PEP Blog


PEP Awarded $72,576 Grant from the Children’s Opportunity Fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation

KENSINGTON, MD (February 1, 2022) – PEP (the Parent Encouragement Program), a leading nonprofit educational organization based in Kensington, Maryland, partnering with MHP, a private nonprofit dedicated to providing access to quality affordable housing, based in Silver Spring, Maryland, has received a $72,576 grant from the Children’s Opportunity Fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation.

The grant will be used to strengthen the resiliency, mental wellness and school readiness of children who reside in MHP housing by providing parenting education and support to their parents and caregivers. PEP will offer two sets of 6-week classes that together deliver its award-winning, evidence-based core curriculum to over 100 new immigrant Latinx and Ethiopian families at three (3) MHP locations, to benefit nearly 300 children.

PEP provides parents and caregivers with a safe, supportive space where they can reflect on the experiences that have shaped their own view of parenting and learn new approaches and skills to strengthen their children’s resiliency, confidence, and emotional well-being. PEP classes encourage peer support and interaction and promote reflection and problem-solving. PEP has 40 years of experience working with adult learners on the sensitive issue of parenting, and five years of experience delivering culturally adapted classes for new immigrant families and other parents living in areas of poverty.

MHP provides access to quality affordable housing in Montgomery County and surrounding communities. In addition to affordable housing, MHP offers educational programs for its residents, including after-school and summer programs for children.

PEP’s program complements MHP’s programs for children by working with parents to help them strengthen their children’s resiliency and emotional development, support their children’s schoolwork and engage with their children’s schools.

Kathy Hedge, PEP’s Executive Director, said, “PEP is honored to be working with our new partner, MHP. This program will benefit Montgomery County families facing severe hardships and at a time when the need for parent and children mental health support is so great.” 

Sulema Middleton Stewart, MHP’s Vice President of Community Life, added, “PEP is a great resource for MHP families and is the perfect partner to expand our programs to improve the quality of life and increase opportunities for our resident parents and children.”

The mission of PEP (Parent Encouragement Program) is to build strong, harmonious family relationships through parenting education, skills training and support. Founded in 1982, PEP’s vision is for children to grow up in a supportive family environment where they can become capable, confident adults, prepared to make positive contributions to their families, communities and the world at large. PEP programs have helped over 65,000 families through PEP’s work with corporations, government agencies, and classes and webinars directly offered to individual parents.  PEP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Founder Linda Jessup was recently named one of Washingtonian Magazine’s 2021 Washingtonians of the Year.

The mission of MHP is to preserve and expand access to quality affordable housing. Since 1989, MHP has been dedicated to housing people, empowering families, and strengthening neighborhoods. MHP serves more than 4,000 local residents by providing more than 2,275 quality affordable homes in Montgomery County and surrounding communities. To learn more about MHP, visit mhpartners.org.

Since 1973, the Greater Washington Community Foundation has been a champion of thriving communities and a catalyst for community change through local philanthropic engagement, effective community investment, and civic leadership. The Community Foundation mobilizes the generosity of individuals, families, and businesses to amplify the impact of nonprofit organizations making a difference every day in our communities. As the region’s largest local funder, The Community Foundation has invested more than $1.3 billion in building equitable, just, and enriching communities where all residents can live, work, and thrive.



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Parent Encouragement Program
10100 Connecticut Ave.
Kensington, MD 20895

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