“Even though I’ve got my GED, I really regret not finishing high school,” says teen mom Yoselin, who completed the two-year Leake & Watts Parent-Child Home Program along with her son Jayden. She truly appreciates the home visiting program, which promotes the early literacy of children ages 18 months to 4 years. “My mom had to raise three girls by herself, which was hard. It’s important to me that Jayden has a better life. I want my son to go further, to finish college and get a good job.”
Even though Yoselin wanted the best for Jayden and to promote his education, she was unsure of how to provide the necessary support so that her son would have a strong start with academics. That is why when she learned about the Parent-Child Home Program she jumped at the chance to enroll him. “They told me that this would help him get ready for school. They were right. I am so impressed because I don’t think I learned my shapes until first grade, but Jayden knew them all by the time he was two!”
It's important to me that Jayden has a better life. I want my son to go further, to finish college and get a good job.
Twice a week, Home Visitors are welcomed into homes of families like Yoselin and Jayden, bringing books and educational toys that nurture the child’s development. They encourage positive parent-child interaction. For young mothers like Yoselin, learning to be a part of their child’s education is an important and empowering experience.
Jayden quickly developed a love of books and learning that will help him succeed throughout elementary school, high school and beyond. And while many children from low-income families are behind academically even by the time they reach Kindergarten and have a high incidence of dropping out of high school, Jayden and the other children in our program have an 84% chance of graduating high school — compared to a 53% high school graduation rate for their peers.
“The thing that I love about this program the most, though,” says Yoselin, “is that the Home Visitor helped both of us. I’ve learned to play with Jayden in a smart way, so I can keep helping him when the program is finished. Now I know how to ask him questions that make him think, and I can be part of his learning. I’m so happy and so proud of what we both have learned.”