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‘Parents as Teacher’ Program Receives National Recognition

MOUNDSVILLE — The local chapter of the Parents As Teachers program has been recognized as one of the top-performing home visiting affiliates within the international network.

The Parents As Teachers program includes home visits, group connections, child screening, and connections to community resources, as well as offering knowledge and resources to parents to prepare children for success in life and school.

Currently, the program assists 15 families and 23 children across Marshall County.

On Thursday, the Marshall County chapter was recognized as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate by the Parents as Teachers National Center Inc., identifying the county’s branch as a high-quality member of the home visiting field.

Parent Educator Supervisor Wendy Robinson said the program was greatly beneficial for local families, and that it was an honor to be recognized.

“This program is amazing,” she said. “We get to watch entire families thrive. The Blue Ribbon status is an amazing tribute that would not be possible without our fabulous families, staff, and support from the Marshall County Family Resource Network.”

Robinson said Friday that the PAT program goes through great lengths to assist families. While prospective families must have a child prenatal through kindergarten aged, there are no income requirements, and other children who are outside the age range are included as well — no sibling gets left behind.

“When a child is born, the brain is the only internal organ that is not fully developed. … We give activities to the parents to help with brain development, and we also do developmental pairing, which is help in the areas that everyone needs, but nobody knows who to reach for — nutrition, transitions, any type of question you can have about parenting, we have the research at our fingertips.

“Research has shown that everything that happens in a home affects the child. If a parent is out of a job, we can get referrals and resources to help them. Homelessness, drug addiction, COVID, health issues, anything to help the parents and families to become more stable.”

Robinson added that the Blue Ribbon recognition indicates that West Virginia is leading the pack in how it approaches the PAT program, which has outreach efforts internationally. Meeting the qualifications for the Blue Ribbon recognition, she said, involved meeting 110 different qualifications across a two-year process.

These qualifications include conducting numerous screenings, completing 75 percent of scheduled home visits, and providing a number of group connections among different commonalities within a yearly period, Robinson said.

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