Teri Vancetvance@nevadaappeal.com

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February 20, 2013
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DA praises Moms Program members

Nora Norriega took a break from her crocheting Tuesday to greet District Attorney Neil Rombardo, who'd stopped by for a visit. “It's good to see he cares about us and what we do here,” she said in Spanish. “And he can see that we are taking advantage of the things the district attorney's office provides us.”Norriega is one of about 15 mothers enrolled in the Moms Program, now in its second year. It was created through Partnership Carson City's Quality of Life Committee with the assistance of the district attorney's Community Prevention initiative.The program, funded through the Office of Criminal Justice Assistance, provides early-childhood-development classes for Hispanic children living in at-risk neighborhoods. While the children are in class at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, their mothers participate in a parenting course in another room.Rombardo presented each participant with a rose Tuesday. “I wanted to thank you and congratulate you for your hard work and for being such great parents,” he told them. “I'm so proud of this program.”Aida Madrigal, who has been instructing the class since January, leads the women in a variety of activities including crafts and other household skills, along with teaching parenting and discipline techniques. Wednesdays are dedicated to computer learning.Guest speakers add to the discussion; most recently, Frankee Haynes from the district attorney's office spoke about recognizing and dealing with domestic violence. On Tuesday, the women worked on their handicrafts, some doing needlework, others knitting and crocheting. They also created purses from recycled materials such as aluminum can pop tabs.Georgina Fregoso learned about the program through a friend at the library. She said her 4-year-old daughter enjoys the classes, and Georgina likes getting out of the house. “This is a really good opportunity to talk with other people. We ask, ‘What are you cooking for dinner?' And we exchange recipes,” she said. “When you come here, all the stress is gone.”Rombardo said he was happy with what he saw, particularly in the pre-kindergarten room. “All studies indicate that if we are going to be successful in preventing crime, we need to reach the youth at a young age and make them feel a part of the community,” he said. “We're accomplishing that.”

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Feb 21, 2013 03:38AM Published Feb 20, 2013 03:59AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.