Community Needs : Early Childhood Development, Education
This grant expanded a school readiness program that trains parents of at-risk children to become their children's first teacher. HIPPY focuses on children from low-income and often non-English speaking families, who have no preschool experience. The parents of these children often have little familiarity with the school system and are unaware of the importance their role has in educating their young children. The HIPPY program is based on the premise that through training parents can obtain the tools, skills and confidence they need to work with their child in the home. Parents meet weekly with a HIPPY Parent Educator, who gives them workbooks based on age-specific curriculums and instructs them in how to do the assignments with their children, allowing both parent and child to learn much-needed skills. Testing has shown that children who complete the program enter kindergarten with higher reading, math and social skills than classmates not in the program.