BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — HIPPY, it’s a new home visitation program here in the Brazos Valley helping increase school readiness for preschoolers.
“HIPPY stands for home instruction for parents of preschool youngsters,” said Stacey Brown, HIPPY Coordinator. “HIPPY is a research-based home visitation program that started over 40 years ago and we’re very excited to be the 12th chapter in the state of Texas.”
HIPPY is funded by a grant through the Texas A&M School of Nursing, helping create a bond between parents and the child.
“Language, literacy, math, science and motor development so five different lessons per week,” said Brown. “The best thing about this program is that it’s completely free and we’re available to visit in both English and Spanish so we’re available for both languages.”
Hodalys Avila is a lead home educator for HIPPY and a certified community health worker.
“When we come into the home, we’ll be going through the curriculum with the parent and giving them everything they need for the week and then they will model it or educate their child,” said Avila. “We won’t be working directly with the child, we’ll be working directly with the parent, kind of impairing them to take their education into their own hands.”
The HIPPY program is year-round including the summer.
“We’ll be going into the homes once a week for 30 weeks,” said Avila. “That’s how long our curriculum is and then during the summer, we have what is called summer enrichment program where we’ll do different activities with the families.”
Brown said this program will allow caregivers to be in the driver's seat of their child’s education.
“We are really excited to give families an opportunity to really take ownership in their kids’ education and know that ultimately, parents are their child’s first teachers well before they step into that kindergarten classroom,” said Brown. “Our moms, dads, caregivers have the most important role in educating those kids.”
Avila is looking forward to giving back to the community she grew up in.
“I’m also looking forward to building those relationships with my families, helping them through different situations in their life,” said Avila. “As we go through the curriculum, but if they are looking for a resource, then us as home educators, can help them navigate different resources in the community.”
If you have a preschooler and would like to apply for a home educator, the application can be found here: HIPPY (tamu.edu).