Birth to Three Helps Parents Grow

EUGENE, Ore. — “He likes to read, for me to read to him,” said Ashley Collins, Wyatt’s mom.

Little Wyatt also really likes to run, and run, and run.

“He’s very outgoing, very outgoing, once you hang around him for a few minutes,” Collins said.

Collins had Wyatt when she was 19. Until then, she was a normal teenager. Then all of a sudden, she was a teenager with a baby.

“It’s been hard. At first, I just went to school and had him. Now I have two jobs, and I’m going to school and I have him,” Collins said.

To help make things easier, Collins started coming to Birth to Three’s classes for young parents.

“It really impacts their whole life, and all of that comes back and impacts the way they parent their child,” said Minalee Saks with Birth to Three.

In the program, moms and dads learn how to break the cycle of abuse so many of them have been stuck in their entire lives.

“It’s not so much about punishing your kid, but it’s about disciplining him, teaching him how to do it the right way,” Collins said.

“They come here and they learn how to be different with their children,” Saks said.

Now thanks to money from the Great Rotary Duck Race, Birth to Three will be able to help 90 more young families this year. But in its 20-plus years the duck race has done so much more than that.

“It literally means hundreds and hundreds of children and their parents are having better lives and more success because of the Duck Race,” Saks said.

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