The Martha’s Vineyard Family Center is presenting an ongoing educational series designed to support the myriad roles in raising children. Call it a parenting potpourri.

The series begins on Tuesday, May 1 with Beyond Finger Painting and Play Dough led by Robin Allee. This talk is from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Subsequent talks are as follows.

May 8 - Self-Care for the Busy Mom with Sherry Sidoti (10 to 11:30 a.m.).

The fate of the Martha’s Vineyard Family Center surfaced again this week, with the center’s supporters urging the high school committee to consider ways to keep the center at the high school.

The high school, citing low enrollment numbers, has decided to phase out its early childhood vocational program. As a result, the family center will need to relocate by 2014.

Addison Shemeth toddler daycare

It is a place for parents to trade concerns about child-rearing while the children play, and a place for high school students who may want to study education down the road to gain valuable early childhood teaching experience.

But with the phasing out of the early childhood education vocational program at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, the Martha’s Vineyard Family Center, with its comfy blue couches and pleasing play spaces for children, will now need to relocate.



The Martha’s Vineyard Family Center begins a book group this month where parents can share concerns, seek advice and compare notes on the challenges of raising a child on the Island.

Cherish Harris, the center’s coordinator, said the book group will provide a safe place for parents to share their experiences and make time for themselves.

Parenting, as any parent or anyone who has spent more than a few minutes with young children knows, can be difficult, lonely, confusing, exhausting and expensive. It can be wonderful too, but who needs help during those moments. It is during the tough times when parents need somewhere to turn, especially a place that doesn’t cost any additional money.

Here on the Vineyard we have the Martha’s Vineyard Family Center. Take a look, for example, at what the center is offering parents during the upcoming week.


Lap Puppets

April Thanhauser of Spindrift Marionettes will join the staff of Plum Hill School to offer a free morning of puppets and crafts tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Family Center at the high school.

April’s puppet show will feature colorful “lap puppets” enacting a medley of nursery rhymes ­— just right for toddlers and preschoolers.

Stephanie DaRosa and Josie Black of Plum Hill will follow with a natural craft activity for parents and children to do together.