The hallmark of Porter-Leath’s Cornerstone program is the connection that parents and families have with their parent educator. Each parent educator has a caseload of 20 families who receive personalized check-in meetings. Families also enroll knowing that they can contact their parent educator at any time with a question or need that may arise between meetings.
Porter-Leath parent educators transformed their services during the pandemic, while keeping an eye on their goal of preparing caregivers to raise strong families. The check-ins moved online or over the phone, and monthly group connection meetings continue with a few twists!
Through their virtual visits, parent educators discovered families’ need for social interaction and preschool or kindergarten readiness tools for their children. This September, the Cornerstone program hosted a Drive-Thru Group Connection Parade. “The event helped us formally meet families that enrolled during the pandemic and to see and maintain a connection with our families who have been in the program over the last year or so,” reflected Kim Thomas, Cornerstone Supervisor.
Parent Educator, Yolanda Touray (Right), and
Cornerstone Supervisor, Kim Thomas (Left)
await families for their first drive-thru event.
During the drive-thru event parent educators had a quick, face-to-face greeting and provided the families with tools and resources from their evidence-based curriculum, Parents as Teachers. They shared information like ways to keep families healthy through nutritious meals and tips for how to create age specific routines for their children.
Porter-Leath also gave each child under 5 years old tangible items so caregivers could enhance their parent-child interactions at home and help the child reach developmental milestones in four key areas: cognitive, social-emotional, language and motor skills. For example, children six months and younger received soft washable books, wrist rattles, mats for tummy time, while two and three year old children received lacing/ threading toys, and doodle boards to practice their fine motor skills through writing and drawing.
The parade garnered such positive feedback that the parent educators hosted another drive-thru event in October. Rather than have parents or children wear costumes for halloween, the parent educators greeted families as their favorite children’s book characters and shared information on early childhood literacy. Families had a blast trying to guess the characters and hearing more about the key messages from each educator’s chosen book!
Parent Educator, Angela Lee dressed up for
her families as her favorite children’s book,
Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs by David Soman and Jacky Davis!