will include Rob Dennis, MCC principal and Monique Selimos of the West Shore Educational Service District, who will be discussing the topics of behavior and social media issues. The date for the second annual Kinship Recognition Dinner was also announced for October 20.  The Kinship Recognition Dinner is a community event. 

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