On the morning of April 1, Indiana Parenting Institute, IPI, launched the 10th annual Parenting Awareness Month Indiana (PAMI) initiative with their PAMI Breakfast at The Centennial at 504 in Gary.

The special guest of the morning was Indiana First Lady Karen Pence who, during her time as First Lady of Indiana, has served as an advocate for children and families across the state. Special presentations were also made by Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Gary Community School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Pruitt. In attendance were representatives from many local organizations as well as parents from the community.

The First Lady’s presentation focused on the future, which also rang true as the theme throughout the event. She stated that promoting responsible parenting is essential in helping to ensure that children develop into productive, responsible citizens in the future.

Dr. Pruitt praised IPI saying that, as the Superintendent, she sees the programs at work and the progress being made every day through her students. She cited increased graduation rates in the Gary high schools and improved school grades in the elementary schools as evidence of the creation of more responsible parents in the community.

In addition to the presentations, the event incorporated the distribution of awards to three deserving community members: Tavia Black of Elka Child Educational Center, IPI Parent Secilia Lee, and Ernie Signars of the East Chicago Housing Authority (ECHA). Ernie Signars, who serves as the Director of Community Services for the ECHA, and who received the Exemplary Leadership Award for all that he does for his residents, recalled how IPI has helped many of his residents develop positive parenting techniques which have brought families closer together.

The event concluded with a raffle for several items, many donated by sponsoring organizations. For more information on IPI and PAMI, call (219) 886-1111 or visit www.indianaparentinginstitute.org.

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