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Welcome to Parenting Sweet! Parenting Sweet is a resource for parents and caregivers, featuring all the great opportunities in our region that make parenting sweet!

Appalachian Promise Alliance is Making Parenting Sweet!

We have tips, information, practices, and parenting classes, sessions, workshops, support groups, seasoned educators, and friendships that can help lighten some of your load and make parenting easier. Wish you had an extra hand? A little help? A hack that makes things a little easier? Wondering if doing something different would help? Check out the Parenting Educator Network opportunities below in the highlights.

   Monthly Fun Poll: What’s activities do you look forward to doing in the warm weather?

Parenting Sweet helps us keep our five promises of caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, effective education, and opportunities to serve.

Looking for information or support?

Appalachian Promise Parenting Education Network Programs Find a program that fits your needs! Click to search for free or low cost, morning or evening, online or in-person, first-time or veteran parent/caregiver, and more

Visit to learn more about: The Parenting Education Network, Bristol Family Resource Center, YWCA MOMS R US, Mom Power, Hope House, Frontier Health, Highlands Community Services, Breastfeeding Essentials, Ahh Babies – Appalachian Highlands Healthy Babies – La Leche League Breastfeeding Support, Cherished Mom, Attached at the Heart Classes, Twin City Reads, Buckle Up for Life, Doula by Donation, Sullivan County Family Services, Parenting Sweet, Tricities Parenting, Tricities Babywearing, High Country Doulas, ETSU Family Physicians, Bethany Services, TriCities Babywearing TN, Sullivan County Health Department, Strong Starts, TN Voices, and more.

Adults don’t like stress, and neither do their kids!

As parents, we are constantly juggling schedules, tasks, reminders, and chores. While sometimes the stressors of a child can seem silly to adults (Does it REALLY matter what color crayon they get?), these things are big deals to them. Children need the help of adults to learn how to regulate their emotions and handle stress. Why is it so important to teach children how to manage stress? Find out in the articles below!

Family Playtime

This program is focused on providing developmentally appropriate activities for families to do with their child(ren). It is a space where parents can gain support from the Strong Starts team or peers while children explore and play.

Visit the link to learn about the various dates and locations around the region.

Free book provided to each family (while supplies last).

Option registration

Kid Power 2024

April 20th, 2024 | 10AM – 2PM

Kingsport Civic Auditorium

Over 30 non-profit organizations in the area are collaborating to kick off National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month! Kid Power promotes the mental wellness of children, youth, and their families.

Everyone is invited to join in and enjoy a
scavenger hunt, food, music, and fun activities for the whole family!

PARENTS – Stop the Struggling and Find Support

Join the community of parents and caregivers in our region! We hold weekly Parenting Prime Time meetups on Sunday afternoons at 3:30pm both online (RSVP for online) and in-person (RSVP for in-person) at the Parenting Sweet at 100 Ash Street, Bristol, TN (leftmost outside door). 

This is a judgment-free zone to share stories, ask questions, and gain confidence on your parenting journey. It is also a great place to volunteer and encourage and support other parents. Each week has a topic, but the primary focus is whatever you want it to be. Come relax, vent, and build connections with caregivers experiencing similar situations. Very young children are welcome to join. 

Be sure to RSVP at least eight hours before the meetup time.

Museum Story Time

Join the folks at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for a music- or Appalachia-related storybook, a tune or two by WBCM Radio Bristol show host and musician Ella Patrick, and a related activity or coloring sheet.

Aimed at toddler-age children and their grown-ups, they gather at 10:30am on the first Friday of each month .

This program is free and open to the public. You can find each month’s book on the museum’s Events pages.

Nurturing Parenting Classes

Every Wednesday from February 7th through April 24th, 2024.

In-person at the YWCA of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

These evidence-based family-centered and trauma-informed classes are designed to meet the family’s needs based on their parenting strengths and weaknesses.

Registration is required.

For more information, call Melinda Murray at 423-989-4538.

Creative Movement Classes

Bristol Ballet has a new 8 week session of Creative Movement for 3 year olds and Mommy and Me/Caregiver and Child for 12 months through 2 years starting March 5.

Both classes use the DiscoverDance curriculum, focusing on teaching foundational dance concepts in developmentally appropriate ways, readying the young dancer for more complex ballet terminology while also developing imagination and motor skills (with a healthy dose of having fun as well!)

Visit to register. You can also email or call 276-669-6051 for more information.


Are you or do you know a pregnant or parenting teen in need of support? Then they need MOMS R US!

The YWCA’s MOMS R US program provides both virtual and in-person classes to share education, resources, and encouragement to support teen health, academic studies, and overall well-being.

First-time pregnant and parenting teenagers who are 19 and younger are eligible for free enrollment!

Register online: Email: Workshops offered include Prepared Childbirth and Parenting and Support Group for Teen Parents.

Dates and times will vary based on the need of each teen parent!

Little Listeners

Calling all little listeners! Join us for this reading program where participants will be able to listen to longer stories, songs and rhymes with craft time afterward. Register here:

Babywearing Library and Coaching

The Parenting Sweet has a variety of wraps, slings, buckle carriers, and more for parents’ convenience! Come in to try out different styles and learn the best fit for you and your baby.

Contact us at to learn more!

Dinosaur World Live

Discover a prehistoric world of astonishing dinosaurs at Dinosaur World Live in Greeneville, TN! Grab your compass and join the intrepid explorer across uncharted territories to meet T-Rex, Triceratops, Giraffatitan, Microraptor, and Segnosaurus! DOn’t miss this mind-expanding Jurassic adventure live on stage. Get your tickets now before they become extinct!

Call 423-638-1679 or visit

Prenatal Classes

High Country Doulas is offering classes on Infant Feeding, Early Postpartum and Newborn Care, and Childbirth preparation classes in Kingsport and Johnson City!

Classes begin at $55 per couple, and can be offered privately for an additional fee.

Email for more information.

Little Labs for Pre-K

Register for Thursday morning pre-K Little Labs at Hands On! Discovery Center! Little Labs are fun and engaging sessions designed for 3-5 year olds and their caregivers to enjoy hands-on exploratory STEM/STEAM learning and play. Each week will feature story time, music, movement, and a craft or experiment.

Space is very limited, so register today to save your spot!

For more information or to sign up, click HERE.

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline

The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline provides 24/7, free, confidential support before, during, and after pregnancy. Call or text 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262). TTY users can use a preferred relay service or dial 711 and then 1-833-852-6262.

American Sign Language Course

Registration is now open for Bristol Public Library’s 8-week ASL 1 Course which begins April 9. This course is brought to you by Friends of the Library and Bridges East.

Cost: $10

Registration required by April 1st.

Register and pay at the Bristol Public Library Circulation Desk – located on the upper level.

Tuning in to Teens

Would you like guidance on how to help your teen cope with big emotions and reduce conflict? This free parenting program led by Dr. Rachel Miller-Slough at ETSU was built for those in your position.

This free program is ideal for caregivers of children 10 to 17 years of age, and is held virtually via Zoom.

Contact Dr. Rachel Miller-Slough at or 423-439-8307 to register or for more information.

Over the Rainbow Family Night Event

Friday, April 12th, 2024 | 5:30PM – 7:30PM

Memorial Park Community Center

Bridging the gap between food insecurity and healthy nutrition for families.

Free food distribution, games, and giveaways!

Attached at the Heart Parenting Program

Connect with other parents and explore valuable information for raising children today.

Sessions happening now – join us!

The program is available online and in-person, and you can sign up HERE.

Johnson City Youth Football & Cheer

Registration for Johnson City Youth Football and Cheer is here. Join us for one of the following dates and times at your school. Don’t attend one of these schools? No problem! Online registration will open on March 25, 2024 here:

Grandfamilies Program

Sullivan County Cares Grandparents Education Program 2024 Grandfamilies Program meets monthly in Bluff City. Email Paige M. at with any questions or how to attend. 

2024 Youth Baseball-Softball with Kingsport Parks & Rec

Registration is now open for spring youth baseball/softball for the following age groups:

10-12 machine pitch softball
11-12 baseball
13-15 baseball
13-15 fast pitch softball

Registration will run through April 5. You can register online using your CivicRec account at

Hope Center Parenting Classes

314 Tusculum Blvd., Greeneville, TN

The Hope Center is offering parenting classes for parents of babies and parents-to-be in March, May, August and November of 2024!

A crib and mattress / carseat will be given to those who complete all 5 class sessions.

Contact the Hope Center at 423-638-5433 or visit their website for more information.

Summer Camps at BAM

In addition to weekly lessons, BAM is offering a variety of summer camps that will enrich and inspire your child.

BIG Arts Camp: Summer Olympics- Grades K-5

Rock Band Camp: Grades 4-8

Vocal Arts Camp: Ages 8-18

Matilda Jr.: Ages 8-18

For more information and to reserve a spot, please visit the BAM website!

Learn About Parenting and Find Community

The Parenting Sweet is continuing registration for the February the Attached at the Heart Parenting Program!

Register yourself, your partner, and any other caregivers:

Life is busy. Parenting keeps you even busier. As a parent, it can feel like your whole schedule revolves around your kids– it’s time to do something for yourself that will benefit the whole family.

Participants will learn about child development and expectations, proven strategies for tantrums and chores, and find support and friendships. Feel confident in your parenting skills and yourself!

The Rainbow Fish

A full-scale, glittery-scaled stage version of the award-winning children’s book, “The Rainbow Fish,” will transform the ARTspace into a sea world, and show how kindness really shimmers, shines, and sparkles.

April 20 – 28 for Saturday and Sunday matinee performances, and Saturday evening performances.

Reserve tickets online or purchase them at the door.

Project Dads

Project Dads is a comprehensive and innovative parenting class for fathers that utilize the 24/7 Dad curriculum developed by the parenting experts of the National Fatherhood Initiative. This program helps men develop the attitudes, knowledge and skills they need to get and stay involved with their children. Topics covered include discipline, working with mom and co-parenting, showing and handling feelings, masculinity, dealing with anger, improving communication skills, stress, substance use, work and more.

Storytime at the Park

Tuesdays, 10:30AM – 11:00AM

Enjoy stories and songs in the great outdoors with a repeat of Tuesday storytime at Munchkin Park at 353 Clark Street in Abingdon, VA!

Chilhowie Public Library Spring Storytime Schedule

Chilhowie Branch Library

Gather at 11:00 on Tuesday mornings at Chilhowie Library for lots of fun at public storytime! Programs are open to pre-school aged children and homeschool families. Please call 276-646-3404 to register your child. These programs are free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome.

Family Field Day

Saturday, April 13th, 2024 | 11 AM

JC Parks & Rec, Wellpoint, and 4thirTEEN have partnered together to create a family field day!

Bring your family and a sense of competition to Kermit Tipton Stadium to enjoy food trucks, music, a kids’ zone, and lots of fun!

Cost is $413 per team.

Sign up HERE!

Prenatal Support Group

Focused on preparing for baby and ways to care for your health, self, finances, mind, safety, and baby. It is a space where expectant parents can gain support from our team, the community, and peers while they learn about preparing for their baby.

Free diapers for each pregnant individual (while supplies last)

At the end, Ballad Health will provide a gift card for completion of curriculum and attendance.

Registration encouraged but not required at

Movies, Magic, & Mayhem Variety Show

May 3rd & 4th

Kingsport Renaissance theatre

Join Ben the Illusionist and cast in a heartwarming variety show. This one-of-a-kind variety show fuses the magic and wonderment of the Movies with comedy, dynamic circus performances and grand stage illusions.

Family and friends of all ages are invited to enjoy the show.

Growing Stronger Together Podcast

Growing Stronger Together is a weekly podcast for people who care about children and families developed by faculty at East Tennessee State University, including members of the ETSU Health Department of Pediatrics, the ETSU Center for Early Childhood Learning and Development, and the ETSU Child and Family Health Institute.

Bristol Ballet Presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Paramount Center for the Performing Arts

Join Bristol Ballet for a new interpretation of Shakespeare’s iconic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, live on stage on May 11! The ballet tells the timeless tale of fairy mischief and mortal mayhem. Oberon, king of the fairies, fights with Titania, the queen of the fairies, over a child.

Sat, May 11, 2024
Two shows: Noon and 5:30pm
$11.00 – $23.50 plus applicable taxes and fees

Be a Parenting Volunteer

The Appalachian Promise Alliance’s Parenting Network meets the third Thursday of each month at noon and works to support parenting education in our community by sharing efforts, communicating the value and importance of parenting education, and learning more about how we can better serve families. If you are interested in helping teach classes, mentor parents, or have parenting educator updates to share, please contact us at!

“The Little Mermaid” themed 2024 Summer Dance Camp

The Bristol Ballet Company will be offering Little Mermaid themed dance camps for ages 3-9, a mini intensive for ages 10-12, and a summer intensive for intermediate/advanced dancers with special master teacher Keith Lee. All summer programming is open to everyone, even if you aren’t a current Bristol Ballet student!

Registration is open now at, or email for more info!

Are You a Grandparent? 


Grandparent Workshop Series Bristol’s Promise will be offering a workshop series just for grandparents of children ages birth to five! Why? We love our grandparents! Whether you are “sharing the care” or a custodial grandparent, we recognize the vital importance of grandparents. If you or someone you know may be interested in learning more about this program, please submit your information here. Questions? Email Lily Royston ( Click to learn more!  

Fun & Games for Teens

Abingdon Library | 3PM – 5PM

Teens, stop by the Abingdon library on Friday afternoons for card games, board games, activities, and snacks.

Strengthening Families

The Strengthening Families Program is a family-focused parenting class for parents, grandparents and caregivers. The class includes highly interactive topics geared toward managing stress, improving communication skills, goal setting, solving problems as a family and discipline. The program utilizes role-plays, discussions and family projects along with providing developmentally appropriate examples for common problems from preschoolers to teens.

Acton Children’s Business Fair

April 20th, 2024 | 11AM – 2PM

First Presbyterian Church in Johnson City, TN

Observe the opportunity for children to launch their very own startup business!

Kids develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy, and then open for customers at the one-day marketplace. 

Sign up HERE.

PLAYtime in the ARTspace

For littles and those who love them! Tickets on sale online at, $5 per family. Free bagels and coffee from Bristol Bagel and Bakery, and great resources from the Parenting Sweet!

Mommy and Me/Caregiver and Child Spring Movement Classes

For 12-24 months: Saturdays 9-9:30am
For 2 year olds: Saturdays 9:30-10am

​Bristol Ballet offers Mommy and Me/Caregiver and Child classes, where caregivers can enjoy movement and dance with their toddlers. We offer a class for 2 year olds and their caregivers and a class for toddlers aged 12-24 months and their caregivers. The classes use a developmentally appropriate curriculum (Discover Dance) to help toddlers develop motor skills, muscle strength, and social skills, while also having fun.

March 5-April 23

Coffee & Conversation for Grandfamilies

  • Support
  • Information
  • Resources

Are you a grandparent raising grandchildren? Join us on the 1st Monday of each month at 10:00 AM to connect with other grandparents in similar situations, discuss trials and tribulations, and get information and resources on raising children in today’s society.

Meet at Memorial Park Community Center
(Johnson City).

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Sullivan County

The organization is looking for mentors age 23+ to volunteer 2-3 hours for 2-3 weekends a month as part of their Community-Based Program.

Big Brothers/Sisters can be 15+ years in age; the organization works with schools to allow meetings to occur during school hours.


MOPS gathers and supports moms. They believe in the simple but revolutionary idea that remarkable things happen when moms come together. The MOPS acronym stands for “Mothers of Preschoolers” because it began in 1973 when a group of moms with young children banded together to share their lives and parenting journeys. Over the past 48 years, MOPS has expanded our community to include moms with school-aged kids.

Find your MOPS group:

Free Reading Resources

Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Education to provide at-home reading resources for free to all Tennessee families of K–2 children to help young learners become stronger readers. Based on your child’s grade level, they will receive the At-Home Decodable Book Series, a collection of seven booklets containing 20+ exciting stories full of sounds and words to practice, and age-appropriate, high-quality Scholastic books. Click here to order your kit.

Appalachian Highlands Healthy Babies (Ahh Babies)

Appalachian Highlands Healthy Babies, or AHH Babies provides free breastfeeding information and encouragement. Three opportunities each month provide a variety of days and times to attend the series of meetings.

AHH Babies provides:

  • Mother-to-Mother support
  • Leaders accredited by La Leche League International
  • Latest breastfeeding information

Virtual and in-person options help you get your questions answered and/or offer support to other parents.

Visit for meeting schedules!

The Traveling Bear Indoor Mini Golf

Enjoy some family fun entertainment that showcases the unique places that make this area our home with discounted prices on Wednesdays!

Families Raising Families

Elizabethton Boys and Girls Club

Are you a grandparent or relative raising children? Please join us in a safe confidential space to share experience, feelings, and needed resources. Light snacks and beverages are provided and fun activities for all ages.

The next meeting is March 20th, 2024 at 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

Building with the Lions

Families are invited to drop by the Library’s Jones Meeting Center the second Saturday of every month between 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. for Building with the Lions. You can build creations using LEGO blocks and other construction materials. Your creations will be displayed in the Children’s Library. This program is facilitated by the Johnson City Lions Club.

Monthly Mobile Food Pantry

Washington County TN schools are excited to announce the monthly mobile food pantry provided by Grace Manor!

South Side Schools: 1st Thursday of the Month from 12PM to 2PM @ David Crockett High School parking lot.

North Side Schools: 3rd Thursday of the Month from 12Pm to 2PM @ Daniel Boone High School parking lot.

Appalachian Literacy Initiative Open House

Thursday, April 4th, 2024| 4PM – 7PM

240 North St., Bristol, TN 37620

The Appalachian Literacy Initiative is opening its doors to the public for Open House! Drop in to tour their space, meet Newbery Award winning author, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and help her launch her new book!

Step It Up for A Step Ahead

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Lion’s Field | 2459 W. Elk Ave, Elizabethton, TN 37643

Join A Step AHead for their annual fun run and concert fundraiser!

Kids 12 and under free.

Day Of Registration for Run 3:30 PM.

Run/Walk Starts at 4:00 PM.

Concert starts at 6 PM.

Upcoming Parenting Opportunities

Meet other parents and caregivers, gain and give support and knowledge!

  • Attached at the Heart parenting program – FREE, ONLINE, IN PERSON
  • Strengthening Families open enrollment every Tuesday and Wednesday – FREE, IN PERSON
  • Tricities Parenting in-person meetup, Sundays at 3:30PM at the Parenting Sweet – FREE, ONLINE, IN PERSON
  • Family Playtime being held in local libraries – FREE, IN PERSON
  • Prenatal Support Groups at Ballad Health OB/GYN offices – FREE, IN PERSON
  • Ahh Babies breastfeeding support in person at the Parenting Sweet at 10AM on April 5th – FREE, IN PERSON

Visit the Parenting Sweet Program Notion Catalog for Details and Registration or email! Don’t see a class you need? Let us know!

Parenting Sweet is here to help make parenting sweet!

Parents get connected to support and information because learning about parenting and getting support does make a difference. If you would you like to continue receiving Parenting Sweet, you’ll need to be sure to sign up on the website. If you know a parent, caregiver, grandparent, or anyone who cares about children, share the sign-up link with them and help them find all that’s great for children and families in our community. Past issues and all the events are available anytime on the Blog.

Support for this program is provided by Ballad Population Health Community Health Initiative and Bristol Public Housing. Parenting Sweet Team: Samantha Gray, Lily Royston, Susan Turner, Emily Macbeth, Katherine Wilson-Thompson, Melissa Roberts, and Margaret Feierabend. Have information to share? Submit it to


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