PICKENS COUNTY — Pickens County Parenting and Family Literacy Program earned a prestigious endorsement by Parents as Teachers national center as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate, making it one of the top performing early education and home visiting affiliates within the international Parents as Teachers network.
The official designation was made on Oct. 1, 2017.
Being named a Blue Ribbon Affiliate affirms that Parenting and Family Literacy is a high-quality member of the home visitation and parent education field, implementing the evidence-based Parents as Teachers model with fidelity, said Cheryl Steadham of the organization.
“Families in Pickens County are positively impacted by the services delivered by this program, which include home visits, group connections, child screening and connections to community resources, equipping parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children for a stronger start in life and greater success in school,” she said.
Steadham stated in order to earn this recognition, over the past year staff at Pickens County Parenting and Family Literacy completed the intensive Quality Endorsement and Improvement process through the Parents as Teachers national center. Parenting and Family Literacy demonstrated that it meets all of the Parents as Teachers Essential Requirements and at least 75 percent of the Parents as Teachers Quality Standards. The designation as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate is good for five years, until Sept. 30, 2021 as long as the program continues to meet the Essential Requirements.
The Quality Endorsement and Improvement Process is designed to help ensure and recognize quality implementation of the Parents as Teachers model, which is used in more than 1,300 organizations including schools, family resource centers, social service agencies, housing authorities, churches and healthcare systems.
Among Parenting and Family Literacy’s greatest strengths identified by the national office are the many strategies they provide to foster literacy in the home environment and their professional development. They also rank among the highest home visitation scores in the state.
Parenting and Family Literacy is an inter-generational four-component program in which parents and children (6 weeks to 4 years) attend school together.
The agency addresses literacy and language needs of the family and promotes parents’ involvement with their children’s education and school readiness. Parenting and Family Literacy has participated in Parents as Teachers for over 20 years.