After Isis Parenting abruptly closed last month, several local organizations are working to fill the parenting education void left behind for area families. The Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston alone has picked up seven of Isis’ disrupted parenting and fitness classes.
Pictured: (Left to right) Sarah Mwangi and her son Hudson played with Sarah Slagsvol and her son Oskar, as Martha Loring brings her daughter Alden into the circle before the start of a class for new parents at the Newton’s Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center. Next
Isis Parenting was a popular for-profit company that offered maternity and early-parenting programs in Arlington, Needham, Hanover, and Boston. After its exit, businesses such as Kidville in Wellesley and Mommybites Boston added classes to serve parents left in the lurch. Mommybites Boston has also partnered with former Isis instructors, who are in high demand.
Pictured: Mothers and babies gathered with instructor Rachel Garber during a class for new parents at the Leventhal-Sidman center. Next
“Nobody wanted to do anything because Isis had the market,” said former Isis facilitator Dawn Ellis of the company’s popularity. Along with another Isis alum, Liz Berkman, Ellis will be teaching nondenominational parenting classes at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham.
“So now that there’s this gap, the temple got hundreds of e-mails the day Isis closed. It was like, ‘What do we do?’ There were real people looking for something.”
Pictured: Sarah Slagsvol sat with her five month old Oskar before the start of class. Next
“It’s really nice to go somewhere where you’re comfortable with your baby, where you feel like there’s stimulation for them, that is out of your apartment or your little neighborhood,” Martha Loring, Alden’s mother, said before the recent Leventhal-Sidman class.
Pictured: Five month old Alden Loring (top) looks around as she is placed with fellow five month olds Oskar Slagsvol (left) and Hudson Mwangi (right) during class. Next
Arlene Smith, coordinator of the Watertown Family Network, an organization that offers free support for parents, said parents should remember that there are more than 40 other family networks throughout the state that support parents.
“People underestimate how hard it is to become a parent,” former Isis employee Dawn Ellis said. “Becoming a parent is a humongous rite of passage, especially for a woman. It changes a person’s life. I think it’s important for people to be able to go somewhere they can honestly say, ‘This is hard,’ and everyone knows you are still a good mom.”
Pictured: (Left to right) Sarah Mwangi holds her son Hudson, Sarah Slagsvol holds her son Oskar, Alden Loring crawls in, and Cheryl Morosko holds her son Nathan during class at the Leventhall-Sidman Jewish Community Center. Back to the beginning
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