Parents as Teachers make a difference |

Parents as Teachers make a difference

On a cold, blustery Saturday in October last year, eight smart Make A Difference Day volunteers chose to work inside and help the Parents as Teachers Coordinator, Cindi Harris Krane, clean and organize the program supplies. The volunteers spent the morning sorting games, toys and education materials that are used on home visits for families with children ages zero to three. Over a three-hour period, they organized 37 supply boxes, preparing them for home visits.

Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a parent-education and family-support program serving families throughout pregnancy and until their child enters kindergarten.

Parents are supported by PAT-certified parent educators trained to translate scientific information on early brain development into specific when, what, how and why advice for families. By understanding what to expect during each stage of development, parents can easily capture the teachable moments in everyday life to enhance their child’s language development, intellectual growth, social development and motor skills. PAT families receive personal monthly visits, screenings to assess overall child development and attend monthly parent group meetings. Parents also are linked to community resources for children and families.

Evaluation of the PAT program shows that it works. PAT children at age three are significantly more advanced in language, social development, problem solving and other cognitive abilities than non-PAT children of the same age. PAT children score higher on kindergarten readiness tests and on standardized measures of achievement in early grades. PAT parents are more involved in their children’s schooling and are more confident in their parenting role. PAT parents read more to their children.

Summit County Parents as Teachers serve more than 70 families in our community. Parents as Teachers is making a difference in the lives of children and families. Parents in the program comment that they have learned so much about the way their children’s brain works and body functions.

They look forward to the years ahead because they know their children will continue to learn and excel.

Volunteers are needed for this for the 2002 Make A Difference Day for Parents as Teachers and a wide array of other community projects. You can make a difference – Volunteer!

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