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Mary Kay Stranik, M.S.

Parenting Educator Consultant, Retired Executive Director of MELD, Minneapolis, MN

I came to Parenting Education from a background of obstetrics, public health and pediatric nursing In New Haven, Connecticut. In Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1969, I started parenting classes in a pediatric office and in 1983, assisted in building MELD, a national model of a peer self-help parenting education. MELD was a group program which served nine different parent populations with information and support during the first two years of an infant’s life. I wrote curriculum for the different audiences and developed training for organizations using the MELD model as National Replication Director, and later became MELD’s Executive Director. Programs existed in many states and internationally.

My family consists of a husband and 2 adult children with families and 5 grandchildren. Experiences with them have somehow worked themselves into curriculum I have developed!

I have been involved with NPEN since 2000, serving as chair for 6 years and on the Diverse Roles committee, working on paraprofessional parenting educator competencies and training. Publications and materials on paraprofessional parenting educators are listed in the NPEN Web site.

©2024 National Parenting Education Network


The National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) operates through the lens of equity and justice. We know the importance of social justice (racial, economic, educational, health, housing, employment, criminal, and environmental), diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and belonging within the parenting education field and our organization. We demonstrate our commitment to these realities by ensuring that our membership and leadership roles are open to parenting professionals of all ethnicities, socio-economic statuses, ages, abilities, religions, sexual orientations, nationalities, genders, and marital statuses.  

Children learn about a just society through the words and actions of their parents, caregivers, and others.  We assert that our anti-racism and anti-oppression parenting education and family advocacy work allows everyone to be heard and supported. Our work includes promoting diverse parenting educators and parenting education in our media, webinars, member communications, leadership opportunities, networking, conferences, trainings, and advocacy. By keeping racial justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and belonging at the forefront, we create an environment within NPEN that supports parenting educators, parents, and caregivers, thereby, encouraging children’s healthy growth and development.

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