HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — A new resource in Hernando County is giving parents access to helpful tools to assist with their child's education. It's called the Parent Academy.

Shalynn Elasri just wrapped up one of the parent academy classes with her husband. They are some of the first handful of parents to use the new resource.

"Really opened my eyes as to how to be a better listener and a reflective listener," Elasri said.

She said they immediately used what they learned at home with their sixth-grade son.

"As soon as my son comes home and he starts telling me about his day, I just try to listen now instead of interjecting what I think he should have said or did, and I just try to be a better listener now," Elasri explained.

They took the "Seven Habits of Highly Successful Families" course, just one of the many different topics covered in the academy.

The staff said they created the resource after receiving requests from parents in the county for a central place with access to different services.

Now in portables at Fox Chapel Middle School, parents will find classrooms and counseling rooms with courses covering topics from student achievement to personal growth.

Staff members say one of the goals of these classes is to help families and the community better connect with one another.

It's a goal the dozens of community organizations that have partnered with the academy also share.

"It's extremely important to kind of bridge the gap, that is our goal as an organization, to be able to bridge the gap between parents and the educational field," Tina Cordova with Ability Tree Florida explained.

And Elasri said she and her family plan to continue to attend the classes eager to learn new tools and hear different perspectives.

"There are so many ways of looking at something that you wouldn't even think of until somebody points it out," Elasri explained.

The classes are free for families to attend.