Friday, December 27, 2013

Program Promotes Quality Family Time

‘Parents as Teachers’ Visits Families to Promote Child Learning and Development

PRESCOTT VALLEY (December 3, 2013) - Traci and Pino Lira, parents of 4-year old Penelope and 10-month old Rendon, both work full-time. Despite their hectic schedules, they are committed to fitting in as much quality family time as they can.  

That’s why they enrolled in Parents as Teachers (PAT), a free home visiting program for families with kids ages five and under. In Yavapai County, the program is put on by Arizona’s Children Association with grant funding from First Things First.

Through PAT, the Lira family gets a visit every two weeks from Jodie, their parent educator, who brings simple, fun and inexpensive learning activities that they can do together as a family, assesses the development of the children, provides informational sheets about the children’s’ stages of development, and connects them to any other community resources they may need. The goal of the program is to partner with parents to make sure their young children are healthy, happy, and learning. “It’s great,” said Traci Lira. “Who would turn down a free, educational program for their kids?”

Pino Lira, who works as a Deputy Clerk for the County, knows that strong families are the foundation of a strong society, and has seen first-hand what happens when families do not have the information and resources that they need. “Nowadays, many families have both parents working and struggle to find time together,” said Lira. “For us, visits from Jodie are dedicated family bonding time. Plus, it’s educational for both parents and kids,” he said.

The Lira family enjoys a music activity brought over by
Jodie, their Parents as Teachers Parent Educator.
Pino Lira also said that nowadays, it’s difficult to comb through all the parenting information out there. “If you don’t have a degree in early childhood education, you don’t know everything about children’s development. With so many sources, it’s hard to know what’s best,” he said. Lira recommends Parents as Teachers to any family with a young child because it provides an expert source of parenting tools and knowledge. “If I need legal advice, I get a lawyer. If I need parenting advice, why not seek a parenting expert?” 

Lira said. The family also appreciates the convenience of the program. “Parents as Teachers comes to you and works with your schedule,” he said.

The Liras want the transition from home to kindergarten to be as smooth and easy as possible for Penelope and Rendon. With the tools and information they receive from PAT, Traci and Pino are confident that they are providing their kids with the knowledge and experiences they need to grow, learn, and succeed in school later on.  

Parents as Teachers is a free home visiting program for families with children ages prenatal to five years, available in both Spanish and English. For more information about the program or to enroll, please call Arizona’s Children Association at (928) 443– 1991 X 2021.

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