The newly opened Tree of Life Educational Center in Dubuque is located at 3365 Hillcrest Road.

The Clarity Clinic’s new Tree of Life Educational Center in Dubuque held its grand opening Nov. 18. The clinic provides medical services to pregnant mothers, specializing in limited obstetric ultrasounds. The organization began in 1993 as an established tri-state pregnancy center. It became a medical organization in 2006 through a grant from Focus on the Family and became known as the Clarity Clinic. After years of providing medical care and support to mothers in crisis pregnancies, the Clarity Clinic has now expanded its educational outreach capabilities with a new extension to its headquarters in Dubuque. The Tree of Life Educational Center added an additional 12,000 square feet to the building.

Kris Nauman, executive director of Clarity Clinic, said a major focus of the educational center is to equip parents with the tools to raise their children properly and give them a good life.

“So many people say, ‘All you are interested in is saving the baby, but what happens after the mom has the baby? What happens to that family then? What happens to the single mom who has two or three children already?’,” said Nauman. “The programs we provide in the Tree of Life Education Center offer an earn while you learn program for in the womb to age four, and after that, we have a program called Raising Highly Capable Kids. We were chosen by Focus on the Family to be the very first recipient in the state of Iowa to receive an educational grant called Resilient Kids. The curriculum is evidence-based to raise grade point averages and prevent risky behavior. It’s had four decades of research in five million youth.”

The 13-week program currently goes into nine school districts and 22 schools with free prevention education from fifth grade to high school.

“We want to reach out to all the surrounding towns and areas around our center,” said Nauman. “We reach out an hour radius of Dubuque, so Cascade, Dyersville, Holy Cross, Worthington, all those areas west of here, we can provide these programs in the schools to the parents or they can come to our new education center and receive those classes for free.”

Charlie Hollensed, board chair of the Clarity Clinic, said the center will also provide a fatherhood program to minister to the fathers, especially ones in jail and give them the tools and confidence to take on fatherly responsibilities. Hollensed also explained they are providing a program to reach out to churches to ensure those in crisis pregnancies have a place where they can be supported.

Hollensed said, “We’re going to be rolling out a program from our umbrella organization Carenet called Making Life Disciples where we will get people in the churches trained so if a young lady walks in in a crisis situation, she’ll be properly treated and shown the love and care people want to give her, but with structure. It will also allow us to send our clients to a church and say, ‘I have a mentor in this church, let’s make an appointment for her to come in and meet you and she can take you to church.’ How many young ladies in a crisis situation are going to want to walk into a strange church?”

According to Hollensed, the education center will reach churches as far out as Manchester.

“If we train those people in the churches to be advocates, they can bring them here for the ultrasound and minister to them in the local church. That’s a win-win because it gives the mom the support and love she needs and equips her to have the baby.”

In addition to the educational and outreach programs, the Tree of Life Educational Center contains a room called The Giving Tree filled with baby items donated by generous donors giving in-kind donations. Young mothers can obtain these items for free through the center’s Earn While You Learn program. Hollensed explained that providing a greater ease of access for the mothers to shop was one of the reasons behind expanding the building, which had been purchased from Planned Parenthood when that business left Dubuque.

“Planned Parenthood literally could not make a go of the business. In five years, we outgrew the building,” he said. “Our boutique was downstairs, moms had to go up and down the stairs, so getting everything on this one level was our first goal. Having the space to show the stuff so the moms can shop doing the Earn While You Learn program. They come in and take classes, or they can do them online now, and earn what we call Baby Bucks which they can spend in here and get the items they need. It’s such a blessing to the moms, and now we’ve built two classrooms that will give us the capability to put 150 people in the building at a time. It’s amazing what our capabilities are going to be.”

Participation in any program provided by the Clarity Clinic and Tree of Life Educational Center is free, as all expenses are funded by donations collected through events such as a golf tournament, a major fall banquet with a nationally-renowned guest speaker and “baby bottle” fundraising in churches. Most programs are also multilingual, allowing ease of access to Spanish-speaking individuals.

For more information on how to participate, go to clarityclinic.com. If you wish to donate, go to Partnersofclarityclinic.com to donate online or contact Nauman at 563-557-3123 ext. 101.