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Written by: David L. Sexton, Jr., MS & Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT

PhotoSpin[Father and Son]

What is the THRIVE Initiative?
Penn State’s Clearinghouse for Military Readiness has partnered with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Military Community and Family Policy to assist parents in nurturing their children as they advance throughout the stages of development, from birth until the age of 18 (“What is THRIVE?”, n.d.). What makes the THRIVE initiative unique is the separation of the initiative into programs which focus specifically on providing parents with the knowledge and resources needed to nurture their children at specific developmental stages. There are four programs in total: “Take Root!”, “Sprout!”, “Grow!”, and “Branch Out!”. The programs are tailored to the needs of children from ages 0-3, 3-5, 5-10, and 10-18, respectively, and provide parents with evidence-based tools and skills that can help them support healthy development throughout the early stages of life. In addition to utilizing information derived from existing evidence-based parenting programs to guide the development of THRIVE, the program also includes a health promotion component derived from previous research (Auman-Bauer, 2015).

Currently, the “Grow!” program is the most developed; this program focuses on elementary school-aged children and includes five, 90-minute, face-to-face sessions that utilize interactive methods to develop participants’ parenting skills, health promotion techniques, and, arguably the most important, stress management skills! (Auman-Bauer, 2015).

Want to Learn More?
Join us on August 16th, 2018 at 11:00 am for a free, 90-minute webinar and earn 1.5 CEUs! During this session, Dr. Jennifer DiNallo, Director of Research at the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State, will discuss the THRIVE initiative and the “Grow!” program in depth.

If you can’t join us live, don’t fret! The webinar will be recorded and archived for viewing at your convenience!


You can download and print the PDF version of our flyer for Grow! Empowering Parents to THRIVE


Auman-Bauer, K. (2015, December). Penn State initiative helping military families. Penn State News.

What is THRIVE? (n.d.). Penn State Clearinghouse for Military Readiness.