Child Development Baby Program

Parenting While Balancing High School


Andrew Lentz

Student Emily Fernandez showing off her baby.

Some people say that being a parent is the hardest job in the world, but it is the most rewarding. At Oak Hills High school, there is a child development class that helps students learn the duties of being a parent. The class is run by Erin Lovewell and the baby program started 8 years ago. The reason why the program hasn’t been here since the opening of the school is because they were not provided any babies. When the class first got the baby simulation dolls, there was only five. Now, there are twenty-four, of which twenty-two work.

“My favorite part about the project is teaching students the amount of commitment it takes. Also helping students realize whether they want to have a baby in the future or if they don’t,” Erin Lovewell, Child Development teacher at OHHS, explains.

Students of all grades are allowed to take care of a baby. As long as they get signatures from their parents, as well as their teachers. When you take care of a simulation doll, you should treat it like a real baby. It counts as your grade, and has sensors it in that can tell if you are abusing it. If you do abuse your baby, the teacher gets a notification on her computer. She will take away your baby, and have police come in and “arrest” you. This means that police will come in, take you to the office, and fine you. The project needs to be treated as if it were real, to help you take care of an actual baby in the future.

“ Waking up in the morning, or in the middle of the night to take care of the baby was probably the hardest part,” says Britney Best, a 9th grade student at OHHS who participated in the baby program.

Students have to wake up early and set up a feeding schedule for their baby. Some students have the baby over the weekend, which means that they have to take the baby to the store. By participating in this project, it makes some students feel like they are actual parents.

“I actually felt like a parent because you have the responsibility of taking care of the baby, and you can’t do the things you used to do like hang out , sleep in, or go to the store,” Yvette Diez a 9th grade student who participated in the baby program.

By having this program at OHHS, it helps students appreciate what their parents had to go through when they were young. It also helps students to understand the amount of responsibility and dependability it takes to raise a baby.

If you would like to know more information about joining this class and being able to participate in this program, feel free to contact Erin Lovewell.

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