Saturday, May 26, 2007

Celebration Season

Maya and Miguel were special guests
at Weiss Elementary as well as other schools in Dallas and Richardson!

Irving Mayor Herbert Gears handing out books
donated by Allstate Insurance to HIPPY Children at the end of year celebration, Irving ISD

It's the time of year in which HIPPY programs all over Texas celebrate the completion of the 30 week curriculum with their families. I had the pleasure of attending several celebrations in the Dallas area. Each one is unique and yet they each.....

  • honor parents and children for their hard work
  • recognize the home visitors for keeping families in the program for the full cycle

  • give parents the opportunity to begin celebrating their child's educational accomplishments
I remember our very first HIPPY celebration. It was the summer of 1988 and we had a picnic at a park in West Dallas. Ricardo and some of the dads fired up the bbq, and parents brought side dishes to share. We had cake and a clown and a photographer. We handed out certificates and then enjoyed a picnic lunch in the blistering heat of a Dallas summer.

Little did I know that 20 YEARS later I would still be involved with this program, and that those 15 families served has grown to 750 families this year and over 17,000 families over the course of 20 years! I am humbled and honored to still be involved in HIPPY and will do everything I can to bring it to more and more families and communities in Texas.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Laredo Launch Year!

Martha and her daughter, during a home visit in Colonia Rio Bravo
I had a chance to see Laredo HIPPY again last week. It was a treat to get to visit with some parents and children both in home visits as well as a meeting at the school. Over 30 parents and their children will be celebrating the completion of the 30 week curriculum cycle! The first year is always an accomplishment!
Many thanks go out to everyone who launched Laredo HIPPY this year! Gracias mil to:
  • The Laredo Foundation
  • Texas A&M International University
  • DD Hachar Foundation
  • United ISD
  • Intercultural Development Research Association

There were many people at each of these organizations who worked countless hours and took a personal interest in the project. We look forward to continuing our work together and bringing HIPPY to many more families in the Laredo area.

Friday, May 18, 2007

El Salvador this Summer!

Snack time at the Montessori Preschool

I have been invited to El Salvador this summer to provide training and technical assistance to HIPPY El Salvador. The project is in collaboration with the Hilda Rothschild Foundation and supports a women's cooperative, a Montessori Preschool and the HIPPY program in a small village approximately 1 hour from San Salvador. I will be posting more information on the project as I get it. For information on the projects of the Hilda Rothschild Foundation in El Salvador see

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

N is for New Grant!

We got the good news that our AmeriCorps proposal was granted for a 3 year period! Congratulations to us!

This means that we have three more years of funding to implement the AmeriCorps model of community service onto the HIPPY model of Parent Involvement and School Readiness. We will have 52 AmeriCorps Members serving in 10 communities across the state. They will be bringing HIPPY to 15-20 families each week, and challenging those parents to not only work with their own child daily but to give back to their communities by volunteering in their child's school.

We're proud to have been selected again, and to be able to continue this work in the community. Thanks to everyone who assisted with the grant proposal and to all the HIPPY Coordinators, Home Visitors, Parents and Children for making us look great!

Friday, May 11, 2007

DVD is in!

(Gina during the filming process!)

The new HIPPY USA DVD I helped work on is in! Featured HIPPY Texans are Gina Esparza, HIPPY Coordinator Administrator from Grand Prairie; Marsela Montes, Irving HIPPY Coordinator, and parents Maria Laguna and Susan Martinez from Irving HIPPY, along with their ADORABLE children....

We're really excited to have had the opportunity to highlight some of our Texas HIPPY programs and families in the new HIPPY USA video. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of identifying families and coordinators and then interviewing them.

This video will be used to make presentations on HIPPY to staff, home visitors, funders, stakeholders and others. We're excited to have this new tool to work with.