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At the time of this introduction, the Rhoades’ middle child Timmy had just turned one year old. Through one of the parenting classes offered by the center, Seetal Rhoades was able to meet new moms. The childcare services offered gave Timmy exposure to others and older brother Alex had the opportunity to play with other children. “He would cry the whole time he was in there,” Rhoades said of her middle child. “Mary Lynn would say it will be okay. He was not really used to being away from mommy and daddy that much. We were both better for it.” When the couple became pregnant with their daughter Victoria, they returned for the Healthy Birth Outcome classes. When insurance was hesitant to refer son Timmy for testing for a genetic disorder, the center helped as well. “That’s been the biggest impact on me,” James Rhoades said of the center. “Having a person in the neighborhood we can go to.” “It’s like this network with branches everywhere,” Seetal Rhoades added. “She’s (Lebow) got connections everywhere.” “We work with a lot of different agencies to help our families,” Lebow said of the connections. “If we don’t offer the service here, chances are we know someone who does.” James Rhoades attended the parenting classes as well, though he wasn’t sure he originally wanted to take them. Feeling knowledgeable without assistance, he said ultimately he found the classes were beneficial. “Even if you think you already know it, give it a chance. There really is a bunch of stuff I learned. It’s not going to hurt to check it out.” Lebow has worked with the Parent Resource Center for five years. She currently works with 34 families, as well as facilitates a parenting class and pregnancy support group. She loves her work. “The families I work with, to see them be successful, that’s what

Parent Resource Center Executive Director Susan Mendieta Beasley, far right, along with seven of the nine case managers that work out of the downtown Modesto location.

The Rhoades family, from left, Timothy, Alex, James, Seetal and baby Victoria are one of thousands of families who have benefited from the services and programs offered by the Parent Resource Center in Modesto.

makes this all worth it,” she said. The Parent Resource Center is a private, non-profit, child abuse prevention agency, offering support to parents via in-home mentoring, classes, educational opportunities and additional referral services. Many of its programs are grant funded. “The majority of our funding comes from grants and generosity of the community,” Executive Director Susan Mendieta Beasley said. “We have a very active Board of Directors and wonderful volunteers.” Beasley shared her pride in what the case managers as well as volunteers offer to the community and said she is continually buoyed by the generosity through donations both of time and material nature. “The children,” the director 209MAGAZINE

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said of what she looks forward to each day at work. “Children are innocent in the world and it’s up to the agencies like ours and the mothers and fathers to help provide the best for the children. We need to do the best that we can for them.” ■

IF YOU GO GETTING THERE: The Parent Resource Center 811 5th St., Modesto satellite location at 530 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Modesto. CONTACT: 549-8193 or 549-8822. FOR MORE INFORMATION: Information regarding services offered may be found atwww.prcfamilies.org.


209 Magazine - Issue 7