Fifth-grader Kyla Jones said her favorite quality about her mom is how much she loves and cares for others.
When Kyla told that to her mother, Nikki Sayers gave her daughter a hug and said how proud she was of Kyla for recognizing the good in others and growing up to be a kind girl.
Their bonding time Friday morning was part of a monthly program at Wingate Elementary School that invited mothers of students in the school to attend an early-morning breakfast with their children and participate in a program-guided discussion.
The theme of the iMom program was “Gift of Giving,” and it allowed moms to share the things they appreciate most about their children, and vice versa.
But a twist came when homework was assigned to the moms instead of the kids.
Each mom was given a jewelry box donated by Confer’s Jewelers with four strips of paper in it.
Host and school nurse Ali Snyder asked each mom to go home and write on those pieces of paper what they appreciate about their child, and then put it back in the box for their kids to open, discussing the points of appreciation together.
“It’s just the kind of bonding time families need,” Snyder said. “We get so caught up in everything else that sometimes we just need to take time to be together.”
The event is a motherhood-focused program through Family First, a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening families.
“It’s a way to make sure they get that one-on-one time together,” Orichosky said. “It’s really powerful when you get to see the moms and dads bond with their children and engage in deep discussion they might not have time to have otherwise.”
The last All Pro Dad event was held in October. There will be no program in December, but it will start back up each month after the first of the year, Snyder said.
Each month’s event attracts about 40 parents, Orichosky said.
“It gets a good response and you see these guided conversations really resonate with the kids and parents,” Orichosky said. “I get comments from parents who say, ‘thanks for doing this’ or ‘I really liked last month’s discussion.’ ”
Jenn Mellott said she and her husband, Doug, participate in the program each month with their children Shaun, 11, and Bryleigh, 8.
“I just enjoy the time together,” Mellott said. “It’s guaranteed time to spend together. We’ve done it since the school started it last year. … We learn something new each time.”
And Snyder said she tries to be an example for the guests.
When she hosts the iMom events, she includes her daughter Katie and son Michael, who attend Wingate Elementary School.
“I work at the school and help run these events, but I’m also a mom,” she said.
As part of the “gift of giving” theme, five families also received a 14-pound turkey after a drawing. It was donated by Weis Markets, Snyder said.