Isabel: “My Child Wanted to Explore More and More”

Welcome to our new blog!

This first post is the beginning of a project by TexProtects to better communicate our mission to the public. We’ve named it “Champions,” in keeping with our mission to be “Champions for Safe Children.

TexProtects was created in 2004 with a mission to prevent child abuse and neglect, especially via family support home visiting programs, the only evidence-based method shown to prevent child maltreatment through strengthening family resiliency.

We will do this by telling home visiting success stories – spotlighting families that have been helped by inviting nurses, social workers and other support specialists into their homes for mentorship in parenting skills. Sometimes we’ll do it writing, other times with video, and whatever other engaging storytelling methods we can produce. Expect to see new stories every month or so, plus other news related to prevention and home visiting.

For more about home visiting, click here. If you’re a Texas home visiting provider, please get involved with the Texas Home Visiting Consortium.

For this first installment, we present Isabel Garcia* and family, beneficiaries of the Born Learning Parent Engagement program by ChildCareGroup in Dallas.

*name changed to protect privacy

Isabel: “My Child Wanted to Explore More and More”

Isabel Garcia knew education is valuable. She knew it long before she had ever heard of home visiting.

What she wasn’t sure about was how to unlock the promise that education holds … how to spark her child’s mind and light the flame.

And then she discovered the Born Learning Parent Engagement Program, a home visiting program offered by ChildCareGroup. She enrolled in the program, which uses the Parents As Teachers curriculum, in 2013 out of love of her child, but quickly found out: Home visiting is about the whole family. Isabel was born to learn, as well.

“I liked it because the teacher involved the whole family: the child, the siblings, the father and myself,” Isabel says. “We all learned to read and enjoy cultural visits together as a family.

“When the teacher arrived to the house and I saw how she worked with us and how my child was learning, I was even more motivated. Then, the progress started. My child wanted to explore more and more. I liked it because the teacher worked hard and brought more activities when the child attained some milestone. More activities encouraged the child to learn even more.

“My child learned a lot during these past four years. Also, my family has grown culturally because we had the opportunity to enjoy museums. We used to think that it was more interesting going to the mall or the movies. We used to buy toys, sometimes too expensive, that did not teach anything as well. We learned to invest in educational toys and to create art. We saw in the museums that you can create by using recycled materials. We learned to spend more time together as a family and value everything nature gives us. Furthermore, we learned to create a healthy environment for our children.”

“[Isabel] is very involved in her children’s education and development,” says PAT Parent Educator Martha Hernandez. “I have encouraged her to be an active parent, volunteer in school and get to know the teachers. Isabel is volunteering often in the children’s school. Her children are doing very well in school because of their mother’s involvement and interaction.”

“Through the years, I discovered that the family education has helped us accomplish our goals, such as buying a house and saving for a new car,” says Isabel.

“I would like to say that we were very fortunate because the first teacher we had, Roseane, worked very hard for us. She was very dedicated to our family, beyond what was required of her as a teacher, and she is an excellent person. She always encouraged us to do better. She had all our trust.”

Fortunately for Isabel, PAT is more than a single teacher – it is a strong program that can deliver continuity of services.

“When we found out [PAT] was going to change the teacher, we already trusted the program, so we were confident we would have another great teacher,” says Isabel. “We were not disappointed because Ms. Hernandez has made us feel that this is more than just a program. She has gained our trust as well.

“Now our future vision is wider and we have more desire to learn and plan the academic future of our three children. I know her focus was the youngest child but she brought many community resources for the other children to continue their academic growth.

“My child is now 4 and half years and very independent, with great values and great academic skills as well as social and emotional stability,” concludes Isabel. “We have family goals and higher expectations. We are very grateful to the program because of the basic support it gave us. I only want to say ‘thank you’ for investing [in] my child, on his professional future so he can pay back the community with his values and skills. The same I can say about our family. Thank you very much. God bless you!”

Parents as Teachers promotes the optimal early development, learning and health of young children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers. PAT advances the delivery of high quality services for families through a comprehensive system of supports and innovative solutions. To learn more, visit parentsasteachers.org.

To learn more about TexProtects’ mission to promote and expand home visiting in Texas, visit www.texprotects.org/TXhomevisiting/.

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