24 October 2019

Commissioners issue proclamation for 'Greene County Parents as Teachers Day'

Pictured (l. to r.): Commissioner Dave Coder; Toni Ferencak; Commissioner Archie Trader; Nicole Roberts, Stacey Mason, Lisa Milan and Christine Barnhart; Commissioner Blair Zimmerman; and Brandy Schooley.
WAYNESBURG, PA – During their meeting Wednesday, Greene County Commissioners issued a proclamation recognizing November 8, 2019 as “Greene County Parents as Teachers Day.”

The proclamation was presented to Lisa Milan, director of the Greene County Human Services’ Family Center, and Family Center staff members Christine Barnhart, Toni Ferencak, Stacey Mason, Nicole Roberts and Brandy Schooley.

Parents as Teachers is an evidence-based home visiting model that is committed to increasing parent knowledge of early childhood placement, improve parenting classes, promote early detection of developmental delays and health issues, prevent child abuse and neglect, and enhance school readiness and success.

The proclamation states that Parents as Teachers “believes that parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers, and all young children and families deserve the same opportunities to succeed regardless of demographic, geographic or economic considerations.”

Milan said Parents as Teachers initiative – which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year – includes four core components: personal home visits, supportive group connection events, child health and developmental screenings, and community resource networks.

She added that Parents as Teachers services are delivered to diverse families with diverse needs, and Parents as Teachers sites typically target families with specific risk factors.

Families can begin the program prenatally and continue until their children enter kindergarten, according to Milan, and services are offered on a biweekly or monthly basis, depending on a family’s needs. Sessions are typically held for one hour in the family's home, but can also be administered in schools, childcare centers, or other community spaces.

“Being a parent is the most important and sometimes hardest job anyone will ever have. Parents want what is best for children: a loving family, good health, a good education, a safe and caring community to grow up in and perhaps most importantly, hope for a bright future,” Milan said. “Parents as Teachers programs provide parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children for a stronger start in life and greater success in school.”

The proclamation states that Pennsylvania Family Centers who use the PAT program should be commended, as its ultimate vision is that “all children will learn, grow and develop to reach their full potential,” and its mission is “to provide the information, support and encouragement parents need to help children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life.”

The Commissioners commended the state’s Family Centers, including Greene County’s, for utilizing the PAT program.

“This proclamation and recognition is well deserved, because it’s obvious that the PAT model supports families in achieving economic stability, healthy children in healthy homes and school readiness of children,” said Commissioner Blair Zimmerman.

“I have always said, and will never stop saying, that our children are the most important resources, so it is absolutely wonderful that we are able to recognize our Family Center staff and the PAT program with this proclamation,” said Commissioner Dave Coder.

“We applaud all of the hard-working staff members from Human Services and the Family Center in making sure that programs like PAT assist our children and families,” said Commissioner Archie Trader.

Milan thanked the Commissioners for the proclamation and recognized the Family Center for their efforts and dedication to helping area children and families through the program.

She also said that during the past year (2018-19), through the PAT program locally there were 82 group connections, 1,378 personal visits, and 113 children and 91 families served.

Across the state, 1,036 affiliate organizations were implemented, 94,292 families and 113,818 children were served, and there were 32,375 group connections, and over one million personal visits through PAT.

Milan also invited the public to attend a special event being presented by the Greene County Family Center on Thursday, Nov. 7, a “Superhero Fun Day” being held at the county fairgrounds from 5 to 7 p.m.

Children are encouraged to dress as their favorite superhero for the event, which will feature free activities for the entire family, face painting, a “Superhero” photobooth and much more.

The event is being held to coincide with Pennsylvania Parents as Teachers Day, being celebrated and recognized across the state on Nov. 8.

For more information about the event, and/or about the Greene County Family Center and the PAT program, call 724-852-5276, ext. 402.