Family socials bring parents together

BUCKHANNON — Kids filled recycled plastic bottles with water beads and baby oil, shook them to make bubbles and moved them slowly to let the beads roll over each other.

This sensory activity was part of a Family Social hosted by the Upshur County Family Resource Network at Stockert Youth Center. Parents of young children came to have lunch, do an education-based craft and activity together, and most importantly, discuss and learn more about parenting.

“All families are welcome here, it isn’t exclusively a ‘mommy and me’ group. Aunts, grandparents, step-parents, etc. are raising children today, too,” said Lori Ulderich Harvey, director of the FRN program.

Jodi McQuillan, HAPI Project Community Coordinator added, “We want to support families with education, activities and ideas. Kids don’t come with a handbook, and it takes a village.”

These socials, funded by the Pallottine Foundation of Buckhannon, Upshur County FRN and collaborating partners, and Lewis-Upshur Parents as Teachers, put the focus on bringing families together. One of the children attending was 2-year-old Jory Strawder, who came with his grandmother, Jaque Strawder.

“The best part for him is interacting with the other kids, and he loves the books,” Strawder said. “The best part for me is listening to other people and their parenting ideas.” 

The next Family Social will be in early October. Visit for more information.

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