If you are the parent of a young child who is not currently enrolled in preschool, then you’re in luck.
HISD’s Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is currently accepting applications, and families who are zoned to attend any of more than four dozen elementary schools are eligible to participate.
HIPPY is a free community service available to parents of children ages 3–5. It is designed to empower parents to become their children’s first teachers and to provide young children with the skills they will need to be successful in school.
The program consists of three, 30-week lesson plans that are delivered once a week in students’ own homes by approved instructors (often HIPPY alumni). Each lesson typically lasts 15–20 minutes, and activities cover a range of subjects, such as singing and rhyming or shapes and colors, that when taken collectively, constitute “school readiness” in young children.
“When children show up on the first day of kindergarten unable to recognize the alphabet, they are already at a disadvantage, and it is very difficult to catch up,” said Family and Community Engagement Communications Manager Valerie Schillaci. “But since pre-K isn’t required by the state, not every child gets a chance to adequately prepare for a classroom environment. HIPPY helps to fill that gap by empowering parents to use simple strategies at home to stimulate their child’s learning.”
“We know that all parents want to see their children succeed, and students whose parents participate in the HIPPY program outperform other children their age when they enter school,” said Family and Community Engagement HIPPY Specialist Neysa Gavion. “It’s the equivalent of putting your child in a high-quality preschool program—and it’s free!”
The HIPPY program is active at 49 HISD campuses across the city (see .pdf list here). Students who live within the attendance boundaries of any of these schools are eligible to participate.
For more information, please call the Family and Community Engagement department at 713-556-7290.