The Parent-Child Home Program National Center sponsors an Annual Conference which takes place in the spring. The two-day conference features workshops for both site coordinators and early learning specialists, and is designed to provide professional development for PCHP staff. Site coordinators (and, if possible, early learning specialists) are strongly encouraged to attend. Many of the workshops cover topics of interest to anyone working in the early childhood or home visiting field, and is open to all of those who are interested.
The 2018 Conference was held from May 7-8 at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale, NY.
Patricia A. Edwards, a member of the Reading Hall of Fame is a Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Teacher Education, and a Senior University Outreach Fellow at Michigan State University. She is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in parent involvement, home, school, community partnerships, multicultural literacy, early literacy, and family/inter-generational literacy, especially among poor and minority children. She served as a member of the IRA Board of Directors from 1998–2001, and in 2006-2007 as the first African American President of the Literacy Research Association (formerly the National Reading Conference), and as President of the International Reading Association (2010-2011). She is currently the co-editor of the Michigan Reading Journal. She is the co-author of A Path to Follow: Learning to Listen to Parent (1999) with Heather M. Pleasants and Sarah H. Franklin, Bridging Literacy and Equity: The Essential Guide to Social Equity Teaching (2012) with Althier M. Lazar and Gwendolyn T. McMillon, and Change is Gonna Come: Transforming Literacy for African American Students (2010) with Gwendolyn T. McMillon and Jennifer D. Turner.
At the 2011 annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Edwards and her co-authors were recognized for their book with the prestigious Edward B. Fry Book Award. This national award honors authors of an exceptional literacy research and practice book. Dr. Edwards is co-editor of Best Practices in ELL Instruction (2010) with Guofang Li and the author of Tapping the Potential of Parents: A Strategic Guide to Boosting Student Achievement Through Family Involvement (2009), Children literacy development: Making It Happen Through School, Family, and Community Involvement (2004) and New Ways to Engage Parents: Strategies and Tools for Teachers and Leaders (2016), winner of the 2017 Delta Kappa Gamma Educators Book Award.
At the 2012 LRA annual meeting, Dr. Edwards received the Albert J. Kingston Service Award. In May at the annual meeting of the International Reading Association, Dr. Edwards received the 2014 IRA Jerry Johns Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award. Dr. Edwards received the 2015 Michigan Reading Association’s Outstanding Teacher Educator Award. She has been invited to serve as an expert consultant for the Fulbright Specialist Program. She has also been invited to join Michigan State University (MSU) Leadership Learning Community: “Tending the Path Forward after Full Professor: Career Paths of Women Professors.” Dr. Edwards was invited to serve as external reviewer of the Language and Literacy Curriculum at Florida Atlanta University (January 2016) and Central Michigan University (March 2016). More recently, Dr. Edwards was named as the 2017-2018 Jeanne S. Chall Visiting Researcher at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Speech: “In the Beginning: Building the Foundations for Literacy Learning”
A supportive and positive learning environment (both at home and at school) will allow children to explore and test their abilities, improve their skill level and enhance their social behavior. The goal of this presentation is to highlight ways in which to bridge the gap between the home and school. Dr. Edwards will share strategies, photos, videos, and books that highlight these literacy beginnings.
Elizabeth A. Isakson is the Executive Director of Docs for Tots. She is a pediatrician and public health practitioner with 15 years of experience with Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) and the New York Zero To Three Netwrok (NYZTT). Her passion and support for early childhood systems integration (health, education, family) stems from her exposure to the short- and longer-term human outcomes of an under-funded and misaligned system for families with young children.
Dr. Isaskson has published multiple publications with the NCCP across the systems of early care and education, healthy and family economic security. With NCCP and Susan Ochshorn of ECE PolicyWorks, she envisioned and executed the policy forum “Paid Family Leave: Getting it Right from the Start.” Dr. Isakson sat on the executive committee of the board for the NYZTT Network from 2008-2013, where she authored the 2008 report Unequal from the Start: A Check-up on NYC’s Infants and Toddlers. From 2015-2016 Dr. Isakson taught advocacy to graduate level students at Mt. Sinai School of Public Health. She is a sough-after speaker on issues of community and state systems to support healthy development in early childhood.
Dr. Isakson trained in General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of New York where she served as Chief Resident. She received her MD from University of Connecticut Medical School.
Speech: “Transforming Early Childhood: From Programs to a System that Works for Families”
This keynote will explore the current state of early childhood services from the perspective of the family through interactive team building exercises. Participants will rebuild a support system for families in a community by exploring their experiences, partnerships, data sharing, and interactions within the early childhood system. The discussion will include innovations that are currently trending, such as the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) Impact Grant (for which Docs for Tots is the local lead in Nassau County, NY), and the Help Me Grow (HMG) system, which brings different programs, organizations, and sectors together in early childhood to create lasting collective impact. Both ECCS and HMG are national initiatives, with ECCS awarded to twelve states and HMG in 52 communities or states across the country.
Please click here to view the 2018 agenda.
The benefits of a home visiting program in Ameesha Jackson’s North Philadelphia home were unexpected.
For her, it was watching her Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) rep’s lessons and educational materials bring her whole family closer together. For her 3-year-old son Amari, it was finding a new favorite game: shapes and colors bingo.
“I think this program is helping [Amari] keep up with his brothers,” said Jackson, who has two other sons, Jayden, 8, and Mason, 5. “His brothers are already in school. They’re already engaging with other children.”
Home visiting programs are an effective way to introduce books and other learning tools to low-income Philadelphia children before they enter pre-K, said Malkia Singleton Ofori-Agyekum, the Pennsylvania program director for PCHP.
On a home visit, a service provider visits an expecting mother or a parent and young child in their home to discuss maternal health, early childhood development and parent coaching. According to a report by the National Home Visiting Resource Center, these programs can improve infant health, parent-child relationships and early childhood education.
Who benefits from home visiting programs in Philadelphia?
PCHP is one of 17 home visiting programs in Philadelphia County, according to United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Souther New Jersey’s Spring 2018 report, “Snapshot of the Home Visiting System in the Greater Philadelphia area.” There are 18 more in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties.
All 35 home visiting programs in the Greater Philadelphia area serve low-income families, according to the United Way report; nationally, 74 percent of the 301,154 families served by evidence-based home visiting programs in 2016 reported an income below the federal poverty guidelines, which is about $19,000 for a family of three.
Proficient reading skills in third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation, which about 80 percent of children living below the poverty line fail to meet, according to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics: Low-income children have “have fewer literacy resources within the home, are less likely to be read to regularly … all resulting in a significant learning disadvantage, even before they have access to early preschool interventions.”
“When people are in poverty, they’re surviving,” Ofori-Agyekum said. “They’re trying to figure out where’s food coming from, how we’re not going to put on the street. You’re not always thinking about, ‘Oh, I need to be talking to my child, reading to my child to make sure they have enough language and education skills.’”
Please click here to read the full article on Generocity.