SARASOTA, FL – The Annette J. Hagens Memorial Foundation recently awarded a grant of $1,500 to Safe Children Coalition for its HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) program. Since 1992, the HIPPY program has assisted parents in providing educational enrichment for their preschool-aged child(ren).
The program supports parents who may not feel sufficiently confident to prepare their children for school, and is designed to remove barriers to participation in education. By bolstering parents in their role as their child’s first and most important teacher, HIPPY strives to ensure children are kindergarten-ready, thereby increasing their success in school and, ultimately, in life.
Since preschool may not be an option for every child, this program works to prepare youngsters ages 2-5 for a successful path to education. HIPPY is offered free of charge to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged and at-risk youth and families in our community. Currently, 200 children and parents are being served through the HIPPY program.
“We are very grateful for the support of the Annette J. Hagens Memorial Foundation for our HIPPY program,” said SCC president and CEO Brena Slater. “Thanks to this investment, our organization can continue to furnish area parents with the tools and resources to become more confident in providing educational enrichment, and ensure their child(ren) will be kindergarten-ready.”
Overwhelming poverty is a risk factor faced by all HIPPY participants. To qualify for the program, all HIPPY families must be eligible for TANF, a government assistance program designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency. Currently, 97% of HIPPY families – many with four or more family members – are living well below the poverty line, with an annual household income of less than $30,000. Childhood poverty is associated with higher rates of academic failure, grade retention, school dropouts, teen parenthood, smoking and illegal drug use. Children growing up in poverty are also more likely to have employment difficulties as adults; however, research shows that these outcomes are preventable with the support of early intervention programs such as HIPPY.
For more about Safe Children Coalition, visit sccfl.org.
About Safe Children Coalition, Inc.
Safe Children Coalition, Inc. (SCC) serves as the lead agency for community-based care for Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. SCC is a collaboration between local community agencies who provide services to children and families in need. SCC is committed to protecting children, strengthening families, and building community. The core functions provided by SCC include child welfare case management, foster care, adoption, independent living, prevention, diversion, quality management, and support services. Visit sccfl.org or call 941-371-4799.