THE BRONX - Several parents graduated Tuesday from a nationwide initiative program to help parents become family role models and leaders in their communities.

Yudith Fleary is among the new graduates at the East Side House Settlement.

For an entire year, Fleary and Bronx parents volunteered their time taking part in weekly workshops provided through a grant by Toyota Family Learning, a nationwide initiative to promote children's literacy.

"They started teaching us to deal with children's behavior, how to get involved more in community and work with them to solve problems and community issues,' said Fleary.

Organizers say that the program helps participating parents and the community because what is learned is passed on to others in the neighborhood, benefitting more local families.

Besides workshops, parents also got an opportunity to get more involved in their neighborhood by taking part in safety and cleanup initiatives.