HIPPY In the News

Reporters interested in learning more about HIPPY should email Adam Shapiro or contact him at 202.427.3603.

Fathers Take On New Duties through Education Home Visiting

This Father’s Day, More Dads than Ever Participating in HIPPY USA

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.–June 17, 2015–An innovative home visiting program that helps parents in their role as their child’s first and most important teacher is celebrating fathers in these efforts as Father’s Day approaches.

Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters USA, an evidence based initiative in 23 states and Washington, D.C., supports parents of 3-to-5 year olds who want educational enrichment for their children. The trained home visitors deliver 30 weeks of high-quality school readiness curriculum activities and books to parents in underserved communities. The parents then work each day on the lessons with their children.

While most of the peer home visitors are women who meet with mothers, HIPPY USA works hard to include fathers. Some examples of this include:

  • In Tuscaloosa, Ala., veteran William Cunningham meets with a HIPPY home visitor in order to help his daughter Lenzie improve her writing skills. “I’m really glad to live in a country that cares enough about my daughter to give me this extra help we needed. I worked hard for America when I served in the Army. I thank everyone who makes HIPPY possible,” he says.
  • In Quitman, Ark., Randy Edwards homeschools his three sons and credits HIPPY for their academic success. “HIPPY gave us a firm foundation that we used to start our children’s’ educations. We have definitely seen the benefits of home visiting,” he says. His fifth-grader now scores two grades higher on standardized tests and his third-grader scores three grades higher.
  • In areas including Denver, Fairfax County, VA, and Gainesville, FL, fathers are taking part in HIPPY home visits because they enjoy being their child’s first teacher.

“The goal of HIPPY is to help children achieve long term academic success, improve parent-child relationships and increase parent in involvement in their children’s schools and communities. Of course, fathers are important to all of these goals and we thank them for what they do,” says Lia Lent, executive director, HIPPY USA. “We also are extremely grateful for the men who work with families as parent educators and program coordinators…in addition to these important jobs, they are often dads in their own right.”

HIPPY graduates have demonstrated higher scores on standardized pre-academic, language and cognitive direct assessment measures. For instance, a Texas study compared standardized achievement scores in math and reading for third grade students who participated in a HIPPY program with a demographically matched sample. HIPPY graduates scored significantly higher on the math test compared to non-HIPPY peers.

Training for home visitors includes a mandatory four day preservice for new program coordinators; on-site training for new programs; extensive training sessions at the National Conference; and on-going training and technical assistance from the HIPPY USA national office.

Adam Shapiro