Avance New Mexico
Commission AmeriCorps State FY 2011
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The AVANCE NM Parent/Child Education program is designed to help parents insure that their children ages birth to 5 years are ready for school. The target populations is primarily Hispanic families who live in rural and isolated areas, live well below the State and National poverty line, have low English proficiency skills, may or may not have a high school diploma or job, and have little or no access to pre-school and/or parenting education programs. The program expects to serve over 450 parents and children during the 2011-12 year. Parents attend 3- hour sessions once a week that include the following : 1st Hour) The Toy Story Project that teaches parents to construct toys that relate to books they will read to their children, 2nd Hour)Parent Education program that helps parents learn appropriate discipline, safety/health, and cognitive/social/emotional development, 3rd Hour)Self Investment program that helps parents learn life skills that relate to employment soft skills, money and time management, self-esteem, and other individual growth topics. While parents are in sessions, children are in structured child development classes. There are 24 sites at schools, community centers, agencies, and churches throughout rural Southern New Mexico. Each of 4 Teams go to 6 sites each week. Sixteen AmeriCorps members provide direct service to these families as Parent Educator and Child Development Interns. They facilitate parent and child development sessions, conduct home visits, and recruit participants and volunteers. In addition, as part of a team, members help to organize service days, family nights/fairs, and act as mentors to parents when needed. Members are supervised by Team Leaders. The success of the program will be evaluated by the progress that children make in social/emotional development and literacy improvement during the course of the program year in alignment with the National Performance Measurement-Education. Members will gain valuable experience that can lead to obtaining a Child Development Credential and/or college degree in Child Development or Child Family Life Specialist. AVANCE NM is an affiliate of the National AVANCE program and has been recognized by many national research projects as a model for improving literacy and graduation rates.