Top: Thirteen-month-old Damian Lopez, one of three children at the Blaine County School District Teen Parenting Center, is ready to be strapped into a car seat during a car seat safety class on Oct. 30 at Silver Creek High School. Damian is the son of high school senior Erika Lopez. Above left: Three-month-old Aliah is held by her mother, senior Lucy Baeza, during a car seat safety class. Above right: Kaiden, at 15 months, is the oldest of three children at the Blaine County School District’s daycare center for teen moms at Silver Creek High School. Kaiden is the son of senior Samantha Carlson.
Express photos by Roland Lane
Three teenage mothers learned how to properly install car seats and to properly strap in their children at a car seat safety class on Oct. 31 at Silver Creek High School in Hailey.
“I don’t know the last time you used a car seat, but it’s a lot more complicated than it used to be and it’s hard to know how to do it without a proper demonstration,” said Heather Crocker, communications director for the Blaine County School District. “It’s a huge benefit for these parents and children and it will save lives.”
The class was taught to mothers at the district’s daycare center for teenage moms, which is officially known as the Blaine County School District Teen Parenting Center.
Magic Valley Safe Kids instructor Carma McKinnon, from St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, taught the class. She was assisted by senior child-seat-safety technician Jami Adrian, of St. Luke’s Wood River hospital.
“I was invited up here today to advise our young moms on the best practices for child passenger safety,” McKinnon said. “And to address any questions they have about car seats.”
Also attending the class were Desiree Kelly, daycare center director, and Kelly Choma, the School District’s parent liaison. Kelly and Choma are in the process of becoming car-seat technicians, which gives them the authority for checking to see that children’s car seats are properly installed.
The district’s daycare center is now in its third year of operation. Currently, there are three mothers, all high school seniors, and three children enrolled. They are Samantha Carlson and her son, 15-month-old Kaiden; Lucy Baeza and her 3-month-old daughter, Aliah; and Erika Lopez and her 13-month-old son, Damian.
The daycare center was established to help teenage mothers finish high school and learn parenting skills. Each mother earns a high school credit by working one period per day at the center.
Kelly said that she and student-mother Lucy Baeza are currently enrolled in a College of Southern Idaho dual-credit program funded by the Albertson’s Foundation. The class is an online Early Childhood Education course. After three semesters, students can become qualified for a Child Development Associate credential.
Kelly keeps track of some of the former students who were enrolled in the daycare center and reported that three of them are now doing well.
She reported that 2012 graduates Karina Velasco and Edwin Chavez, the parents of Emily, now almost 2, are working and saving money for college.
Emma Burgan, a 2011 graduate, and her son Charlie, now 3, “are doing great as well,” Kelly said. Burgan earned dual credits through CSI while attending Silver Creek High School and is now a certified nursing assistant at St. Luke’s.
Gabriela German, another 2011 graduate, Jose Ruiz and their daughter Amiah, now 2, are living in the Boise area and German will graduate in January from The Paul Mitchell School beauty academy.