LIFE + STYLE BLOG

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Parents As Teachers Carnival

These last couple of days have been busy, busy, busy. Last night we took Ben to the Spring Carnival, an event put on by our local Parents as Teachers(PAT). For those of you that don't know what PAT is, here is a little description from their website.

Our Mission

To provide the information, support and encouragement parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life.

Why Join
As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher and your home is your child’s first classroom.
Your baby begins learning at birth.  Brain growth and development happens more rapidly during the first five years of life then at any other time.  Parents as Teachers can help you lay a strong foundation for your child’s future success in school and life.
PAT is offered at no cost to all interested parents within the Columbia Public School District.  PAT is available throughout the state.  Interested parents need to contact their “local” school district for information.
Isn't this awesome? Once a month our PAT educator comes to our house and offers us new ideas as far as games, activities, and things we can do to promote Ben's learning. PAT also offers classes like infant massage, group meetings, fun events like the carnival, farm nights, park play dates, etc. and they do free vision and hearing screenings as well. The parent educator also does a brief assessment every six months to let you know where your child is at developmentally. The best part is everything is FREE!!! Even though I have a degree in Human Development and I do assessments on children all the time through my job, it is still nice to get a refresher on the different stages of development and ideas of things I can do at home. It also makes me feel really great as a mom when our educator tells us how advanced Ben is:) 
Does your community have a PAT program? If so, sign up! There is a pretty long wait-list in our town since almost every family participates. In fact, we ran into Ben's pediatrician and his little girls at the carnival last night and boy are his girls ca-ute!
Unfortunately our state just cut A TON of funding for the program so they will be doing some downsizing and making a lot changes, but hopefully the program will bounce back! 
Here are some pics of all the fun we had, enjoy!

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