Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Austin HIPPY Closes

Melanie Walter Mahoney, Texas HIPPY Rally 2008

It's never easy when a program closes, especially when it has been serving families successfully for over 15 years! It is with sadness I share the letter, below, I received from our Austin HIPPY Coordinator, Melanie Walter Mahoney. We have hopes that Austin HIPPY will return, and will be working diligently to make it happen!
Dear HIPPY Advisors and Friends-

Since 1991 HIPPY has been a program of Communities In Schools of Central Texas, serving families of Austin's young children' through home visitation with the goals of school readiness and parental involvement in children's education. As of 8/31/08, HIPPY will no longer be a program of CIS due to funding challenges for the past 5 years when Child Protective Services cut funding for its Prevention and Early Intervention Programs statewide in order to balance its budget, as all State agencies were mandated by the Legislature to do. I am writing to you to ask for your sage advice and help. Communities In Schools is looking for another organization to adopt HIPPY in Austin, perhaps an organization that works with parents of young children with funding for that purpose. Most HIPPY programs around Texas and the United States are parts of school districts and receive Title I funding, which is used in Austin to pay for parent support specialists in the schools. I ask that each of you please think about the organizations you are involved with and whether HIPPY might be a possible fit with them, including organizations with which you volunteer, and let me know of any thoughts that you have. HIPPY supporters will also be visiting representatives at the Capitol again to educate them regarding the need for funding from the next legislative session. If you need more information about HIPPY please refer to http://www.hippyusa.org/ or www.unt.edu/hippy. I do look forward to hearing from you.
Best regards, Melanie

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