Parent Education & Interactive Literacy
The Parenting curriculum consists of 27 bilingual lessons which serve as the core of the AVANCE Parent-Child Education Program. Taught weekly over nine months, the comprehensive program includes an overview of parenting, family and early literacy, physical needs of young children, childhood illnesses, health and wellness, nutrition and young children, understanding children’s behavior, cognitive and language development, emotional and social needs of children, self-awareness and goal-setting, and prenatal and infant needs.
Every week at the close of the three hour class, parents and children come together for their Interactive Literacy Activity or Parent-Child Time Together. This component engages the parent and child in family literacy and play activities and uses the interaction as an opportunity for the parent to learn how to best help their child’s development, or how to foster early literacy in their child. Help is given to parents in understanding their child’s behavior and in modeling appropriate responses.
Educational Toy Making
Children learn through play and toys are the child’s primary tools for learning. For many children, toys are many times a luxury that parents cannot afford, and toys labeled as “educational” are usually more expensive than “regular” toys. In the educational toy making time of the class, parents are empowered to create toys that be used to engage their child in learning through play. Parents learn how to use playtime as an educational and bonding experience, and children feel affirmed and nurtured that their parents made them a gift with their very hands, and the important role of “parent as teacher” is affirmed.
Community Resource Speakers
Each week, professionals from the community join the class to offer information on a variety of topics, from family violence and prevention to financial literacy and life coping skills.
As documented by TexProtects, the Texas Association for the Protection of Children, some of Texas’ costliest social problems are rooted in early childhood. Quality, voluntary home visiting can reduce these problems, including low-weight births, emergency room visits, and children in the social welfare, mental health, which create considerable cost savings for taxpayers.
AVANCE offers home visitation services to all Parent-Child Education Program participants. The home visitations are filmed, so that the Home Educator can review the interactions with the parents, and offer specific feedback and new techniques for interaction. AVANCE places significant emphasis on respect and trust between the parent and AVANCE staff. Opening the home to the Home Educator helps the families to know they have a social support network of people who care about them.