October 16, 2020— The DuPage Regional Office of Education (ROE) is pleased to announce their Parents as Teachers (PAT) program, which teaches parents to be their children’s first and best teacher, has been designated by the national Parents as Teachers organization as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate.
Affiliates with the Blue-Ribbon designation are recognized as being exemplary affiliates, delivering high-quality services to children and families, and meeting at least 75 percent of the national PAT Quality Standards.
“We are so proud of our DuPage County ROE PAT Program and how they are serving our county’s youngest residents from birth to 3 years old,” said Darlene Ruscitti, Regional Superintendent of DuPage County Schools. “While the national PAT program requires Quality Standards to reach 75 percent, our local PAT program achieved 95 percent, and they did it during a challenging time become of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Vickie Trotter, the DuPage County ROE PAT director, says this Blue-Ribbon designation is more than just words on a certificate. “Being recognized in this way provides assurance to our stakeholders that our program is a wise investment and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing first-rate services to the parents and children of DuPage County,” Trotter said.
The DuPage County ROE PAT is currently partnering with 11 school districts to provide services to families with children from birth to 3 years old. “Our goal is to ensure families thrive—and children are safe, healthy, and ready to learn when they start school,” explains Trotter.
Parent Educators visit qualifying families two times per month (currently virtually), connecting families to concrete support in times of need, teaching them how to develop strong parent-child bonds, and offering child development screenings. Monthly group connections and age-appropriate book distribution are also important parts of their program.
“Our Parent Educators are vital to the success of the program. They work tirelessly for the children of DuPage County,” Trotter said.
About Parents as Teachers
Parents as Teachers, a national organization, was developed in 1981 as a pilot project for first-time parents of newborns in Missouri. Educators had noticed that children were beginning kindergarten with varying degrees of readiness, so early childhood professionals suggested a program that would provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues, as well as parent education to help parents understand their role in encouraging their child’s development. Since 1985, Parents as Teachers has expanded to all 50 states and six other countries. Grounded in the latest research, Parents as Teachers develops curricula that support a parent’s role in promoting school readiness and healthy development of children. For more information, visit ParentsAsTeachers.org.