It takes a lot to move me to tears, but after reading the posts on the Facebook fan page (SAVE MO Parents as Teachers program), I pulled out the tissues. This grassroots group grew from nothing to more than 5,000 in one short week after Missouri Governor Nixon put the state’s flagship program on the budget chopping block to the tune of 28%. Never have I experienced such swift, strong and vocal support as these parents have for Parents as Teachers in Missouri!
Nancy: “We all know times are tough everywhere. But there are priorities that must be kept! Our children depend on us to be their voices. We can’t let them down. My grown daughters 34 and 30yo were both in the Saturday program. My 3 granchildren attended PAT. Their success in school is thanks to PAT. Our legislators must find other ways to keep this program intact!”
Tracy: “I am very upset that the government says that they are not cutting education, but they are cutting PAT. I wrote letters to my reps and got no real answers. This program is great for the parents and kids. My love our PAT.”
Leah: “WE LOVE PAT! Our parent educator recognized some speech issues with out son at 2 years. He’s going to be starting Kindergarten this fall and thanks to her referrals, his speech is NORMAL! He won’t be behind the other kids in his class! Such a huge relief to our family!”
Jan: “Absolutely one of the MOST worthwhile programs Missouri has EVER had. I can’t believe anyone in government would remotely think of not FULLY funding this critical program. Give me a break. . .with all the “pork” in the budgets. . .get rid of the “pork” and keep the valuable programs such as PAT. Unbelieveable, absolutely unbelieveable!”
Leigh: “I made the call. As the parent of a 28 week preemie, I cannot imagine how much harder it would have been to get through those first crucial years without the help and guidance of PAT. The early intervention they provide is priceless. I started tearing up as I left the message and my daughter, now 10, asked me why.”
Mike: “What is this world amounting too. I’m sure there are many teen parents and adult parents that don’t have anyone equipped to provide them with the skills they may not have already! I am sick of hearing excuses of why we can’t provide for the most unfortunate people in society while politicians and lobbyist roll over…in greed. I mean really, can’t we do with one less street sign, or one less missle, or one less politician! As a parent of an autistic child especially I believe our childrens future and the way we equip them along with ourselves is paramount.”
Elly: “I called and left a message for the governor. They might save money in the very short run but it will be very costly for our future.”
Jill: “I don’t have any children but my friend and her family goes to the events all the time. They are on a tight buget and this is the only time the kids and their mom get out together. The buget cuts are getting out of control.”
Terri: “Thank goodness for Parents as Teachers. They really helped me when my boys were young! I am an only child that never babysat….so children were a real mystery. My Parent Educator was wonderful, experienced, informative and patient!”
Kimberly: “I have 2 kids ~ one has autism. It was our parent educator that was able to idetify his ASD when everyone else (even us) thought he was developing typically. I am forever grateful to this program. It breaks my heart to think another family would have to go YEARS w/o help before their child could identified has having issues.”
I don’t know how you ignore 5,367 people. Maybe Missouri’s legislators do?
(Note: these comments are verbatim from the Facebook fan page; the only edits have been to remove some of the multiple exclamation points!)