HIPPY program can benefit parents and preschoolers

MADISON – Young preschoolers and their parents in Madison City Schools can benefit from an in-home initiative to prepare youngsters for starting school.

Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters or HIPPY is a free home visitation that encourages parents for school readiness. HIPPY can help parents prepare their two-, three- and four-year-old children for success in school.

A research-based program, HIPPY helps empower parents as their child’s first teacher. Parents receive tools, along with skills and confidence that they need to work with their child in their home.

Early childhood education provides long-term benefits for children, their families and Madison as a community. By enabling parents to become actively involved in their children’s education, HIPPY increases success for children in elementary school and future pursuits.

Summer Williams, who has worked for several years in building experience in the department, is HIPPY Coordinator for the MCS district.

Studies have shown that just 15 minutes daily can help:

* Increased bonding between parent and child.

* Deeper understanding on how children learn.

* Improved school readiness.

* Enhanced relationships with schools and teachers.

The design of HIPPY builds on a parent’s existing strengths as their child’s first educator. The program is structured around a 30-week curriculum that includes fun, easy-to-use activity packets and story books.

The curriculum’s focus is language development, math foundations, science activities and other school readiness skills. A trained parent educator with MCS will deliver the material to a participant’s home and offer support.

To enroll in HIPPY, the child must be two, three or four years old on or before Sept. 1, 2023. Students must live within the MCS district. All students will complete a Preschool Readiness Assessment; acceptance into HIPPY is based on academic need.

MCS offers other preschool programs, including First Class Pre-Kindergarten and Early Beginnings Preschool.

Home visiting programs serve families in all 67 counties in Alabama. These programs have been successful in several areas:

* Improving maternal physical and mental health.

* Reducing physical abuse.

* Improving treatment of children, including health and nutrition.

* Promoting economic self-sufficiency for families.

* Educating families on ways to use available resources in their area.

For more information, visit madisoncity.k12.al.us and click “Academics” and “Preschool.” Then, click the link to HIPPY on the left. An application is available on the HIPPY webpage.

Parents also can call 256-464-8370, ext. 10361 or email snwilliams@madisoncity.k12.al.us.

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