Parenting class at Kyrene de los Lagos
Jennifer Habib (left) and Yoko Plummer talk with instructor Neil Tift after the parenting class at Kyrene de los Lagos on Friday, April 1. Travis Roemhild/AFN

A resource for both new and experienced parents is available free of charge to community members on Fridays at Kyrene de los Lagos Elementary School.

The program, called Thrive to Five, is made possible by a partnership between Communities in Schools of Tempe and Kyrene and First Things First, an Arizona initiative passed in 2006.

The class taking place at Lagos, 17001 S. 34th Way, is called "1,2,3,4 Parents!" and is conducted by Neil Tift, male development coordinator of the Child Crisis Center in Mesa. He touches on many aspects of child development, including impulse control and the importance of both parents making a dedicated effort.

"There is a richness in having both maternal and paternal influences," he said. "This class is about education."

In class, he talks about the important role a father plays in the child's development.

"We've come to the point where fathers aren't part of the problem, they are part of the solution," he said. "Boys learn impulse control from their father."

The class runs from 9 to 11 a.m. on Fridays and there is free child care offered as part of the program.

One mother of three who attended on April 1 said the class offers valuable information about what to expect as the child develops.

"There are always new stuff when it comes to kids growing up," Jessica Oaks said. "Each child expresses themselves in a new way. Specific information is always good."

The Kyrene Family Resource Center, 1330 E. Dave Road in Tempe, also hosts classes like Brain Time for parents of children up to 18 months old.

"It's not just information but it's also a social event for moms to connect and talk about whatever they want," said Scott Dolinsek, program coordinator.

To find out more, visit, or contact Dolinsek at or (480) 783-1428.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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