MUSKEGO — The research paints a bleak picture for children growing up in households led by single mothers.

The households are more likely to be plagued by financial hardship, poor health and depression, and the kids are more likely to struggle academically, get abused, drop out of high school and end up in prison, according to research presented by the Muskego-Norway School District.

That’s why the district is trying to improve the odds for the children of single moms.

This month, Muskego-Norway will begin offering free Saturday morning workshops for single moms and their children. (The children do not need to be students in Muskego-Norway.) Moms will learn about parenting strategies, managing finances and having hope; children will get separate lessons on appropriate social/emotional behaviors that can empower them to cope with life’s challenges and stay in school, according to a workshop proposal and Jamie Kupkovits, a Muskego-Norway school psychologist who is organizing the workshops.

The children will learn from a specific curriculum on behavior and emotions, and the moms will hear from speakers with expertise in law, finance and parenting. The women also will experience a “hope and healing session with testimonials from other single moms for encouragement,” Kupkovits said.

Kupkovits started planning the workshops after noticing through her daily job that lots of Muskego-Norway families were led by single mothers and that those mothers and their children seemed to be struggling, she said.

“It’s tough to be a single mom with kids and managing everything you have to manage,” Kupkovits said.

She speaks from experience. Kupkovits is a single mother of two.

“I can identify personally with the families,” she said, adding that, in her opinion, being part of a household led by a single mom does not have to be a bad experience. She hopes the workshops can help improve that single-parent experience for more and more families.

“I truly believe more can be done to reverse the negative outcome data.”

The workshops are being put on at no cost thanks to community donations of time and dollars, Kupkovits said.

The first workshop is set for Nov. 16 at Muskego Elementary School, S75w17476 Janesville Road. Participants must register by Nov. 12 via the district’s educational services center at (262) 971-1800.

If You Go

WHAT: Workshops to help single mothers with finances, parenting strategies and having hope. Children who attend with their mothers will get separate lessons on appropriate social/emotional behaviors that can empower them to cope with life’s challenges and stay in school. The workshops are offered by the Muskego-Norway School District but participants do not need to be affiliated with the district or have students enrolled in it.

WHEN: The first workshop is Nov. 16, with subsequent workshops Feb. 15 and May 10. Each workshop is different and participants are encouraged, but not required, to attend them all. Workshops run from 9 a.m. to noon.

WHERE: Muskego Elementary School, S75w17476 Janesville Road in Muskego.

TO REGISTER: Workshops are free but registration is required so enough materials and lunches can be provided. For the Nov. 16 workshop, register by Nov. 13 by calling the district’s educational services center at (262) 971-1800.

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