Community Connections Across the Pond
United Kingdom and Pennsylvania affiliates celebrate 30th anniversaries
To commemorate their 30-year anniversaries as Parents as Teachers affiliates, the United Kingdom Parents as First Teachers – UK (PAFT) and the Pennsylvania Parents as Teachers gathered for two-days of commemoratory events during National Parents as Teachers Day in the U.S.
Day one of the celebrations coincided with PAFT National Network Day and featured a virtual network event via Zoom that provided the opportunity to hear from two Welsh PAFT programs, based in Caerphilly and Monmouthshire.
Parents as Teachers National Center President, CEO Constance Gully delivered welcome remarks and updates on current research and development. Dr. Samantha Callan, director of the Family Hubs Network, served as keynote speaker.
On day two, in recognition of their dedication to families during the pandemic, UK (PAFT) parent educators and staff were invited to an in-person network event at the Flitwick Football Centre in Flitwick, Bedford. They gathered there to “regroup, reconnect, meet up with colleagues, catch up, communicate, share good practices and return to face-to-face relationships and visits.”
Back in the U.S., the Pennsylvania Parents as Teachers and Family Center Network celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in conjunction with Advocacy Day. The Parents as Teachers evidence-based home visiting model was introduced in Pennsylvania as one of the components of the Family Center’s “new way of doing business” – a philosophy, a process, and a place initiative.
About the UK-PAFT affiliate
Parent as Teachers was brought to the UK in 1991 by Pam Holtom, a school principal, who wanted to give more children the best chance of school and life success. Pam believed parents wanted the best for their children but often welcomed additional support to achieve their hopes. Having started in the school system, the program spread to three of the four nations of the UK, via Family Support and Early Help.
About the Pennsylvania affiliate
Beginning with 13 pilot sites in 1992 and 1993, the number of Family Centers with Pennsylvania Parents as Teachers programs grew to more than 40 sites by 2004. There are now 56 Parents as Teachers affiliate programs with different “homes” in Family Centers, schools, and health and human service organizations throughout Pennsylvania.