HIPPY USA will host their national board meeting at COA Youth & Family Centers, shining a spotlight on Milwaukee’s exceptional efforts to promote parent involvement and school-readiness in preschool children.
Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is an internationally-acclaimed parent involvement, school-readiness program that helps parents prepare their three, four, and five year old children for success in school and beyond.
In 1998, COA Youth & Family Centers established Wisconsin’s first HIPPY program. HIPPY nurtures parents as their children’s first and most important teacher through weekly in-home sessions offered for 30 weeks during the school year. HIPPY teaches parents how to be their child’s first and most influential teacher. It is the only Milwaukee program bringing books, games and other curricula to families in their homes, for children ages 3-5.
This research-based curriculum focuses on the development of child literacy, cognitive, motor, communication and social/emotional skills. A 2011 evaluation of HIPPY by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Urban Initiatives and Research (CUIR) confirmed the longitudinal effects of this approach. It compared the advanced proficiency levels in reading between third graders who had participated in HIPPY (when they were 3, 4, or 5 years old) versus the proficiency of all MPS 3rd grade students. The results showed that “HIPPY graduates had achieved an advanced level in reading in higher percentages than district students.”
HIPPY also forges profound bonds between parent and child and makes a habit of daily familial collaboration in a child’s on-going educational development and long-term academic success. Once their child graduates from HIPPY and enters kindergarten, parents are more likely to attend Parent/Teacher conferences or classroom open houses.
At COA Youth & Family Centers, HIPPY is establishing family patterns of parent involvement, school readiness and academic achievement in Milwaukee.
Since 1906, COA Youth & Family Centers has helped Milwaukee children, teens, and families reach their greatest potential through a continuum of educational, recreational, and social work programs offered via its two urban community Centers (Riverwest Center located at 909 E. Garfield Ave and Goldin Center at 2320 W. Burleigh St), rural camp facility in central Wisconsin, and programming at 18 MPS schools citywide. As a multicultural agency, COA values diversity and cooperation and promotes social growth and positive social interaction. COA accomplishes this through five core program areas: Early Childhood Education, Family Support Services, Youth Development, Camping, and Adult Education/Community Services.
Charity Navigator (a national evaluator of nonprofit organizations) recently rated COA Youth & Family Centers the highest-ranking nonprofit agency in Wisconsin, as well as the number one Children’s & Family Services agency in the entire nation. These rankings are based on financial efficiency, accountability, and transparency. www.coa-yfc.org