Founded in 1984, the Rutland County Parent-Child Center (RCPCC) helps people transform their lives with whole-family services delivered through a unique and dynamic community framework of integrated programming. Our highest goal is to enhance the local community in ways that make every individual feel valued. RCPCC’s 2Gen Whole Family approach provides wrap-around services to families living in poverty, including community, resources, knowledge and support that enables them to thrive. We believe that, despite the benefits of high-quality early education programs, children often do not emerge from poverty if parents are unsupported. Moreover, today’s teens are the next decade’s parents so we equip those who are struggling with the tools to become healthy and prosperous adults. Together with our families, we co-create social capital, education, health and economic options.
Whole Family Approach
Transformation of persistent poverty demands transformation of our thinking and methods. Some schools of thought focus on behavioral analysis of people in poverty. We think it’s more effective to focus on what “we” do together – as a community with a common purpose. This belief is expressed in our 2Gen Whole Family Approach, our shared leadership model, our emphasis on developing strong personal rapport between staff and participants, our Chaplin Campus community hub and our focus on breaking down systemic barriers that fetter families in poverty.
Forming New Connections
The objective is to initiate and habituate new social connections, the same way a developing brain sparks and trains new neural connections. This effort requires a retraining of the senses:
Hearing – Listening mindfully, and speaking questions not pronouncements.
Sight – Looking, all around and deeply beyond the surface.
Touch and Smell: Listen – unless we are willing to stand side by side with people, to put ourselves in each other’s shoes, to risk some awkwardness and discomfort by stepping into the unsanitized and unperfumed reality of stress, trauma and struggle – we are not going to understand how people feel, we are not going to truly share the journey … and we are not going to reinvent community in any tangible way.
Taste – Bread broken together and not simply handed out in cans. As community activist Shane Claiborne observes, “There is a difference between feeding someone and eating dinner with them.”
“If I can provide a certain type of relationship, the other person will discover within himself the capacity to use that relationship for growth, and change and personal development will occur.”
A New Kind of Wealth
We think there is more than one way to be poor … or rich. Some people say “do as the wealthy do” – but research repeatedly shows that, despite our prevailing societal myths, while money helps to reduce stressors, more money is not correlated with greater happiness. We believe that positive connections bring a form of wealth that helps reduce economic stress and brings greater happiness: social capital. Sometimes the currency is a kind word, sometimes a substantial investment of time. Either way, these are investments that yield bonds – of understanding, good will, and affection.
“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
We will relentlessly seek out new possibilities for adding fibers and reweaving social networks in ways that create new, vibrant community in which everyone feels valued – that they matter. And when we do that, good things are going to happen – and things are going to change.
We invite you to join us in this transformational community.