Ben Franklin’s axiom, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” spotlights the guiding principle in the work of Program Supervisor Kia Jones and the Oceanside I Family Success Center.
“Robin’s Nest, which is based out of Glassboro, is the umbrella for us with over 60 programs. Programs are spread throughout South Jersey, and the Family Success Center is one of those. We help with things like wellness, counseling, behavioral health, and parenting support.”
With funding through the state and grants, Oceanside’s menu of free educational, family-centered workshops and activities targets the identified needs of clients in its Melrose Avenue programs.
“We provide resources, especially through workshops, which mainly center on keeping families together. Our workshops target adults and families. Family workshops center on the bonding experience. It helps to create family memories.”
Family activities include cooking classes and movie nights, job fairs, and access to community resources for people who might need housing, help with utilities, and even food.
“We try to partner with as many organizations as we can, depending upon what we see as a need. We’ve partnered with Covenant House, AtlantiCare, Stockton University, and Atlantic Cape.”
Ideas for instituting programs at the center come from varied sources.
“We try to see what the community needs through observations and from participants asking us about starting classes, like Spanish and GED preparation. We try to fill that need. We got great news the other day; our first participant in the GED class just passed the test.”
That’s the kind of outcome that proves Kia Jones and the Oceanside I Family Success Center are scoring passing grades with their family-oriented programs.
-John “Yonk” Rosnick