2009-05-21 / Local & State

TIU 11 Parent Child Home Program

Soaring to success through books and play
SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

Pictured above are some of the 2-year-old and 3-year-old TIU #11 Parent Child Home Program participants who recently celebrated the program's success and graduation of the 3-year-olds. Pictured above are some of the 2-year-old and 3-year-old TIU #11 Parent Child Home Program participants who recently celebrated the program's success and graduation of the 3-year-olds. Last Wednesday evening, officials with the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11 Parent Child Home Program gathered at the Moose Family Center with area parents and children to celebrate the success of their 2-year-old participants as well as the graduation of their 3-year -olds.

The TIU 11 Parent Child Home Program, according to program coordinator Angie Nearhood, is a literacy-based home visiting program for children ages between the ages of 2 and 3 years. Trained home visitors meet with families twice a week for half-hour visits.

Families receive a free book or toy each week. In play sessions with the parent and child, the books and toys are utilized to show how children can learn from them, said Nearhood. Home visitors also help the parent realize their role as their child's first and most important teacher. Home visits are scheduled at the convenience of the parent so that parents who are working, in school or attending training programs can participate.

The program emphasizes the importance of reading, playing, speaking and listening with your child. Nearhood stated studies have shown that parents involved in the Parent Child Home Program (PCHP) have a more language rich home environment and this contributes directly to their child's school success. PCHP participants score better on school readiness measures than children from similar backgrounds and more than 80 percent of PCHP child participants graduate from high school.

Children can be enrolled in the program for two years. During the first year in the program they need to be 2 years or turning 2o years old by December of that year. In the second year of enrollment, they turn 3 years of age. We encourage families to participate for both years to help their child benefit from the full potential of the program.

The program runs during the school year from October through May, with a summer break.

The TIU 11 PCHP program serves families in the Mifflin, Juniata and Fulton County areas. This year 60 families are being served in the three-county area. To be eligible for the program a family must have a child within the age requirements, and live in Mifflin, Juniata or Fulton counties.

Referrals for enrollment in the fall are currently being taken. If you are aware of a child who is 2 years old or will be turning 2 years old by December of 2009 or if you know of a 3-year-old not receiving early childhood services, you can get more information about the TIU 11 Parent Child Home Program by calling the TIU 11 Community Education Services at 717- 248-4942, extension 136, or 485-4998. Angel Knepper is Fulton County's home visitor.

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