Saturday, April 01, 2006

Parents gain the skills to teach their toddlers

These folks are helping immigrant parents at the same time as they help the pre-schoolers. This way the kids will do much better in school. DP

By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer

Philadelphia Inquirer : Myrna Ayala arrives at the address of her next client: A homeless shelter, deep in North Philadelphia.

"Hola," Ayala says to Cynthia Roman, 22, as she enters a small sitting room. Roman is on a couch, her 6-week-old son, Xavier Santos Vargas, by her side in a rocking seat. Her 17-month-old daughter, Diamond Beltram-Lex, is scampering about the room in Dora the Explorer slippers.

Roman gets the book Ayala brought to her daughter during last week's visit and Ayala begins paging through it with Diamond, as Roman looks on.

"The riders on the bus go bumpety, bumpety, bump," Ayala sings, gently pulling Diamond's arm to show the motion.

School is in session.

Not just for Diamond.

But for her mom, as well.

The Philadelphia School District launched a new home-based program in January to educate low-income parents - whose children likely would get no preschool experience otherwise - on how best to help their toddlers learn the early essentials that will make them successful in school.

Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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