Thursday, October 09, 2008


We’ve been investing some time in overhauling our training and technical assistance services we provide to our HIPPY sites. We're begining to see the effects of implementing our new training modules and getting great feedback from coordinators and home instructors. It's exciting to see our plans come to fruition. We began with a daylong meeting in with IDRA (Intercultural Development Research Association), two of our HIPPY Coordinators (Yolanda Smith and Marcela Montes) and ourselves (Keisha, Carla, David) to develop a training and technical assistance plan for the next few years. This is the 10th year of Texas HIPPY and over that time we’ve developed multiple training materials, resources and kits. These materials have been rolled out periodically and we’ve made some of them available on our website. We realized that we don’t need any more resource materials. What we needed was to connect the dots between what we're already doing and already have. Therefore we developed a comprehensive plan on how and when to use our resources, materials and opportunities effectively. We've developed a developmental model of “talent management” (the human resources buzzword to describe everything from recruitment, training, coaching and supervision). Our home visitors are on a 3 year cycle. They start with a nervous excitement, eager to learn and understand how this new work is to be done. That’s the “LEARN” phase and our focus will be to provide them with the start up tools they need to successfully work with families, schools and each other. Once they are comfortable in their skills, we need to move them into the “LEAD” stage. This is where they can begin to work smarter, more efficiently and grow into their strength and expertise. Before transitioning them out of HIPPY we hope to get them to the “SERVE” stage in which they reinvest their strengths and talents back into the program. At this stage they are asked to mentor others and take on special projects. LEARN * LEAD * SERVE: a three stage model of successful talent management!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Texas HIPPY = University of North Texas+AmeriCorps+Meadows Foundation

Whenever I have to introduce myself I usually say “I’m Carla Weir, the director of the Texas HIPPY Center. We’re an AmeriCorps funded project. I’m on staff at the University of North Texas and housed at the Meadow’s Foundation Executive Suites”. This usually registers a flicker of confusion and eventually I’ll have to give a deeper explanation. Here’s that explanation. HIPPY is a national and international program model that is implemented by a sponsoring agency such as a school district or non-profit organization. Texas HIPPY is the training and technical assistance office for the 9 HIPPY sites in Texas and is sponsored by the University of North Texas which is in Denton, TX. Our primary source of funding is from AmeriCorps. Our little 4 person office is not housed at the University. We have been generously provided office space by the Meadow’s Foundation Executive Suites where we’re co-housed with other small non-profit operations. This all goes to show how complicated and seemingly fragile non-profit programming is! It's no wonder my Dad always says "Honey, I’ll never understand how all that works….”