Photo courtesy United Way of El Paso County
Monday afternoon, officials with United Way of El Paso County announced that the organization has received a Blue Ribbon honor as a Parents as Teachers affiliate from the Parents as Teachers National Center.
“The Parents as Teachers program is one of our United Way’s signature programs which has proven to help families grow stronger,” said Deborah A. Zuloaga, president and CEO of United Way. “As a Blue Ribbon recipient, we’re proud to continue upholding this high standard and helping parents and their children throughout the borderland thrive.”
The Blue Ribbon is awarded as part of their Quality Endorsement and Improvement Process to affiliates that exceed in performance and fidelity.
Officials share that United Way of El Paso County has been a Parents as Teachers affiliate since 2014 thanks to funding from the Project Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support (HOPES) and Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) through the One Star Foundation, which supports AmeriCorps members. Last year, the Parents as Teachers Affiliate conducted 4,336 home visits and served more than 600 children.
The Parents as Teachers program is an evidence-based, home visitation program that helps parents of young children become their children’s first and most valuable teachers. The program assists in the areas of child development and school readiness, to help prepare children for a lifetime of success.
HOPES and AmeriCorps Parent Educators help parents through personal visits and child screenings, and provide them with resources and networks that help ensure their children meet important developmental milestones. Parents and caregivers interested in participating in the free program must live in El Paso and have a child between the ages of 0 and 5.
The Parents as Teachers National Center gives Blue Ribbon awards to affiliates that uphold the highest level of quality for participants in the program.
To earn this award, affiliates must complete a comprehensive self-study and review process that ensures they are meeting or exceeding the Essential Requirements of the Parents as Teachers program, meeting at least 75 of the 100 Quality Standards set in place by the Parents as Teachers National Center.
As part of maintaining these high standards, our parent educators have been working to continue to assist parents and their children in a virtual environment, adapting to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic so that parents and their children can still safely receive assistance.