Thirty-six children aged three to five walked across the “stage” at Bethany United Church on Friday, May 31, as they graduated from the Home Instructions for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Program with their families. After the distribution of certificates, the children had fun taking part in activities like face painting, henna application and making shapes with balloons.
Over 30 weeks, volunteers delivered books and high-quality curriculum activities to participants’ homes. Parents, primarily mothers, then spent 15-20 minutes a day with their children, reading the books and working on curriculum. The program provides parents of children age 3-5, with structured lessons and practical information that enables them to gain confidence in their own capacity to help prepare their children for entering school with the skills required for success. At the same time the program also provides newcomer parents with information that helps reduce cultural barriers, informs participants of other services in the community, raises awareness of “how things work” in Canada (with a particular emphasis on school), settlement stress, parenting in Canada, and encourages newcomer parents to participate actively in their community and school.
Congratulations to all graduates!