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Parents As Teachers Earns Prestigious Award

Kim Richardson, Parents As Teachers

PAT Parent Educators: Kayla Hicks, Director Kim Richardson, Katie Shemwell, Sheri Ries, Stacey Miller, Tami Jansen, Bethany Blecha, Jaime Vaughn. (Not shown: Developmental Screener Kristen Bradley, and Program Secretary Peggy Steppleman)



Festus, Crystal City, Dunklin and Jefferson R-7 School District Endorsed Sites Demonstrate
High-Quality Implementation of Evidence-Based  Home Visiting


FESTUS, MO - Parents as Teachers serving the Festus, Crystal City, Dunklin and Jefferson R-7 school districts has earned a prestigious endorsement from the Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc., (PATNC) as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate, making it one of the top performing home visiting affiliates within the PATNC’s international network. 


Being named a Blue Ribbon Affiliate affirms that the Parents as Teachers program serving southern Jefferson County is a high-quality member of the  home visiting field, implementing the evidence-based Parents as Teachers model.  Families in the Festus, Crystal City, Dunklin and Jefferson R-7 community are positively impacted by the services delivered by this program.  “To earn the Blue Ribbon Affiliate status, we underwent a rigorous self-study and review  process from the National Center. The process confirms that we are meeting Parents as  Teachers’ standards of fidelity and quality,” said Kim Richardson, director of Parents as Teachers.  “Blue Ribbon Affiliates are exemplary programs, delivering highest quality services to children  and families.”


The program serves nearly 270 families in the four school district consortium, providing education to parents and children from before the children are born until they reach Kindergarten.  It equips parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children for a stronger start in life and greater success in school through  home visits, group connections, child screenings, and connections to community resources.  Clint Johnston, the Superintendent of the Jefferson R-7 School District says the work of the Parents as Teachers program has made a tremendous impact on the District.  “Research has proven that educational success begins long before a student reaches an age of attending school in kindergarten.  To be one of seven programs in the State to attain this Blue Ribbon Affiliation is a remarkable accomplishment impacting the four schools served within the consortium."


The quality of the program is reliant on a great staff using the tested curriculum to get the desired results.  This award is verification that the program is being implemented as designed.  “Designation as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Parents as Teacher staff,” said Dr Link Luttrell, Superintendent of the Festus R-6 School District.  “It is vital to reach children before they begin kindergarten to lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning.”   Dr. Clint Freeman, Superintendent of the Dunklin R-5 School District added, “It’s a great accomplishment for our districts and the PAT organization has made adjustments for COVID to keep working hard for our kids.”


Parents as Teachers’ rigorous  endorsement process demonstrates an affiliate's accountability and credibility to the community, its funders, elected officials, and the partner organizations with which they work.   Crystal City Superintendent Matt Holdinghausen sums it up nicely, "Parents as Teachers is an excellent organization that has helped us identify students for our early childhood program and our preschool.  All the awards they receive are well-deserved."