YWCA Parent Awareness Mission & History

YWCA Parent Awareness is a family-focused program that has provided free support and education to parents and children for over 20 years with the goal of encouraging healthy, positive development of Darien youth and families.

At the request of the Darien United Way, the YWCA assumed the program in July 1998 from the volunteer-run Council on Drugs and Alcohol, which ran the program since the 1980s. The goal was to replace the narrower focus of preventing high-risk teen behavior with a broader focus on positive parenting families.

Register for Upcoming Events

Registration is required for all Parent Awareness Programs.  Please reach out to Marli Hayes, Director of Community Programs, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions or if you are interested in partnering with YWCA Parent Awareness team. 

Past Events

February 24th

February's Parenting Book Club pick is Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-about-Me World by Michele Borba.  You may borrow the book from the Darien Library by placing a hold for the book on our website or buying your own copy from Barrett Bookstore.

February 25th

Healthy relationship skills are not innate. They are learned. Educated, informed parents can teach their kids the skills and knowledge needed to engage in healthy dating relationships. This workshop is appropriate for parents with children in middle school and high school.

January Conversations

Watch "The Social Dilemma" then join a guided conversation that picks up where the film left off. Discuss together how to advance the humane tech movement.  Discussions will take place on January 13th at 8 p.m. & January 14th at 10 a.m.

December 20th - Sales Closed

Cookie kit sales are closed.  Looking for a way to have some family fun this Holiday season?  Join YWCA Parent Awareness for a virtual family-friendly cookie decorating event on December 20th with Kathleen McCallister aka "Katie McPastry," Executive Pastry Chef at Winged Foot Golf Club.

November 18th

How to not let "perfect" be the enemy of "good-enough" in your household. Georgette Harrison, EdM, LPC, will be presenting.

October 27th

A GAME PLAN FOR FAMILIES to Stay positive, MANAGE STRESS AND STAY connected during THE UPCOMING holiday SEASON with covid-19

November 18th

How to not let "perfect" be the enemy of "good-enough" in your household. Georgette Harrison, EdM, LPC, will be presenting.

November 12th

Is your child struggling with staying focused, being productive, and keeping their cool while learning remotely? Learn methods to improve executive functioning, ease stress and help your child successfully learn at home and beyond.

October 8th

Helping parents distinguish between a clinical diagnosis and age appropriate worrying.  Learn the basics about the physical and emotional origins of anxiety. Clarify when to help your child at home vs when to call a professional.

September 22nd

How parents can find meaning and hope as they navigate the grief and uncertainty the pandemic has created for their families and themselves. A discussion about how to acknowledge these feelings of lost events.

Parent Awareness Committee Members

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

  • Anna Chekmareva, Royle Elementary School
  • Jennifer Clemow, Ox Ridge Elementary School
  • Melissa Davidson, Hindley Elementary School
  • Amanda Heins Crowe, Holmes Elementary School
  • Tara Levinson, PhD Member At Large
  • Janice Marzano, The Depot Youth Center
  • Katie Murphy, Private School Representative
  • Cindy Pages, Ox Ridge Elementary School
  • Byrne Pozzi, Tokeneke Elementary School
  • Elena Rathgeber, Middlesex Middle School
  • Alicia Sillars, The Darien Youth Commission
  • Amy Smith, Middlesex Middle School
  • Melissa Williams, Darien High School
  • VACANCY - Preschool Representative

Contact Us

Our Hours

  • Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
YWCA Darien Norwalk

The YWCA Darien/Norwalk is a 501(c)(3) organization and your membership is tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.  All Rights Reserved. © 2020 YWCA Darien/Norwalk.