Parents' Academy--a tradition of strengthening families

Submitted by lcarter on August 11, 2014 - 4:18pm

Shaded by a grove of pecan trees, the campus of Blessed Sacrament Academy (BSA) at 1135 Mission Road graces the South Side of San Antonio. A ministry of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament since 1926, BSA continues to impact the lives of individuals and strengthen families on a daily basis.

In the beginning, the Sisters opened the school as an all-girls institution. Then, as Sister Odilia Korenek, the undeniable force in charge of BSA says, “things changed.” Throughout the years, the demographics of the area shifted, and the population became affected by socio-economic problems. The Sisters responded in the early 1990s by refocusing their programs to serve the needs of an increasingly vulnerable population.

Today, the campus supports an array of services–all with the common thread of bringing hope. Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Parents’ Academy focuses on empowering parents with positive discipline techniques in an encouraging environment.

“The goal of Parents’ Academy,” explains Kathy Lozano, Director, “is to provide parents with information and support in the challenging task of raising healthy, well-balanced children in today’s world.” More than 350 family members  facing life challenges such as incarceration of a parent or an open case with Child Protective Services, foster parents, or those who just want to be better parents, have taken advantage of one or more of the three classes which are part of the curriculum so far this year.

“People who come to our classes are given information on child development, stress management and building healthy family relationships,” said Lozano.

Many times, attending classes at BSA gives a family the chance to break generational patterns of abuse and/or neglect. 

“In Parents’ Academy, I learned how to grow up and share what I feel inside," said Adel, a recent class attendee. "I can now control my anger much better and I am more patient with my children and my partner. I have learned to listen before reacting and to always think what impact my actions will have on my child.”

“Precious Minds New Connections,” is a part of a large initiative over a four county area in its 13th year and is funded by and under the direction of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. These classes are specifically aimed at families with children under three years of age and families expecting a baby. It is a nine-week curriculum that stresses the importance of early years of child development. “Making Children Mind without Losing Yours,” a six-week positive discipline class, is geared for families with children from four years of age through teens.

All the classes are free to the community and are held on the campus of Blessed Sacrament Academy located at 1135 Mission Road. For more information visit www.blessedsacramentacademysa.org or call 210-532-0894.