Ray-Pec's Parents as Teachers team, from left: Patty McGregor, Vicki Howe, Cindy Westergaard, and PAT Coordinator Cindy Watson.
Parents as Teachers supports a child's first teachers
A family's connection with the Ray-Pec School District can begin well before a child enters kindergarten. Parents as Teachers is a program that serves families with children who are younger than kindergarten age. In fact, services can begin before birth - with a first contact when a family is expecting a child. PAT is a program in Missouri that is offered through local school districts.
In the Ray-Pec School District, parent educators provide home visits, annual developmental screenings, and family activities throughout the year.
Home visits are opportunities for parent educators to meet with parents to promote early learning, offer information about child development, and help establish a partnership between families, schools and community resources. During the developmental screenings, a parent educator can help a parent to identify strengths and weaknesses of their child's development.
At Ray-Pec, the family activities are often planned in conjunction with Shull Early Learning Center. Past events have included Transportation Station: Big Truck Night; Messy Night; Music with Mar; and Kids on the Move. PAT has also invited participants to meet at the park as a way to connect families with young children. (See photo above.)
Currently, Ray-Pec PAT serves 186 families. The Ray-Pec School District has four parent educators working directly with families:
Cindy Watson, the PAT Coordinator, has worked 22 years at Ray-Pec and has 24 years of experience as a parent educator.
Patty McGregor has 23 years of experience, with 18 years at Ray-Pec.
Cindy Westergaard has been at Ray-Pec about 16 years.
The newest member of the team is Vicki Howe, who is in her third year as a parent educator, and who previously taught early childhood for 10 years.
To sign up for PAT services, contact Cindy Watson at 816-892-1220.