Over the years, many Tenderloin moms talked with BAWCC staff about how isolated they felt. Most of them lived in small studio apartments or single hotel rooms with their young children. They did not feel that they had ways of getting to know other mothers in the neighborhood who were in similar situations. BAWCC was familiar with SF City College’s Child Observation Program for parents with young children, so we approached them about setting up a partnership with BAWCC to do a similar program in the Tenderloin. They agreed that it would be a good idea.
The Parent-Child Program, a partnership program with BAWCC and SF City College’s Child Development Department, was created to address this unmet need that was brought to BAWCC by Tenderloin moms.
Every week, since the late 1990s, BAWCC and City College sponsors “Playgroup”. We fill the large gymnasium at the Tenderloin Recreation Center, around the corner from BAWCC, with age-appropriate toys and play structures for toddlers through pre-schoolers. BAWCC also provides a yummy lunch for all of the families who come to the program!
As we look around the Rec Center’s gym on Playgroup days, we see moms from many different countries and cultures laughing and talking with each other, and sharing parenting “tips”. Kids are running and playing together. The Playgroup ends each week with a rousing sing-along. All parents and guardians with young children are welcome!