USD #495 Parents As Teachers Program
As a parent, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. From the very beginning, you can shape your child’s future by providing a variety of experiences. Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a free family support program offered by USD #495. It begins with the prenatal stage and extends to five years of age.
Through PAT, parents gain knowledge and skills to make the most of the crucial early learning years. The program provides information on child development in language, cognitive skills, and motor development. It also helps to strengthen the relationship between the parent and child.
Valerie Marshall, currently in her 23rd year in this role, is our district’s PAT Coordinator/Parent Educator. She provides numerous services through PAT. Valerie makes personal home visits where she can assist in child development and help parents understand what to expect as a child grows and changes. She can provide practical suggestions for encouraging early learning and how to manage challenging behaviors. Valerie can provide children with periodic screenings that assess a child's overall development, as well as health, hearing, and vision screenings. She helps keep track of health issues and provides needed resources to families as well. PAT’s resources include a diaper bank, access to furniture, and assistance with applications towards food stamps, energy assistance, and TANF.
PAT also holds weekly group meetings allowing families to meet other parent’s in their child’s same age group. These meetings include time for parents and kids to get together to play and mingle. Family activities, as well as parent discussion groups, are held during this time as well.
Enrolling in Parents as Teachers is as easy as dialing Valerie's number. If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, please call 620-804-3336. Help give a child the best possible start in life and provide parents with support that is available!