Parents as Teachers Takes Home Visiting Message to Washington, D.C.

MacKenzie Grayson, Supervisor for the Parents as Teachers program in the Normandy Schools Collaborative and former PAT participant, recently met with U.S. Senator Roy Blunt in Washington, D.C. MacKenzie was part of a group of PAT moms and parent educators from several states who traveled to the nation’s capital last week to visit with lawmakers. Others included Daniela Cardenas (PAT mom) and her Parent Educator, Rosy Torrico from Washington, Flora Nyakatura (PAT mom) and her Parent Educator, Lauren Ware from Kansas. They were honored at the national Home Visiting Coalition’s “Seeding Success” event. At the event, Rosy and Daniela also presented Rep. Reichert (R-WA-8) with a home visiting champion award. They also made visits with U.S. Sens Blunt (R-MO), Roberts (R-KS), McCaskill (D-MO), Murray (D-WA), Cantwell (D-WA) and Rep. Yoder, (R-KS-3) to talk about the reauthorization of the federal home visiting program, MIECHV.

MIECHV Reauthorization

The leaders of six home visiting programs, including the CEO of Parents as Teachers, Constance Gully, recently traveled to Capitol Hill to discuss ongoing efforts to reauthorize the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV). This vital program is due to expire in September. To learn more about the CEO’s visit to Washington, D.C. and the push to reauthorize MIECHV, read this article by the Chronicle of Social Change.

If you are one of the Parents as Teachers affiliates in 35 states nationwide that receives some MIECHV funding, now is the time to write to your member of Congress. Please take action today to support the reauthorization of MIECHV by participating in our letter writing campaign. It’s fast and easy and takes less than two minutes. Please click here to send an email to your member of Congress. Your voice is important!

Board Member Honored

Parents as Teachers Board Member Steven Rosenblum was recently honored by Washington University in St. Louis for his contributions to the community. Mr. Rosenblum was given the 2017 Gerry & Bob Virgil Ethic of Service Award. This annual honor recognizes a select group of Washington University community members who exemplify a character of service and giving to the St. Louis region.

You can read much more about the Gerry & Bob Virgil Ethic of Service Award by clicking this link. Additionally, you can read more about Mr. Rosenblum’s work with Parents as Teachers and the rest of the PAT board members by clicking here.

Former First Lady of Idaho supports reauthorization of MIECHV, and says PAT helps families in Idaho

Scientific research on how children learn and grow has made it clearer than ever that parents are the most important teachers and families are the most effective ‘schools.’ With Mother’s Day here, Father’s Day soon after, and the clock ticking on family support programs in Washington, now is the time to put that research into practice. After all, Mother’s Day brunch lasts an hour. Flowers last a week. Investing in strong families is a gift that last a lifetime.

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program is such an investment. This flexible, locally administered program, also known as MIECHV, expires in September unless Congress acts. Idaho, which does not invest in home visiting, cannot afford to let this happen.

Read the full article here.

New Report Shows Home Visiting Programs Cut Crime and Boost the Economy

Law enforcement and business leaders highlight home visiting programs’ value in reducing child abuse and neglect, which curbs crime, while positively impacting the economy.

New Report Shows Home Visiting Programs Cut Crime and Boost the Economy Law enforcement and business leaders highlight home visiting programs’ value in reducing child abuse and neglect, which curbs crime, while positively impacting the economy.

Today, Council for a Strong America ’s business and law enforcement leaders, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids and ReadyNation, released a new report, Parenting Works: The Public Safety and Economic Benefits of Home Visiting . The report focuses on the power of voluntary home visiting in increasing public safety and positively impacting communities through an improved workforce and fiscal savings. The programs instill stability and independence by counseling parents on the skills needed to stimulate their child’s development and avoid harmful practices that can result in abuse and neglect. Read the report. A Missouri PAT mother is highlighted in the report.

Parents as Teachers CEO Joins Panel of Experts on Education

Parents as Teachers National Center CEO Constance Gully recently joined a panel of experts for a roundtable discussion on the challenges and issues facing educators, families and children. The engaging conversation was hosted by the St. Louis Business Journal, and included leaders from across the St. Louis region.

Topics of the roundtable included access to quality education for the underserved, intervention in the early years and how partnerships can further the goal of quality education for all children. 

You can read a transcript of the roundtable discussion by clicking this link on the St. Louis Business Journal's website.

Outcomes Field Test


Increasingly, national, state, and local stakeholders and decision-makers want to know more about the impact of home visiting on families and children. For the 2016-2017 Program Year, Parents as Teachers launched an Outcomes Field Test with interested affiliates to test out a process for collecting and reporting outcomes data.

Sixty affiliates from 26 states volunteered to participate in the field test. Participants are all measuring Parenting Skills, Practices, or Capacities outcomes using a reliable and valid outcomes tool. They are also measuring at least one additional outcome related to child or family health/well-being or child development. The most commonly selected outcomes include well child visits and depression. In January, participating affiliates completed a Mid-Point Check-In Survey on their experiences with the field test so far, their selected tools, and additional outcomes supports that would be beneficial. Of those who completed the survey, many of the participating affiliates (over half) were already collecting these outcomes prior to the Field Test for a funder or as part of their regular documentation process.

Parents as Teachers is committed to data-driven practice and to reinforcing its use throughout our network of country/state offices and local affiliates. If you would like to learn more about the Outcomes Field Test or if you have any questions about outcomes measurement or tools, please reach out to us at 

Constance Gully Selected to Serve as President & CEO of Parents as Teachers National Center

St. Louis, MO, February 27, 2017– After a rigorous national search conducted by a highly regarded national executive search firm, the board of Parents as Teachers National Center (PATNC) voted on Friday to promote Constance Gully, MBA, to the position of President and CEO, effective immediately.  Ms. Gully, Chief Financial Officer, has been serving as Interim CEO since August 2016.

“Our Board committee took great care to thoroughly vet several well-qualified candidates for this position,” stated Patricia Kempthorne, Founder and CEO of the Twiga Foundation, PATNC Board Vice-Chair, and Chair of the Board CEO search committee.  “What became abundantly clear to the committee was that our very best candidate was right in front of us: Constance Gully.”

“Patricia and I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Constance in this interim period and getting to watch her in action.  The decision on Friday was unanimous,” said Thomas C. Melzer, Co-founder and Managing Director of RiverVest Venture Partners and Chair of the PATNC Board. “Constance has been an active and effective interim CEO and has earned the trust and respect of our national partners and stakeholders. Constance also made her mark in recent months by leading the successful PAT International 2016 Conference, held in St. Louis with over 1100 attendees and significant newly established sponsorships.  She also led the effort to garner financial support from a broader base of the organization’s key stakeholders.  

“Constance has an exciting vision of the significant opportunities available to Parents as Teachers,” Melzer continued.  “With a strong and cohesive senior team, and a national staff that is clearly flourishing under her leadership, we look forward to a bright future for the families and children we serve.”

“I am honored and excited to have been given this opportunity to lead an organization of which I am so proud, and with such a talented and experienced staff that supports so many families and young children across the country and the world,” noted Ms. Gully. “My family has benefitted from the services of Parents as Teachers and I look forward to building on the hard work and success of our previous chief executives, including our founder Mildred Winter.”

Ms. Gully is a licensed Certified Public Accountant with professional memberships in the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of Black Accountants. Prior to joining Parents as Teachers in 2014, she served as Executive Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs at Harris-Stowe State University, a historically Black public university located in mid-town St. Louis and in a dual role as the Interim President for eleven months. She led the Campus Expansion Committee that oversaw the planning, design and construction of more than $50 million of development on the campus. Under Constance’s sixteen years of leadership, Harris-Stowe maintained a stellar financial operation in a climate of declining state funding, including clean external financial audits for each of those years.

Ms. Gully practiced public accounting for more than a decade before working in the higher education and nonprofit arenas. She was responsible for planning, performing and managing external and internal audits for government and nonprofit entities. She also served as managing or senior consultant for various management reviews and operational assessments of administrative and financial operations, including assisting in the implementation of redesigned processes.

Ms. Gully serves in two gubernatorial appointed positions as a member and Chair Emeritus of the Dr. Martin Luther King State Celebration Commission for the state of Missouri and Vice Chair of the Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners.  In addition, Constance is a member of the Missouri History Museum Sub-District Board and serves as Treasurer of the La Salle Middle Charter School Board in St. Louis. She is the wife of André Gully and proud mother of Nicholas Bowman (her Alum PAT baby).

Constance Gully speaks at Washington, D.C. Board Reception.

Board Chair Thomas Melzer speaks at Washington, D.C. Board Reception.

Board Vice-Chair Patricia Kempthorne, General George Casey, Julie Palmer-Blackwell, Sheila Casey and Dirk Kempthorne at the Washington, D.C. Board Reception.