Home Instruction for Parents of Pre-school Youngsters (HIPPY), celebrated its first celebration with over sixty Gregg county children receiving a certificate for successful completion of their prescribed study on June 7, 2013.
The three and four year olds, along with their parents, spent the last thirty weeks meeting with a home visitor that provided a weekly curriculum for the parent to teach the child. The HIPPY program provides parents with a 30 week curriculum of in-home instruction for children between the ages of 3-5 years old and is designed to give parents the tools they need to become their child’s first teacher. Lesson plans, children’s books, crayons, scissors and other materials needed to teach children is provided at no cost.
Over 30 years of research have shown that children who complete the HIPPY program are far better prepared to enter school for the first time, are more advanced academically, and have much higher graduation rates than the average population of children who did not receive the HIPPY home instruction from their caregivers.
Parents who have participated in this exciting program express that they have already noticed a marked improvement in their child’s overall development and feel another huge benefit is their commitment to spend individual, undivided, time with the child at least 15 minutes every day. Participants must reside in Gregg County to be eligible to participate in the HIPPY program. HIPPY is a grant funded program offered through Wellness Pointe and is under the umbrella home visiting program coalition of Gregg County called Family Bridge which also offers two other home visiting programs, Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) and Parents as Teachers (PAT). Each of these proven effective and fun in home programs is funded by a grant awarded to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
NFP offers a maternal and early childhood health program, delivered by BSN prepared registered nurses, to assist first time mothers to have a healthy pregnancy, become knowledgeable and responsible parents, and provide their babies with the best possible start in life. The strong bond between mother and nurse provides the foundation for strong families, and lives are forever changed-for the better. NFP is offered through Good Shepherd Medical Center and is a no cost program.
Interested first time expectant moms must be Gregg County residents and within the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. The PAT program recognizes that parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers. The early years of a child’s life are critical for optimal development and provide the foundation for success in school and in life. The PAT program trains the parent to recognize developmental and health issues, and parent education to help parents understand their role in encouraging their child’s development from the beginning.
PAT is offered through staff at Community Healthcore at no cost to the families. This free in home program is offered to parents with children between 0 and 5 years of age and must reside in Gregg County.
For more information about HIPPY or any of the home visiting programs you can visit http://www.myfamilybridge.org/ or call Megan Johnson at 903.212.4668.