Young Children Graduate from Literacy Program

Young Children Graduate from Local Literacy Program

 On May 24th 13 local four-year-olds experienced their first graduation
ceremony, through their participation in the Parent Child Home Program.
For two school years these children and their parents/caregivers received
new books and toys from their friendly home visitors.  Together they worked
at building early literacy skills.  Child Care of the Berkshires has been offering
the Parent Child Home Program to families in Northern Berkshire County for
the past 12 years.

The Parent Child Home Program is a national program that has been proven
to be effective in helping children get ready for school and even increasing high
school graduation rates.  The Parent Child Home Program offers families two home
visits each week for two years.  At these visits, trained home visitors model for parents
how to use books and toys in ways that increase children’s literacy, prepare children for
school and increase positive parent-child interactions.  At the first visit of each week the
home visitors models how to read the book and how to expand on the book in interactions
that relate it to the child’s world.

At this year ‘s graduation, Child Care of the Berkshires asked Ty Allan Jackson, a local author
of the children’s book When I Close my Eyes and founder of Big Head Books publishing,
to come and read his book to the children and their families.  Each child who graduated
received a free copy of the book which they could have autographed as well as a graduation
medal, cap, and certificate.  Families enjoyed watching their children be presented with
their medals.  Gretchen Wells, the Parent Child Home Program Specialist, commented
on the large group this year. “It is wonderful to see so many family members come out
to celebrate their children’s early success.  We are hopeful that this is the first of many
graduations to come.”

One of the parents of a recent PCHP graduate, stated on the end of year evaluation form,
that her home visitor worked well with all of her kids at each visit, she offered support
and she was very flexible around mom’s busy schedule.  Another parent stated that her
daughter learned so much and now she loves to read.  Laurie Hall, a long term home
visitor for the program says that she continues to visit families because she loves sharing
the fun and excitement of learning and reading with families.
To find out more about the Parent Child Home Program in Northern Berkshire County
call 413-664-4821.  Children begin the program between the ages of 18- 36 months.
Please call for more information