A preschool supplemental program that was developed in Israel is celebrating its 25th anniversary in New Orleans schools this week.
HIPPY, or Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters, was developed in 1969 at the National Council of Jewish Women Research Institute for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It first came to the United States in 1984. HIPPY USA was established in Little Rock in 1988, with strong support from then-Governor Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
In 1987 HIPPY was brought to New Orleans by NCJW, and the New Orleans School Board has been supporting the program with funds and volunteer efforts since that time.
Behind Arkansas, Alabama has the most HIPPY sites with 30. The Alabama HIPPY project started in 1993 and currently is headquartered in Montgomery. There is one local program in Mississippi and three in Louisiana.
HIPPY is a home-based intervention program that was created for parents to give their kids the necessary tools to succeed in school and later in life. The parents in the program do not feel confident in their own experiences and education levels to help their own children with what they need to know to succeed in school.
With the guidance of trained home visitors, parents enhance their child's abilities and skills. Not only does HIPPY provide vital education for school and life lessons, but it also targets parental problems and needs. The program is for ages three to five.
Every other week, visitors from the local area make home visits to play HIPPY activities with parents. On the other weeks, there are group meetings where visitors and parents role play the week’s activities.
Each day parents spend 15 to 20 minutes engaging in HIPPY activities with their child, which are set out in a written structural format from which a novice teacher can follow without any issues.
Tomorrow at 11 a.m., the New Orleans Parish Public Schools' HIPPY program is having a Sponsors, Advocates and Volunteers luncheon to celebrate the 25th anniversary. The event will be at the Lindy C. Boggs International Conference Center at 2000 Lake Shore Drive.