HIPPY changes families
The co-ordinator of a parenting programme says it is giving children in Tokoroa a better start to their education.
Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters ( HIPPY) helps low-income parents to prepare their four-and five-year-olds for school.
‘‘Some of these families are definitely having their lives turned around,’’ Tokoroa HIPPY coordinator Tania Ratu said. ‘‘ It teaches families how to learn together.’’
Mrs Ratu said the programme was about getting children to speak and share their ideas as well as give them new vocabulary for everyday life.
‘‘Most of all, parents are feeling a sense of empowerment towards their child’s education.’’
A stand-out example, she said, was of a mother of nine who did not think she needed HIPPY but decided to find out what it was about. She was now in the programme and said it had changed her parenting style.
‘‘There’s now a learning atmosphere in her home and she is amazed how much her youngest child is learning,’’ Mrs Ratu said.
But it is not just the children who benefit. ‘‘This time last year the room was empty, it was just me and now it’s full of people excited to do HIPPY,’’ she said.
‘‘Two mums who became tutors in Tokoroa had not completed any form of higher education but after working as a HIPPY tutor for other parents, one wants to study teaching and the other social work.’’
The programme involves parents and children working together for 15 minutes a day with story books, puzzles and learning games that help children become successful learners at school.