Clinton School student Laura Crosby (‘13) partnered with Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY USA) to determine the feasibility of creating a home visitation program to give parents of kindergarten to third-grade students the skills and knowledge to support their child’s literacy development.
HIPPY is an evidence-based program that strengthens communities and families by empowering parents to actively prepare their three to five-year-old children for success in school.
Crosby researched the need for family literacy programs and the scope of the problem at a national level. She interviewed key stakeholders across the country, analyzed literacy research and studied current literacy programs to determine the feasibility of using HIPPY’s home visitation model to develop a family literacy program for elementary age children.
“We are very excited about the collaboration between HIPPY and the Clinton School of Public Service,” said Lia Lent, executive director of HIPPY USA. “It was a great opportunity to have someone take an in depth look at how HIPPY could expand its work to support the national push for grade-level reading.”
HIPPY programs serve families from diverse ethnic and geographic groups across the nation, particularly those most at risk because of poverty, parents’ limited education and social isolation. Currently, 138 sites in 21 states and the District of Columbia are serving more than 15,000 children.
Research shows the importance of creating a home environment that promotes literacy activities. There is a need for a holistic approach to literacy instruction that empowers parents as partners with schools.
“As I was conducting the research, I was amazed by the number of students who are entering fourth grade unable to read for comprehension,” Crosby said. “This project provided me an opportunity to work with a great organization while applying the Clinton School curriculum to an issue of national importance.”
Crosby completed the project as part of the Clinton School Capstone program, the last of three public service projects in the Master of Public Service degree program.
For more information about HIPPY, visit their website: www.hippyusa.org.