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Friday, January 18, 2019

Spring Parenting Class Schedule Revised

Additional parenting workshops will be available this spring at Project Self-Sufficiency.  A course for Fathers will be offered on Tuesdays, March 5th – April 30th, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Workshops for parents of school-aged children will be held on Wednesdays, March 6th – May 1st, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Participants will learn about the different stages of physical and emotional development during childhood, as well as techniques for positive discipline and improved communication.  The classes are co-sponsored by the Sussex County Family Success Center and Project Sussex Kids, the Sussex County Council for Young Children.  The sessions are free and open to the public, but registration is required.   The agency is located at 127 Mill Street in Newton. 

The parenting classes offered by Project Self-Sufficiency follow the Nurturing Parent curriculum which teaches age-specific parenting skills and includes components designed for parents as well as children.  The workshops encourage parents to share their experiences with each other.

“The ‘Nurturing Parenting Program’ fosters the capacity of children and parents to trust, care and respect other people and their environment,” explains Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “The curriculum emphasizes the reinforcement of positive behavior, attachment parenting, nurturing discipline and gentle touch, like infant massage.”

The curriculum is supplemented by small group discussion for adults along with play groups for children which reinforce the weekly lesson plans. “This course offers a group dynamic where families can share experiences and learn from others in similar situations,” adds Berry-Toon.

The Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency is a program of support offered to all families.  In addition to parenting skills training, local families can participate in family activities, receive information about health and nutrition, take part in economic self-sufficiency programs, receive legal education, obtain referrals, and other services throughout the year.   Project Sussex Kids, the Sussex County Council for Young Children, has been designed by the New Jersey Department of Children & Families to address the needs of local families who are expecting or who are parenting young children.  County Councils for Young Children have been established in every New Jersey county to bring together parents, caregivers, as well as health, education and social service professionals to enhance communication, coordination and collaboration of services. 

To register for the free parenting workshops, to discuss your parenting needs, or to find out more about other programs and services available at Project Self-Sufficiency, call 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500, or visit  Information about the Sussex County Family Success Center can be found at  Information about Project Sussex Kids is available at

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Free Family Law Seminar this Month

Project Self-Sufficiency will offer a free Family Law seminar on Wednesday, January 16th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Attendees will learn about child support, court procedures, alimony, parenting time, equitable distribution of assets, and other topics related to divorce.  The presentation is free and open to the public, but registration is required.  To register, call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500.  Project Self-Sufficiency is located at 127 Mill Street, Newton.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Law Enforcement Collaborates to Provide Safe Experience at Toy Shop

Over the weekend, thousands of families received free toys and gifts for their children at the Season of Hope Toy Shop operated at Project Self-Sufficiency.  The effort involved hundreds of volunteers who assisted patrons, provided music and helped with traffic.  Local law enforcement officials from the state and county joined forces in a unique collaboration to ensure the safety of volunteers and patrons, noted Newton Police Chief Mike Richards, who oversaw the coordinated effort.

“Over the years, the toy shop has grown and there have been issues with traffic, access and security,” explains Richards.  “We started staging vehicles at Sussex County Community College and letting them down 10 – 12 at a time.  We have law enforcement officers on site, from 6am – 9pm on Friday, and 6am – 3pm on Saturday.  This is more than the Newton police department can provide.  Since there are residents from all over Sussex County who are coming here, I reached out to my colleagues and received an overwhelming response from other departments who were willing to help.  You will see that type of cooperation and community spirit across the county.”  Officers from the police departments in Andover, Sparta, Newton, Ogdensburg, as well as the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office and the New Jersey State Police were on site during the toy shop.  “How well we work together may be unique to Sussex County.  It’s nice to see the younger officers from other departments because it’s a good community event that’s so helpful to people.  There’s a lot of good spirit and positive interaction with the public which is good for officers to experience.”

The Season of Hope Toy Drive is a joint effort coordinated by Project Self-Sufficiency, along with its partners First Hope Bank, Gravity DesignWorks, iHeartMedia, Inc., Intercar Mercedes Benz, Off Shore Marine, Pass it Along, The Printing Center, The New Jersey Herald, Selective Insurance Company of America, Service Electric Broadband Cable, Sparta Train Station, Stocker Bus Company, the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, Sussex County Community College, Sussex Honda, and the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.  New, unwrapped toys and gift are provided to children in need from Sussex County, as well as residents of Northern Morris and Warren Counties.

“The Season of Hope Toy Shop is a large-scale event which stretches over numerous days and the number of families served here increases every year,” comments Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “We are exceptionally grateful to Newton Police Chief Mike Richards and all of the law enforcement personnel who gave freely of their time and expertise to coordinate the flow of traffic and to ensure the safety of our patrons and volunteers.”

Information about the Season of Hope Toy Drive and the programs and services available at Project Self-Sufficiency are available at or by calling 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500.