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Over 20 years ago, Senator Kit Bond, during his second term as Governor, signed into law, the "Early education Act", which madated a "Parents as Teachers Program" in every Missouri school. Today, Parents as Teachers has expandea to over 3000 sites in all 50 states and 6 foreign countries. As part of a ststewide tour, Missouri's Senior Senator has announced plans to re-introduce legialation to establish a Federal parents as Teachers program. Mike Smith has the story:
Speaking at the Grant Avenue Head Start in Springfield, Senator Kit Bond says research shows children who are part of the Parents as Teachers program are ahead of those not involved in the program. PAT is an early childhood parent education and family support program designed to enhance child development and school readiness through parent education.
PAT has 4 components: Personal visits; group meetings; developmental health, vision, and hearing screenings to providde early identification of developmental problems; and a resource and referral network to help families indntify and connect with needed recources.
Kit Bond's "Education Begins at Home Act" will establish for the first time, a dedicated federal funding stream to support the expansion of PAT at the state and local level. Bond hops to secure 500 million dollars over the next 3 years to expand services to over 2.7 million families nationwide.
Bond hopes PAT's history of success and bi-partisan support
will convince lawmakers and the White House to pass the bill.
For KSMU NEws, I'm Mike Smith.