Woodstock Community Unit School District 200’s Celebrate Families Birth to 3 parenting program has been recognized with a Blue Ribbon awarded by a national organization that promotes early development education by supporting parents in their communities.
Parents as Teachers, Inc., based in St. Louis, designated the team at Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center as exemplary in following its evidence-based early intervention model to prepare children for a better start in life and greater eventual success in school.
District 200’s Celebrate Families Birth to Three team identifies parents who could use extra support for a variety of reasons. Some are young mothers or have children with developmental delays or disabilities.
Team members visit families in their homes about once each week. They also host activities and events at VDELC to help maintain connections and help families secure the resources they may need. There’s an emphasis on a parent as a child’s first teacher, increasing parents’ knowledge of early childhood development and best parenting practices.
District 200’s Birth to 3 team is made up of Kristin Baldwin, supervisor of direct services, and home visitors Olivia Hunt, Rosemary Ruiz and Kate Silker, and is ultimately supervised by VDELC Assistant Principal Suzanne Evenson.
“We’re really proud of our team’s hard work and their dedication to our children and families. We know how important it is for children to get off to a great start so they will be ready and eager to learn by the time they’re in our school buildings,” VDELC Principal Tricia Bogott said.
In order to qualify for Blue Ribbon status, the VDELC team underwent a rigorous self-study and review process from the National Parents as Teachers organization starting last October meeting several standards throughout that process.
Baldwin said her team currently serves 24 families and worked with 40 children last year. They are still enrolling new children into the program.
“I’m so proud of the team that I work with. It took many hours of hard work, collecting documentation and participating in interviews with the PAT National Center to ensure that at least 80% of the 81 PAT Quality Standards were met. We are proud to be a Blue Ribbon Affiliate providing quality services to the families in Woodstock,” she said.
More information about Celebrate Families can be found here..