HUDSON–Family Resource Centers (FRC) of Columbia County has opened a new, free, non-denominational, drop-in playgroup center for parents and caregivers with infants and children through age five at Christ Episcopal Church on the corner of Union and East Court streets. The center is open every Wednesday from October through May from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Noting the demand from Hudson residents for a new playgroup specifically in the city, FRC board President Meg Everett said in a release, “Parents are always looking for activities for toddlers and pre-schoolers and moms, dads and caregivers with infants are truly grateful for the opportunity to connect with other parents.” She also praised Christ Church for offering its nursery space for the playgroup, saying the space has toys, craft materials, snacks for kids and coffee for adults.
The Rev. John Perry said that the parish welcomes FRC adding that the church sees itself as a resource for the whole community and a place where all are welcomed.
Family Resource Centers first opened in Chatham in 1979 and has been in continuous operation ever since. It now serves over 900 families and kids each year. It is intended as a way to reduce the isolation parents and caregivers can feel while raising young children. Reducing isolation lowers the potential for child abuse and provides parents with a support network that they can count on.
Beth St. Dennis, FRC executive director, said that participation in the playgroups has grown over the years, becoming more important as families move or do not have extended family networks living next door.
FRC now has sites located in Chatham, North Chatham, Copake and Germantown in addition to the new Hudson site, with each FRC center run by a site director. The centers are attended by both the parent/caregiver and their children. Families attending the playgroups come from all walks of life and include moms, dads, grandparents, nannies, lifetime Columbia County residents, recent transplants and part-time residents.
The organization receives support from local businesses, state funding through the Columbia County Youth Bureau, parent donations and fund raising, all of which allow FRC to remain free of charge. FRC also receives United Way funding to support a program in partnership with the Mental Health Association of Columbia Greene Counties, which aids children and families residing in Hudson’s Bliss Towers Public Housing.
Information on FRC’s programs, including its new Hudson location is available at www.familyresourcecenterscc.org or by calling (518) 392-3911.