Home Visits Help New Families; Support School Readiness- PCHP Data Used

NEW BEDFORD — The PACE Family Center, located in New Bedford, received a $25,000 grant from the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust Fund at The Boston Foundation to expand The Parent-Child Home Program, an evidence-based, early literacy and school readiness program. The New Bedford Program currently has a waiting list of 42 families hoping to gain access to the program and this expansion will help reach some of those in need.

“Currently, we serve 14 families in the New Bedford community and, with this incredible support from the Jessie B. Cox Trust, we will now be able to provide services to an additional 12 families for the 2012-2013 school year,” explains Gwen Arruda, The PACE Family Center coordinator.

The Parent-Child Home Program is a nationally replicated program that is closing the achievement gap by giving low-income parents the tools and skills to prepare their preschoolers to be successful students. Through twice-weekly visits over a two-year period, trained home visitors model reading, play, conversation, and positive parent-child interaction with parents and their two and three year olds using books and educational toys that are gifts to the family, and are also often the first educational materials in their homes.

Targeting families challenged by poverty, isolation, language and literacy barriers, and limited educational opportunities, The Parent-Child Home Program increases parent-child interaction, improves children’s performance on school readiness assessments, and lays the groundwork for subsequent school success. Longitudinal research demonstrates that the Program is successfully bridging the achievement gap by preparing participants to enter school ready to learn and increasing their high school graduation rates by 30% , which is the same level as their middle class peers.

“The Family Center is a unique program located in the Hayden-McFadden Elementary School that offers wrap around services to families by offering parenting education workshops, playgroups, child screenings through the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, literacy and community activities, and resource and referral services,” explains Arruda. “The Parent-Child Home Program is a critical piece of the continuum of services and we are happy to be expanding it to more families this year.”

For additional information or to get involved with The Parent-Child Home Program, visit www.parent-child.org. and the Massachusetts Parent-Child Home Program Facebook page.

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