/ Modified jan 25, 2012 2:53 p.m.

In Sunnyside, Parents Are Also Teachers

A program is helping with early childhood development in Tucson

parentsspotlight Raquel Cortez and her son, Christopher, are at home during a home visit from Patricia Escarcega (left), a Sunnyside School District educator. (PHOTO: Fernanda Echavarri)

A program in Tucson's Sunnyside Unified School District is teaching parents how to be teachers to their children.

Parents As Teachers focuses on kids before they enter kindergarten, using funding from the First Things First initiative approved by voters in 2006. In Pima County three school districts have it available: Marana, Amphitheater and Sunnyside.

Sunnyside's participants include Raquel Cortez and her 20-month-old son Christopher, who get home visits from Parents as Teachers educator Patricia Escarcega.

Hear Fernanda Echavarri's story:

LISTEN

Escarcega works with 30 families in the Sunnyside district, visiting each once a month and bringing books and toys as part of a lesson plan. Lessons include focus on reading, playing with different textures and safety in the home.

Escarcega and 12 other educators from Sunnyside visit more than 350 homes and hold group classes to teach parents the crucial role they play in early childhood education.

The program is a voluntary early childhood family education program that begins prenatally. Joan Katz, the program director, says it’s intended to help parents during the first three years of a child’s life.

MORE: Arizona, News, Tucson
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona