Seventy preschoolers graduated from Milwaukee’s HIPPY program on Saturday, May 16th at Milwaukee Public Library – Centennial Hall. HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) is an internationally known early literacy and parental engagement program for children provided by COA in partnership with The Parenting Network. The event included a graduation ceremony for families completing year three of the program, a musical performance and the presentation of the HIPPY Champion award, honoring longtime HIPPY volunteer Margie Margolies.
“Our aim with HIPPY is two-fold,” said Jessica Namaste, HIPPY Program Director. “The first is to make sure that kids have developed the foundational skills that will allow them to succeed once they enter elementary school. The second is to enable and support parents to become their child’s first and most important teacher,” said Namaste.
The program utilizes a peer-to-peer model to deliver 30-weeks of curriculum through home visits for parents of children ages three to five years. HIPPY establishes a daily “habit” of parental involvement in education through age-appropriate books, structured learning activities, and behavior modeling.
HIPPY is an evidence-based program that has demonstrated significant, positive effects on academic achievement in Milwaukee and nationally. A study done by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee showed that 73% of HIPPY students in 1st grade were proficient in reading, compared to 48% of students district-wide.
In its 17th year in Milwaukee, HIPPY began at COA in 1998 in partnership with National Council of Jewish Women – Milwaukee Section with 18 families enrolled. HIPPY now serves approximately 300 families each year and continues to grow.
To view photos from the event, click here.