PAT Featured on ED.gov

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Parents as Teachers, otherwise known as PAT, was featured on ED.gov the website for the US Department of Education earlier this month! The article entitled "Parents As Teachers (PAT) Coordinator Offers Preschool Activity for Parents" was written by Erin Garner, a Parents as Teachers (PAT) Coordinator, in Leander, Texas.

It is great to see the PAT program getting this kind of exposure, especially since it is one of the types of programs that are federally funded which actually do save money for American taxpayers. The Perry Scope Preschool Project found that every dollar spent in early childhood education actually saves a little over 7 dollars in remedial educational services later on, which translates to a lot of money when you count those numbers for every child who enters kindergarten unprepared. In Utah, between 40 and 70 percent of kindergarten children are not well prepared for school according to a statewide survey of Utah kindergarten teachers.

PAT believes that education truly begins at home, and works to give parents the skills that they need to help their own children prepare for kindergarten. Ready!Set!School! is a project of Utah Parents as Teachers, and we recently sent out a questionnaire to kindergarten teachers of children who participated in our PAT program for at least one year prior to entering kindergarten. Over 70% of the children transitioning into kindergarten from our PAT program were ready, and most were in the top 1/3 of their class. The children who were not ready had come into our program with developmental delays.

In her article, Erin Garner outlines a way for parents to begin teaching their child letter recognition using the child's own first name. She says "Parents often ask me when is the right time to begin introducing letter recognition activities, what letters to start with, and how to go about teaching the ABCs in a meaningful and fun way.  I always suggest that parents start with what is important to their child…their name!"

To read the rest of this article, click this link to go to the US Department of Education's blog at ED.gov.