Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Our long planned for and much awaited HIPPY*VISTA initiative is coming into full swing! New VISTA members Luis Rocha, Cherri Dehart and Amanda Sims went to Preservice Orientation in Albuquerque and then started as VISTA members at their sites on Monday February 16th. They have hit the ground running, with meetings at their sites, getting to know their host organizations and settling in to their new assignment. Luis Rocha will be working statewide, supporting the overall development and expansion of HIPPY in Texas, he is placed here in our office (Texas HIPPY Center, UNT). Cherri Dehart is working to bring HIPPY to the Maypearl / Venus / Grandview areas, and is located at Lorene S. Kirkpatrick Elementary School in Maypearl. Amanda Sims is housed on campus at the University of North Texas in Denton, and is focused on bringing HIPPY back to the Denton area. I think the most excited member of the HIPPY*VISTA team is Sarah Thorne, who started as a member back in August, and finally has colleagues to work with! Follow the challenges and victories of our newest team on the HIPPY*VISTA blog: http://texashippyvista.blogspot.com/

Our program was highlighted in a recent Dallas Morning News article on news that President Obama signed the Serve America Act into law:


Wednesday, April 22, 2009


HIPPY was featured on the news, Univision here in Dallas (link below). We've received a wave of emails and phone calls from parents following the story! Many people have been connected with their local HIPPY site. It's always disappointing to tell parents that we don't have a program in their area. For those parents I've sent them a packet of information to share with their local principal or school district.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Where are they now?

Gina helped us out on the HIPPY USA video production whenshe was HIPPY Grand Prairie Corodinator

Those of you who are "insiders" here in Texas HIPPY may be wondering about some of the friends we've made along the way who are no longer with the HIPPY program, where are they now?

  • Joe G. who was a coordinator in Irving HIPPY, is now a teacher at Everman ISD--first grade I think! He's still big into kickboxing but goes easy on the kids!

  • Alicia Yaliweisei, was a Dallas HIPPY coordinator and is now assistant principal in a Dallas elementary school

  • Gina E. who was a coordinator in Dallas HIPPY, then moved to Grand Prairie and started HIPPY there is now an assistant principal in Eisenhower Elem, GPISD. She still has HIPPY in her heart, and in her school.

  • Irma V. who was a Dallas HIPPY Coordinator and retired several years ago is still working along with her husband Roberto in education. They mentor teachers, consult on projects, are active in their church. We are happy to welcome Irma back to HIPPY as an advisor in the Dallas HIPPY Board of Friends!

  • Melanie W.M., Austin HIPPY Coordinator, now works for another Austin non profit organization that works with parents of young children. She and her family recent downsized to a smaller house in Austin in a new development where houses were built to be very energy efficient and green.
Wishing you all the very best! Thanks for supporting HIPPY!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Effects of HIPPY on Pre K Students

One of our HIPPY Graduates, Lluvia from Richardson ISD HIPPY

Part of our internal collaborations within the University of North Texas includes providing graduate students with the opportunity to conduct evaluation on the HIPPY program. Recently Veronica Martinez-Cantu, completed her Master's Thesis in Sociology, December 2007. She completed an independent study with Dr. Angela Nievar of UNT College of Education, and now works at Dallas ISD in the Research and Evaluation Department.

Together with Dr. Angela Nievar, Veronica completed an evaluation of HIPPY children in Pre-K. They have been accepted to present findings to the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference. Below are some excerpts of their findings:

"Early childhood intervention programs in this study are significant predictors of reading scores for low-income bilingual students. More specifically, participation in the HIPPY program predicted significantly higher reading scores; there were no effects for students who participated only in prekindergarten. This may suggest that the parental involvement curriculum in HIPPY programs helps bilingual students to overcome the barriers they face when ecological factors are in place, supporting the theory of developmental contextualism (Lerner, 1991)."


"It was of particular interest that prekindergarten alone was not an effective intervention for this group. The HIPPY program predicted higher scores on TAKS reading when combined with prekindergarten. A test of the HIPPY program, including students who were only in HIPPY and in both groups, was also significant."

It makes so much sense to me that HIPPY children in Pre-K do even better than their peers. That first year of school is such a huge transition for children. If they enter school well prepared, with parents who clearly understand their role and how to support their child's education, they are able to fully benefit from high quality classroom experiences. The evidence is clear...children need both quality pre-school classroom experience AND support at home!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Laredo HIPPY Closing

Families celebrating the completion of the 2nd year of HIPPY in Laredo
Unfortunately, a sad announcement to make about Laredo HIPPY. Due to unexpected lack of funding this year the program will not be able to continue into the third year as planned. We are saddened with this abrupt change in plans. Unfortunately, this is happening in a community that needs it the most--in the outlying colonias of Laredo (Rio Bravo and El Cenizo). We would like to thank the Laredo Community Foundation, Texas A&M International University and the many parents, home visitors, school staff and others that made HIPPY such a success for 2 years. We hope that future education funding can make HIPPY possible in Laredo again. I wish Esther Hernandez and all the wonderful people we met in Laredo the very best.