Jenny has a background in family support and health education, specializing in infant and child health promotion and injury prevention, and has worked with families of young children in healthcare settings, family centers, and community-based events. She holds degrees in family support studies, human development, and psychology, and has specialized training in crisis intervention, parent education, cultural competency, and working with diverse and at-risk populations. Jenny has taught at Great Starts since 2010.
As safety program lead, she manages the Babysafe curriculum, trains and mentors safety instructors, and provides continuing education to all Great Starts instructors on a variety of safety topics to ensure all families receive the most up-to-date best practice information.
Outside of Great Starts, Jenny is a writer, most recently having co-authored Baby & Me /Mi bebé y yo, an easy-to-read book on pregnancy, childbirth, and baby care. She has also taught CPR extensively, both for the community and for healthcare providers, and mentored/evaluated other instructors as training center faculty at the local American Heart Association training center.
Jenny has been a nationally certified child passenger safety technician (CPST) for over a decade, provided one-on-one car seat education to families since 2004, worked on a federal child restraint study, been an author/editor for a national newsletter for CPSTs and a contributing author for a technical manual, and co-created a continuing medical education module for pediatric healthcare providers for a national health agency.
I believe that every child deserves to be loved and protected, and that every parent and caregiver deserves access to support and reliable information. In my classes, I strive to empower families to be healthy, safe, and happy. My goal in class is to help parents and caregivers realize their strengths, identify risks, and lessen their fears by providing them with the tools they need to make informed decisions for the safety of their children.
Family, hobbies, etc.
Most of my free time is family time, spent caring for and enjoying my two young daughters and one old fur baby. I am happiest when spending time with family, travelling, being outside, knitting, and as much arts and music as I can take in.
Favorite thing about teaching:
My favorite thing about teaching Babysafe is seeing parents who genuinely look more confident when they leave than when they arrived. It’s a jam-packed class, which can be a lot to take in, but it is truly rewarding to see parents and caregivers feeling more prepared and empowered when they walk out the door. I know that this will mean they can do a little work now so they can then relax a little and enjoy parenting/caring for their babies that much more.
4 adjectives that best describe teaching style:
What students should know about me prior to coming to class:
While I always cover the same important topics in every class, it’s helpful if students do some thinking ahead of time about what their biggest concerns, fears, or worries may be. The class is a lot more fun if people come ready for some discussion and trouble-shooting together! I try to keep it lively, but it is a lot of information, so be sure to bring what you need – notes, snacks, etc. – to be comfortable during, and confident after, class.
Most important take away from class:
What I would like to be doing in 5-10 years:
5-10 years from now, I hope to be back to more full-time writing and teaching. I have two more books, a couple of community classes, as well as a workshop and an online training module for professionals who work with infants all brewing, so hopefully some or all of those will have come to fruition by then! I hope that our family will have traveled around the world a bit, and that we’ll have some new and exciting hobbies with our big kids.