Library of Congress presents national award to Parents as Teachers

·4 min read

National headquarters of early childhood organization recognized for its commitment to expanding literacy and promoting reading

ST. LOUIS, MO, Sept. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Library of Congress named Parents as Teachers National Center as the recipient of its $50,000 “American Award” for its work to expand literacy and promoting reading among young children and their families.

Founded in St. Louis in 1984, Parents as Teachers (PAT) is an international organization with 1,000 affiliates across the U.S. and around the world, known for creating the nation’s most replicated home visiting model and early childhood school readiness program. It matches parents and caregivers with trained professionals who make regular personal home visits during the early childhood years, beginning as soon as a mother gives birth all the way through when their child enters kindergarten and turns five years old.

PAT’s parent educators bring age-appropriate books on every visit and incorporate language development, new vocabulary, and early reading skills into all parent-child activities. These activities use simple, effective literacy promotion strategies that are appropriate for all parents and families, regardless of their primary language, reading level, or income.

“We are extremely grateful to the Library of Congress for recognizing how Parents as Teachers provides learning experiences that help promote literacy as an everyday part of parenting -- even for newborns,” said Constance Gully, PAT's president, and CEO. “This funding will enable us to continue providing curricula parent educators can use to help parents promote school readiness and healthy development of their children. When we ensure that children are healthy, safe, and ready to learn and that their families feel supported in their child’s development, we are building communities that can thrive.”

PAT was selected because it embeds literacy-promoting strategies within everyday parenting activities, helping all parents understand their role in promoting their child’s pre-literacy. Children’s literacy skills development permeates the Parents as Teachers model and curriculum, engaging parents in their children’s literacy experience.

Parents as Teachers National Center is one of three organizations to receive a major literacy award this year from the Library of Congress. Based in Washington D.C., the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world and serves as the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Parents as Teachers received the $50,000 American Prize for its early literacy contributions in the U.S., while the Luminos Fund, an international non-governmental organization in Boston, Mass., was recognized with a $50,000 International Prize for its work promoting children’s literacy and learning in Ethiopia, Liberia, and Lebanon. The Library of Congress also selected The Dolly Parton Imagination Library, based in Pigeon Forge TN, to receive its $150,000 David M. Rubenstein Prize.

Parents as Teacher National Center has a long-standing partnership with this fellow award winner: the Dolly Parton Imagination Library provides free books to children enrolled in Parents As Teachers programs. Fourteen additional organizations received $5,000 awards for their implementation of highly successful practices in literacy promotion.

The Literacy Awards originated in 2013 with the support of David M. Rubenstein, a philanthropist, co-founder of The Carlyle Group investment firm, and longtime supporter of the Library of Congress. Awarded annually, they honor organizations doing exemplary, innovative, and replicable work, and recognize the need for the international community to unite in achieving universal literacy.

“Literacy develops the mind and the heart, engages the intellect and imagination and builds wide-ranging knowledge of the world," said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “Through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, the Library of Congress is proud to honor and celebrate the achievements of these extraordinary organizations in their efforts to advance literacy and enable people to survive and thrive in the world."

PAT’s evidence-based home visiting model has been replicated thousands of times, reached hundreds of thousands of families and children, and has measurable results and a long history of rigorous evaluation, with demonstrated impact in parenting behavior, home literacy environment, children’s school readiness, and family well-being.

Just a few weeks after being recognized by the Library of Congress with its "American Award," Parents as Teachers will convene more than 1,000 parent educators both in-person and online for its annual conference on Oct. 11 – 14 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, MD. For more information on the conference https://www.parentsasteachersconference.org/.

About Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers’ internationally recognized evidence-based home visiting model is backed by 35 years of research-proven outcomes for children and families. PAT currently serves more than 220,000 families in all 50 U.S. states, 115 Tribal organizations, five other countries, and one U.S. territory. Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc., is a non-profit organization headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

CONTACT: Eric L. Clark Parents as Teachers National Center 31443243301284 eric.clark@parentsasteachers.org


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