A Coachella Valley-based nonprofit organization that helps local families announced Wednesday it received a $25,000 grant to continue providing parenting classes and other support mechanisms for parents, it was announced Wednesday.

The Palm Desert-based H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, in partnership with local television station KESQ, awarded the funds to About Families, which provides classes to new and expecting parents, along with other resources, in both Spanish and English.

“I have always believed that `it takes a village’ to raise a child, and that was the philosophy I built About Families on,” said founder Joanna Boles Whitlow. “When I was a new mother, and I could not find resources, like these, I thought `I can’t be alone,’ so I reached out and found that village. Now, we are here for others.”

Services cover the spectrum from pregnancy through early childhood.

Grant funding allows the nonprofit to offer many classes for free, although some require a small fee to cover instruction and materials, according to the nonprofit. Classes are currently being held virtually due to COVID-19.

“The peer-to-peer support that About Families offers is a proven benefit to people’s mental health, so they can talk with people who have gone through and are going through similar situations with a new baby at home,” said Catharine Reed, the Berger Foundation’s vice president of charitable programs.

In 2015, About Families started a preschool in Indio that closed amid the pandemic, but plans to reopen at 50% capacity next month. Mariposa Parent Child Workshop, for children ages 2 to 5, features a “cooperative” model of schooling where “parents are encouraged to explore with their child while simultaneously expanding their own parenting skills,” according to the school’s website. To participate in the school, parents must volunteer at least four hours per week alongside the school’s teachers.

For more information about About Families, call 760-342-7400 or go www.aboutfamiliesinc.com.

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