Phi's Perspective: The Power of ICAN
I’ve been attending ICAN since May of 2017. From the beginning, I’ve been impressed with the ICAN staff and their variety of programs, commitment, dedication and engagement with children. Many times after class, I’ve seen staff stay afterwards for a while to review how the program went that day and discuss programs for the next day. Not only do the staff do their best to keep the kids engaged, I’ve also seen them put effort into keeping the caregivers involved. This helps the children and caregivers develop and learn together, which helps them build a stronger relationship.
As a first-time parent, ICAN has been there for me when I really needed it. At times, I felt a bit lost on what to do with my daughter. ICAN provided a warm, supportive environment for both me and my daughter. As I continued bringing my daughter to ICAN, I became more excited to take her out to see what programs they had each moth. I was motivated from observing staff and attending parenting workshops, which gave me ideas on how to interact with my daughter in beneficial ways.
Though I was impressed with ICAN from the beginning, I still decided to check out several other family resource centers. The ones I visited that try to cater to the Vietnamese population appear to have less reach and less consistency in their programs for the Vietnamese community compared to ICAN. ICAN has been good to me as a parent, but also provides the bonus of helping me feel more connected to the Vietnamese community. An organization like ICAN is important in any community, but the importance to the Vietnamese community is different in that ICAN helps bridge the gap between Vietnamese and American culture. ICAN helps provide resources and educates caregivers on topics which that didn’t previously have knowledge of. They also help provide a safe, educational environment for caregivers. In addition to helping unite members of the Vietnamese community, I’ve seen ICAN reach out to people of other ethnicities in parenting workshops and the children’s classes and welcome them all with open arms. Whenever I talk to other parents about my preferred family resource center, ICAN always tops the list due to the staff, quality of their programs geared towards the Vietnamese community and all their other programs for those of any ethnicity.
I’ve only been part of ICAN for less than a year, yet they’ve already made such a positive impact on my family’s life. Both my daughter and I learn a lot from attending ICAN programs, and U try to spread the knowledge I gained to other parents. Imagine what they’ve done for families who attended their classes for several years and what they can continue to do for more families in the future. I can only imagine how many families would lose out if ICAN lost their funding. I hope the county will keep providing funding to ICAN so that they can continue to bring the community together and continue their excellent work to help many families for many more years to come.