Preparing young children to start kindergarten goes beyond buying school clothes and meeting the teacher. Parents are their children’s first teachers, and there are simple and easy ways that parents can help children learn at home before they ever set foot in a classroom.
Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is a free HISD program that trains instructors to visit parents of three- and four-year-olds in their homes once a week over 30 weeks. HIPPY instructors model instructional activities that encourage learning and development that parents can then practice with their children. Continue reading
The Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program concluded last week with four meetings at schools across the district to congratulate parents on completing the year-long program. More than 1,800 parents and children from 50-plus school communities attended the four events to receive certificates of completion, and went home with literacy materials and activities to keep the kids learning throughout the summer.
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HISD’s Family and Community Engagement department will be hosting a recruitment event Saturday, June 28, for the district’s Home Instruction for Parent of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program, which empowers the parents of young children to act as their kids’ first teachers.
To get a feel for what it’s like to work with these parents and children, we sat down with volunteer and mother of four Melissa Hill, who serves as a parent instructor in the program. Below is a condensed transcript of that conversation, in which she talks about what first brought her to HIPPY, what the most surprising aspect of the program has been, and her advice to parents on how best to prepare their young children for academic success. Continue reading
HISD’s Family and Community Engagement department will be hosting a recruitment event on Saturday, June 28, to hire 35 part-time home instructors for the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program. The event will take place from 9 a.m. until noon at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W. 18th St., 77092).
The HIPPY program helps parents of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children prepare their preschoolers for academic success starting in kindergarten. The role of the home instructor is at the heart of the program—home instructors visit 15 to 20 parents in their homes each week and role-play educational activities for parents to practice with their children. Children whose parents participate in the free program consistently outperform their peers on standardized tests in the early grades. Continue reading
HISD parent Victoria Bryant had never even heard of the district’s Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) until she tried to enroll her three-year-old daughter at the TSU Charter Lab school recently—but today, she is one of its biggest fans.
“My daughter’s learning a lot of the things that I take for granted, but forget someone actually had to teach me, such as knowing the difference between ‘over’ and ‘under,’” she said. “It’s really broadened her vocabulary.”
Bryant was referred to HIPPY by a TSU Charter staff member after learning that the school was full and could not accept additional students. “She told me there was a program for parents to be their children’s first teachers,” said Bryant, “and while I was trying (to teach my daughter) at home, I really didn’t know what to do, so this came along at the right time. It was perfect. And it’s cool, because it gives me all of the tools that I need.”