Category Archives: News

Parents as Teachers Increases Access to Books for Bay Area Youth

By Scott Hippert
President and CEO
Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers is playing an integral role in showing the rest of the country how Super Bowl 50 is positively impacting the San Francisco Bay Area, where the championship will be played February 7, 2016 at state-of-the-art Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara (www.sfbaysuperbowl.com).

50_FUND_logo_TaglineThat’s because First 5 Monterey County, working in partnership with Parents as Teachers, has been selected to receive a grant from the 50 Fund, the legacy fund of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, as part of The Re(a)d Zone initiative to give low-income children across the Bay Area access to books, reading programs and early literacy activities. The summer initiative potentially will engage hundreds of children in Monterey County, including many from migrant farm worker families.

To date, the 50 Fund (www.50fund.org) has made grants totaling $3.6 million, with the goal of helping to close the opportunity gap for low-income children, youth and young adults in the greater Bay Area, putting Super Bowl 50 well on its way to being the most giving Super Bowl in history.

Focused on strengthening and building the capacity of high-quality, literacy-enhancing programs that increase third grade reading proficiency, The Re(a)d Zone grants have been given to summer book clubs, libraries and community-based efforts to enhance or expand existing reading programs and to provide access to books and digital content and programs that keep kids learning.

Parents as Teachers’ partnership with First 5 Monterey County in providing summer literacy activities for young children and their families is the latest in a growing number of opportunities to expand our reach to more children and families. Other initiatives include a telemedicine partnership with the University of Southern California School of Social Work and a “Pay for Success” collaboration with Salt Lake County, Utah.

But in this sports-crazed country of ours there is nothing that quite matches being involved with the Super Bowl, especially in the game’s 50th iteration, where the action off the field will be just as important – or more – as the plays made on the field.

“We’ve said that Super Bowl 50 is going to set a new standard for giving for the NFL’s marquee game, and now we are seeing that work and effort come to life,” said Keith Bruce, the CEO of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee. “Hosting Super Bowl 50 is more than just preparing for The Big Game, it’s also about improving the lives of the people that live and work in the Bay Area.”

To learn more about how the 50 Fund is changing how the Super Bowl can positively impact communities, see this announcement from the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee: http://www.sfbaysuperbowl.com/2015/07/super-bowl-50-host-committee-given-3-6-million-to-date/

Thanks to the outstanding vision and support of our board and to the dedication and hard work of our team in St. Louis and our partner at First 5 Monterey County, Parents as Teachers is proud to be associated with Super Bowl 50 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Advertisements

My Mommy Manual kicks off support for Parents as Teachers

Yesterday I spent an exhilarating hour with Ria and Sharon, two of the most energetic young moms I know! (Follow them on Twitter at @riasharon and @zenmommy.)

On their Web site mymommymanual.com they’ve kicked off a monthly online raffle to raise money for charities. Right now Parents as Teachers is the featured recipient.

YOUR SMALL DONATION MAKES YOU  PART OF SOMETHING BIG!
1) On the first of every month, mymommymanual will announce a new raffle prize.
2) To be entered into the raffle, use the ChipIn widget on their Web site to donate at least $1
3) At the end of the month, they will draw a raffle winner!

This month, Artistic Sensations founder (and mommy), Kim Gellman is contributing a very cool Toddler Nap/Sleeping Sack valued at $45. Now’s your chance to get a very cool nap mat and contribute toward Parents as Teachers at the same time. Do it now. And be sure to check back in at www.mymommymanual.com for next month’s raffle, too!

How to get your kid into Harvard

Babies, for all their cuteness, have the potential to wreak havoc on marriages. Within six months of the birth of the first baby there is a ninefold increase in toxic marital conflict, says John Medina, author of Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School. In fact, having a baby is a risk factor for behaviors that eventually end in divorce, he says in this article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Babies require work (aka parenting). But where does a new parent, or parent-to-be, learn how to parent? Last year more than 250,000 of them learned good parenting practices from Parents as Teachers.

According to Medina, the greatest predictor of academic success is the emotional stability of the household. “You want to get your kid into Harvard? Go home and love your wife.”

Medina was the founding director of the Talaris Research Institute, a Seattle-based research center originally focused on how infants encode and process information at the cognitive, cellular, and molecular levels. He’ll be speaking at the Parents as Teachers annual conference in St. Louis on November 11. Tickets are $40.

Say cheese!

Smile and the world smiles with you…and those of us with the brightest smiles as little children apparently have an extra advantage: lower divorce rates.

According to scientists from DePauw University in Indiana, smiling is good for more than the soul. Children’s smiles actually helped predict which ones would experience a broken marriage later in life.

Matt Hertenstein, lead author of the study, says that what happens to us early in our lives has a great impact on our future happiness. (Hasn’t Parents as Teachers been saying this for 25 years?) He postulates that perhaps happy people attract happy people which leads to a greater likelihood of a succesful marriage. No one really knows for sure, but hey—it’s easy to smile!

What is Idaho’s governor thinking?!

With overwhelming bi-partisan support, the Idaho legislature just passed the Parents as Teachers Support Act (House Bill 245) which would provide statutory authority to establish a foundation for Parents as Teachers in Idaho through the Children’s Trust. Unfortunately Governor Otter just vetoed this bill earlier today

The legislature can vote to override Governor Otter’s decision with a simple vote by the House and Senate.  Both chambers have already voted in favor of this bill (Senate: 28 – yes; 6 – no; 1 absent and House: 59 – yes; 10 – no; 1 absent).

  • Parents as Teachers services were drastically reduced in Idaho due to action taken by Governor Otter shortly after his election into office.
  • Parents as Teachers produces real results for Idaho children and families by improving school readiness and continued academic success, increasing parental involvement, reducing child abuse and neglect, promoting better health and identifying health and developmental issues at an early age.
  • This bill is budget neutral – it just establishes a foundation for future Parents as Teachers operations.  Both Chambers have already voted in support of this bill.

Please contact your legislators, Representative Lawrence Denney, Speaker of the House, and Senator Robert Geddes, President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

  • Ask them to schedule a vote in the House and Senate to override the Governor’s veto.
  • Ask themto vote in favor of the bill when the override vote is scheduled. Because the legislature is nearly done with their session, it is critical that you reach out by close of business on Tuesday April 21.

    If you aren’t sure which representative and senator represent you, visit: http://legislature.idaho.gov/who’smylegislator.htm. Or call your Idaho legislator at 208-332-1000 or through the Internet at http://legislature.idaho.gov/howtocontactlegislators.htm.

In addition to contacting your local representative and senator, contact Speaker Denney’s office at (208) 332-1111 and President Pro Tempore Gedde’s office at (208) 332-1300.

What can we learn from the past as we invent the future for families?

I’ve always been intrigued with demographics and the stories that lie behind the statistics.

 

Recently two things caught my eye. One is the interactive map on Slate.com of employment for more than 3,000 counties across the country. Watching the nation’s map gradually change from blue (job gains) to red (job losses) between January 2007 and February 2009 is sobering.

 

Dalton Conley is a sociologist and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research whose new book Elsewhere, U.S.A. looks at how family life has changed over the past 50 years. What’s most interesting is the change in how we interact today and the way work and leisure time have merged so completely that many workers today are never really “off the clock.” They continue to work their social networks and build their information banks electronically.

 

How families are changing has huge implications for corporate America…so much so that the Partnership for America’s Economic Success (managed in part by The Pew Charitable Trusts) is underwriting 14 statewide business leader summits focusing on the ROI of business support for early childhood efforts. The National Center for Parents as Teachers is leading the Missouri summit in partnership with the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, the Missouri State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Missouri Early Childhood Coordinating Board and the Missouri Child Care Resource and Referral Network. If you’re a business leader, you need to watch for this invitation-only event.

 

There’s an old saying, “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” Why not make today the tomorrow we all planned for yesterday?

Military families: the good news and bad news

There was more sad news on the military front this week, and I’m not talking about death, injuries or bombings: military families are divorcing at a higher rate than at any other time in the past 16 years according to a story in USA Today.

What’s even more depressing is that almost half of all active duty service members have children … nearly 40 percent of whom are under 5. More than a third of first-time military parents are just 21 years old or younger! Is anyone truly surprised with this new divorce statistic?

There is a silver lining to this dark cloud, however. Parents as Teachers Heroes at Home programs are bringing professional parenting support and child development information right to the homes of these young military families. This unique program builds on and enhances existing military support programs by addressing areas that help families with young children adapt to military life, such as the informal support networks that have been repeatedly cited by military spouses as critical to coping with military life.

It’s a bright star in this season of hope.