Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Parenting radio program helps Bay Area families

By Kevin L. Nichols

On any given weekend morning, Bay Area parents are waking up to advice from parenting experts via “Childhood Matters” and “Nuestros Niños” — popular call-in radio talk shows for all who care about kids.

“Childhood Matters” airs 9 to 10 a.m. Saturdays on Green 960 AM. “Nuestros Niños,” its sister show in Spanish, airs 8 to 9 a.m. Sundays on La Kalle 100.7 FM.

“Childhood Matters” host Rona Renner, RN — or Nurse Rona, as she’s known on the air — founded the umbrella nonprofit organization Interactive Parenting Media, or IPM, more than six years ago after being inspired by a father in a parenting class she was teaching at Kaiser Permanente in Richmond.

“I don’t remember the exact words, but the essence of it was that now he understood why he shouldn’t hurt his child anymore,” Renner said. “The experience was as if an angel was tapping me and saying, ‘You’ve got to find a way for other parents to hear this father.’”

The mission of IPM is to inspire and inform parents so that all children can be happy, healthy and thriving. Show topics include positive discipline, health and nutrition, stress management, single parenthood, community violence and more. Guest experts provide support and advice to parents who call in with questions.

“The calls are anonymous,” said Marisol Muñoz-Keihne, PhD, host of “Nuestros Niños.” “People have the chance to say things they wouldn’t say face-to-face.”

Individuals unable to attend parenting classes due to limited income or time receive free, quality advice from the comfort of their homes. Breaking down the barriers of isolation that many parents often feel is a key component of the organization. Its marketing materials reach out to the community with the slogan, “Parents, you are not alone!”

In addition to “Childhood Matters” and “Nuestros Niños,” IPM produces “Nurse Rona’s Community Forum,” which airs on 98.1 KISS FM at 6 a.m. Sundays. The goal of the show is to encourage community involvement by connecting listeners to local resources, organizations and events that are helpful and interesting.

All past shows are available for download at www.childhoodmatters.org and www.nuestrosninos.com.

IPM purchases the airtime for “Childhood Matters” and “Nuestros Niños.” An hour of radio each week can be costly, but amounts to approximately 26 cents per parent education hour, considering the large listening audience. Like many nonprofits, IPM is feeling the crunch of the country’s economic recession. Without support from community members and foundations, these valuable radio shows may have to go off the air.

Interested community members can make a donation by visiting www.childhoodmatters.org and clicking on “Donate Now.”

Kevin L. Nichols is an author and the president/CEO of KLN Publishing, located in San Francisco. For more information, visit http://klnpublishingllc.blogspot.com.

Copyright © 2009 The Globe Newspaper Group, LLC - All Rights Reserved.

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