The Parents as Teachers 2020 Virtual Conference was also a time of rejoicing and recognition. Several individuals were lauded for their outstanding contributions to strengthening families, while some organizations were honored for their innovative approaches to early childhood development through home visiting.
Four home visiting professionals received Parent Educator of the Year Awards, while three PAT affiliates captured the Losos Prize for Innovation, and 107 affiliates were celebrated for earning the coveted Blue Ribbon status. Parent educators are professionally trained specialists who help new parents strengthen parenting skills to engage and support child’s health, learning and development. The Parent Educator of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding contributions they make to children and families and honors those who show exemplary work supporting the PAT mission.
The Losos prize is named for Carolyn Losos, a founding PAT board member and stalwart early childhood proponent. Affiliates chosen to receive the Losos award have developed new solutions that address specific needs of their community or the families served, or have enhanced existing programmatic and service delivery needs in a new or innovative way.
The prestigious Blue Ribbon designation is bestowed upon PAT affiliates that complete a comprehensive Quality Endorsement and Improvement Process. Blue Ribbon affiliates must meet at least 75 percent of the quality standards and all of the essential requirements to earn the designation.
Receiving Parent Educator of the Year Awards were: Jennifer Whitney of the Kansas City Area Parents as Teachers Consortium in the Olathe School District; Lilia Wanless of Door to Hope in Salinas, California; Lauren Wallace of the Easterseals Jumpstart Home Visiting Program in Joliet, Illinois; and the late Amy Bringhurst of Derby Schools in Wichita, Kansas.
Receiving the Losos Prize for Innovation are the Mabel Morris Family Home Visit Program in Philadelphia, PA; the Columbia Basin Health in Othello, Washington; and the Kansas City Area Parents as Teachers Consortium USD in Olathe, Kansas.