To the Editor: We were delighted by Nicholas D. Kristof’s advocacy for parent-support programs (“Cuddle Your Kid!,” column, Oct. 21). We see every day how important it is to support families in building the parent-child interaction that is critical to school and life success.
This vital support for low-income families can also be provided powerfully by well-trained and supervised paraprofessional home visitors from the community, many of whom were home visitees themselves, and share language and culture with the families.
Bringing gifts of books and educational toys, materials we can all agree should be in the home of every child, these home visitors model reading, play and conversation activities that strengthen the parent-child bond and build school-readiness skills, while building a community of parents who are their children’s most important cuddler, teacher, and academic advocate.
Longitudinal, randomized control trials have found that children receiving these intensive home visits from paraprofessionals gained 17 points on I.Q. assessments.
SARAH E. WALZER
Chief Executive The Parent-Child Home Program
Garden City, N.Y., Oct. 23, 2012
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