Parents as Teachers (PAT) is an early childhood parent education and family support program, which also promotes and encourages early literacy. Personal home visits and virtual visits are at the heart of the Parents as Teachers program. The PAT program started in Franklinville in 2002. This program was formed by a committee of Franklinville citizens concerned about the high percentage of children entering Franklinville Elementary School unprepared for kindergarten.
Parent educators provide age-appropriate information, address parenting and caregiver needs and concerns, and engage the whole family in fun, nurturing activities. There are also group meetings for participating families; free developmental, health, vision, and hearing screenings for the children; and connections to area resources that support parents and caregivers on their demanding journey as their children’s first and most important teachers.
Director, Amanda Ratliff shares the successful Parents as Teachers (PAT) story of Jose’s graduation from Randolph Early College.
“Last Friday, Jose graduated from Randolph Early College with honors. He will enter the workforce as an electrician once he completes his licensure through RCC. Raquel, Jose’s mother, stopped me one day and wanted to know more about the PAT program. She had heard about the program from a neighbor and was VERY eager to do whatever possible to make sure that her son Jose had the best start possible in life. Jose was around 2 years old at the time and spoke no English. During home visits, Raquel would always scoot back the family’s coffee table in the living room to make space for us to sit together on the floor. She soaked up anything that she could to help Jose and always told me that one day she would see him graduate from college That day is here! Through the years, I have kept in close contact with Jose and Raquel as Jose has become almost like a son to me. I have watched him earn award after award from elementary school to middle school to now early college. Raquel texted me pictures a few years ago of Jose working on his homework with a flashlight because the family had lost power due to a storm that night. Raquel read to him throughout his early childhood years as well as did her very best to prepare him for school. The “odds” were stacked against Jose since the family struggled with economic resources as well as language and educational barriers. Raquel always told me that her children would be better than her and not have to work in hard labor jobs like her and her husband work. Watching Jose’s graduation last week was probably the most beautiful gift I have been given in my years of serving families. Jose will be 20 this Fall, and I could not be prouder of him and the man he is growing to be. His family sacrificed SO much for him to graduate and they never gave up. They taught me far more than I could ever hope to teach them and gave me the beautiful gift of inviting me into their parenting journey and story. Our children are worth it all!! Jose was the FIRST in his family to graduate high school and college!”