By: Dinorah Peña-Durán

2020 was a momentous year for HIPPY, the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program. They celebrated 20 years as part of Irving ISD, working with parents and helping them prepare their children for academic success from an early age.

Priscilla Cerda was a HIPPY child herself. She joined the program in 2003. And when she was a senior in high school, she was awarded the HIPPY scholarship that it is offered to students that participated in the program.

I [as a child] remember the field trips. I even remember doing homework with my mom! says Priscilla, reminiscing with excitement.

As life went on, Priscilla became a mom of twins, and she returned to the program as a parent. “I was excited to be a HIPPY parent, perhaps even more excited than my own daughters. It was just great doing the homework with them and watching them grow,” adds Priscilla. “HIPPY helped them so much and in different ways to become successful students now.”

HIPPY had done so much for her first and for her daughters later that Priscilla decided to join the program as a Home Instructor. Having learned about the program firsthand from all aspects as a child and as a parent gave her the skills needed to share all the amazing benefits this program has to offer to both children and their parents.

For those not familiar with HIPPY, this is how it works: throughout the school year, instructors conduct weekly home visits to walk parents through educational activities designed for their children and inform them about relevant activities in their community. Their comprehensive curriculum focused on literacy, math, science, motor skills, and language gives them the foundation to do better from PreK through high school.

Priscilla is a clear-cut example of how successful the HIPPY program is. She advocates for the program every day and every chance she has, because she is a proof. “I hope all parents are able to learn what HIPPY is and the extraordinary things it can do for their child’s education. With those 15 minutes of instruction a day, parents are building memories with their child. And the three years that they are part of the program may lead to them receiving a scholarship that will allow them to start their path to college on the right foot.

A parent’s commitment and dedication to a child’s education makes a difference. The HIPPY program lays the groundwork on the path of learning and helps parents become the first and most important teacher for children.

For more information and to learn more about HIPPY in Irving ISD, visit their site