Messy Fun Day for Families

_JEG5462“It was wonderful to have a space where my daughter could play with other children her age, and for me to meet new families in the community,” said Guadalupe Ramirez, mother of Ian, age 2 (seen at left).

Many parents in the Napa are just like Mayra, seeking a safe and nurturing place in the community where they can bring their child and have positive interactions and peer support.

Each month our Home Visitation team puts on a socialization event bring families together who have little opportunity to enjoy positive social interactions with other families with young children. These events also create a space for parents to bond with their child, learn more about their child’s development and age appropriate behaviors, and help to encourage the social-emotional development of the child.

The importance of developing positive relationships between parent and child cannot be understated. In August, Cope held the Messy Fun event where parents could bring their young children to learn new ways to interact and support their children’s learning. The event also provided parents the opportunity to develop a sense of community and get support from their fellow Napa parents._JEG5552

Activities such as creating play dough out of peanut butter and honey, drawing with fingers, and dying pasta were chosen to encourage parents’ understanding of the early learning that occurs to develop early literacy and pre-writing skills. The activities will develop sensory responses in the child, and promote development of fine motor skills and the pincer grip (needed to grasp a pencil or crayon and to pick up small objects like Cheerios).

_JEG5544Parent-child interaction activities promote responsiveness between the parent and child and develop their communication, which are building blocks for attachment, and in turn, promote child well-being. Helping parents learn about their child’s healthy growth and development encourages positive parenting, and reduces child abuse and neglect since parents are more aware of typical behaviors for their child’s age and developmental stage, and are therefore less likely to discipline harshly when the child is simply displaying age-appropriate temperament and behavior.

Want to try some of the activities out at home? Get the recipe to make your own edible play dough here!

3rd Annual Napa River Rock & Stroll Huge Success

You Rock!

Thanks to all of you who participated in the 3rd Annual Napa River Rock & Stroll 6K family fun run/walk on September 24, 2011. Due to your efforts we were able to raise $80,000 to support child abuse prevention programs at Cope Family Center. The Pre-Race Carbo Load Dinner at the Napa Mill’s Riverbend Terrace got the party started with just over 250 people in attendance. Live music, fantastic pasta and delicious desserts were enjoyed by all.

  • Over 1,000 walkers and runners registered for the fun run, a 25% increase over last year.
  • 61 teams and individual fundraisers raised $25,000 this year! The Woman2Woman Team raised $2,280, while Carole Rehbok was our top individual fundraiser with $1,605 in sponsorships.
  • More than 200 volunteers helped plan and coordinate the event and the Carbo-Load Dinner.
  • The Finish Line Festival was attended by more sponsors and vendors this year, introducing our families to many services and resources centered around healthy living.

With the Rock & Stroll behind us, we work to ensure that Napa children are raised in safe, nurturing homes. The child abuse rate has almost doubled since 2007 in Napa County, with an average of three reports a day! As we celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2012, we’ll need your help to help us fulfill this mission.

To find out how you can get involved or for updates on our work, we’d like to invite you to follow us on Twitter (, like us on Facebook (, and read our blog (

Again, thank you for your participation. Be sure to save the date for next year’s Rock & Stroll: Saturday, September 22, 2012!