Students, families celebrate special graduation

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By Stephen Thomas

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - The Teenage Parenting Program (TAPP) at Riverview Opportunities Center instructs young parents on how to properly raise their children in a family atmosphere.


As a reward to recent graduates, TAPP hosted a family-style picnic featuring special guests.

Bullitt County Public Schools superintendent Keith Davis was among the special visitors. Davis spent time during the luncheon speaking with various TAPP students and discussing their family situations and future educational plans.

Other guests included David Marshall, BCPS director of secondary education, and representatives from JOM Pharmaceuticals.

Based in Shepherdsville, JOM adopted TAPP over the past year with donations toward toys and playground equipment for the Wee Care Child Development Center, the day care area located on the Riverview campus.

Thirteen students will graduate this year from the TAPP program, according to director Barb Plenge.

TAPP allows expecting and new parents an opportunity to complete high school educational requirements while learning the proper parental skills necessary for the children’s future.

The Wee Care center assists by watching children during the day as their parents complete coursework. Wee Care instructional monitor Ashley Bailey said six TAPP students were currently enrolled in the program.

“All the moms come to the day care for hands-on experience,” said Bailey. They earn school credit here as well. We usually have a mom in here all day.”

TAPP student Courtney Kean, 18, said the school helped her finish up her high school credits by offering the day care assistance for her son, Lucas, now one year old.

“I couldn’t do this at a regular school,” she said. “I’d have no one to watch him.”

Kean said TAPP taught her “how to be a mom” and was a constant resource for any of her needs.

“I learned a lot of things,” she added. “I learned how to help Lucas sit up and get his balance quicker. I read to him every day.”

Katie Wibbles, 18, began at TAPP in August along with Kean. She transferred to TAPP from Bullitt East following her junior year.

“I always knew about (TAPP) and Bullitt East mentioned it,” she said. “I knew they had a day care. I would not have been able to afford a daycare. I would’ve had to drop out.”

Through the TAPP program Wibbles finished her course work quicker than she would have at Bullitt East. She performed extra work at the end of the semester to officially receive a Bullitt East diploma.

“They let you get your home school’s diploma,” she said.

Wibbles is planning to attend Jefferson Community and Technical College at its Bullitt County campus. She will begin her studies focusing on social work, planning a later transfer to the University of Louisville to complete a four-year degree.

The girls praised Plenge and the TAPP staff for continuous and positive emotional support. Wibbles added her appreciation that Bullitt County offered the program.

“I know other counties that don’t have it,” she said. “Those students have to drop out or become truant. They should have this program everywhere.”

For more information on the Teenage Parenting Program at Riverview Opportunities Center call 543-1884.