The Family and Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC) celebrated 18 graduates of its home visitation program last Thursday, Aug. 7.
The home visitation program works with parents, infants and children through age 5 to help improve the parent/child bond and give the kids the tools to be ready to enter kindergarten.
The celebration Thursday night acknowledged the families’ commitment to their children’s education and encouraged them to stay involved.
School board member J Kent McHose attended the ceremony. He told the rest of the school board at a regular meeting Tuesday, Aug. 12, that the 5-year-olds weren’t sure what to do when they were told to turn their tassels, so that part took a couple tries.
FIRC development director Anita Overmyer said what FIRC’s parent educators do during home visits varies depending on where the children are developmentally and what kind of answers or advice the parents request.
With babies, the home visits usually revolve around crawling, walking and speech development, she said, and with the 4- and 5-year-olds, the home visits might focus on helping the kids learn social skills and their letters, colors and shapes. Parents are given activities to do with their children and are encouraged to read with them.
“We try to help parents realize the importance of reading and talking to their child on a daily basis and using everyday activities like trips to the grocery store as educational opportunities,” said Noelle Sivon, FIRC Families United program manager.
More than 170 children participate in the monthly home visitation program, and FIRC provided more than 1,800 visits in the last year. FIRC offers the free service with the financial support of Vail Resorts Echo, Tom and Nancy Keltner, F Cubed Foundation and the Right Start Project.
For more information, contact Noelle Sivon at (970) 262-3888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.