New Early Childhood Education Comes To Wichita County

New Early Childhood Education Comes To Wichita County

A new educational program will soon start up in northern Wichita County. The Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) will bring educational tools to various families.

“We're a home visiting program that visits parents in their homes,” said Deb Cornelius, HIPPY Program Coordinator. “We deliver research based curriculum and teach them how to interact with their children.”

HIPPY is a program that empowers parents as primary educators in their child's life.  This program is designed to maximize the chances of early success in a child's life.

“It empowers the family, enriches the community and educates children all in one,” said Cornelius.

About 66 percent of children headed into kindergarten are only somewhat academically prepared, or not at all prepared, according to a national study released by the Age of Learning. Just 5.6 percent are very-well prepared, according to the study.

“HIPPY is a 30 week program. It is a holistic curriculum which covers reading, math, and science. It's hands on and research driven,” said Cornelius.

This program will work to close the educational gaps that are apparent in early development, according to Cornelius. That's why a federal grant was awarded to Burkburnett Independent School District for $250,000 to get the program up and running.

The grant is good for three year, but each year the amount awarded may vary.  That money will be used to provide materials and curriculum to the students and families involved in the community.

“We will go to their house for 30 weeks, and deliver the curriculum all free of charge. Not only books, but each activity for a week,” said Cornelius.

The program can provide for 90 different families. However, 15 percent of those families must be military. Currently, the program is working to interview 127 different families to fill those spots. The remaining families will be placed on a waiting list.

The program is open for everyone in northern Wichita County. One volunteer said the program can be especially beneficial for the Hispanic community.

“They can do it in English and they can do it in Spanish,” said Patricia Dominguez. “So by empowering the parents teaching their kids in Spanish it's just an amazing program.”

The programs hire 6 different home visitors. They handle 15 families each. They monitor the education process, and bring materials to the families each week. The age group that this program is targeting is 3 and 4-year-olds.

The program will start October 5, 2014. If you are interested in getting involved with this program you can contact Diane Walker at (940)-782-9654.

Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6