Pre-kindergarten program recruiting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Recruitment is ongoing for a new program that helps children ages 3, 4, and 5 &8212; and their parents &8212; get ready for kindergarten.

After the program’s January launch, about 10 slots out of 45 remain for the program. Dallas County HIPPY coordinator Shirley Edwards said families can still enroll.

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“They can still come on in and we’ll get them caught up,” Edwards said.

HIPPY stands for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters. It is a 30-week, home-based program where a parent educator from the community will role model the HIPPY lessons for the parent and child. The coverage area for HIPPY in Dallas County includes Orrville, Marion Junction, Valley Grande, Plantersville, Sardis and the area around Southside High School.

The lessons cover a variety of readiness skills that prepare the child for kindergarten. The goals include developing motor skills, and learning colors, shapes and numbers.

The lesson’s activities include games, cooking, sewing, singing, drawing and puzzles.

As an example, last week’s lesson was centered on tasting, where parents and children worked with salt, sugar and raisins.

“You can see the glee on parents’ faces,” Edwards said. “I have done some home visits, and I would say the greatest


for parents are when parents watch their child go through the lesson, or hear their

child say, ‘Hey, I have homework to do.'”

In Dallas County there are three educators working in the community &8212; Geraldine Johnson, Emily Richardson, and Evangeline McGee.

The parent educators undergo training, which they then practice with a child in preparation for going to parents’ homes the following week.