PCHP’s Pittsfield, MA Coordinator’s Letter to the Editor

Letter: Parent-Child Home Program has proven its value

The Berkshire Eagle
POSTED:   03/17/2015 06:17:23 PM EDT

Parent-child program has proven its value

To the editor:

The Pittsfield Public Schools’ Parent-Child Home Program needs your support. Please contact the Pittsfield mayor, superintendent and School Committee as soon as possible and encourage them to continue our funding.

PCHP has been a part of the Pittsfield Public Schools since 1970 and has served thousands of families over the past 45 years. Budgeting decisions are being made in the very near future. It’s heartbreaking to think that after 45 years in Pittsfield PCHP may be considered expendable.

Research has proven that this program works and in my 23 years with PCHP I have seen the long-range results of the program for both children and parents. As I was walking down the hall at school recently, I stopped to look at the photos of children holding their principal’s award certificates. Almost half of them were PCHP alumni.

At conferences night last week I was able to talk to many former PCHP parents because they all remain connected to their child’s education. We took some time to catch up a bit and the parents all reported that their child was excelling in school and many were avid readers. This is the story I hear over and over again.

I also read the honor rolls from our middle and high schools recently. There were many PCHP alumni on those lists!

There is currently a great emphasis on early childhood education and early intervention during a child’s first five years. This is the time when a child’s brain is developing and learning styles are set into place.

I am aware that the school department is once again facing severe budget cuts. Pittsfield was in the forefront in 1970 when it backed a relatively unknown program for young children and families. On the strength of Pittsfield’s longevity studies that followed program graduates through to adulthood, other communities throughout the state of Massachusetts, across our country and internationally have adopted the PCHP model.

I ask that Pittsfield maintains that strength of forward thinking by funding the PCHP and supporting parents as the first and most important teacher of their child.

Roseanne Cooney McDevitt Pittsfield The writer is Pittsfield Public Schools’ PCHP coordinator.