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First Teacher Home Visiting HIPPY Program

(Home Instruction Program for
Parents of Preschool Youngsters)

HIPPY Alabama Logo.png

"I have worked with the Talladega County HIPPY program for 17 years and have seen many children participate in our program.  I recently attended the awards day program at my son’s school.  I started to recognize some of the names of the children and in my head I was saying, 'HIPPY Kid, HIPPY Kid, HIPPY Kid.'  This program included grades seven through twelve and it was just so special to see that many of the young men and women who received high honors were former HIPPY children."

- HIPPY Educator


HIPPY is a home-based, early intervention program, provided through the First Teacher Program administered by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, that helps parents create experiences for their children that lay the foundation for success in school and later life.  HIPPY delivers 30 weeks of lessons to parents at home who in turn teach their two, three or four year old child.  The HIPPY activities include reading, math, science, motor, and language skills in which cognitive, creative, social, and emotional development is addressed. The program is combined with group meetings where other HIPPY families can engage, support, and share experiences.



Talladega County HIPPY was established in 1998 in partnership with the Sylacauga City Schools, the Talladega County Schools and the Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, Inc. (SAFE) and the First Teacher Program through the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education..  In 2007 the Talladega City Schools joined the partnership and have collectively served 2,204 families across the county. After the completion of the 2019-2020 HIPPY year, Talladega County HIPPY celebrated 23 years of success for its children and families.


HIPPY is available for families of  two, three, and four year olds who are residents of Talladega County (Sylacauga City Schools, Talladega County Schools and Talladega City Schools) and is designed to ensure and strengthen family bonding, enhance school readiness, and empower parents to be their child’s first and best teacher. HIPPY is delivered by trained Parent Educators hired from the service community, who assist parents in implementing the nationally recognized and researched-based HIPPY curriculum. HIPPY builds on the basic bond between parent and child which utilizes role-playing to model and to provide parents with the tools to engage their child in the learning process.


Success Stories


"When parents get involved in their child’s education at an early age they are setting their child up for success. One of our HIPPY families reported their child is excelling in school and gives credit to SAFE’s HIPPY program.  A former HIPPY student, currently in the 2nd grade, is reading on a 4th grade level and is performing on a 3rd grade level in math. The mom stated, 'He’s gonna be smarter than me by next year.'"



The HIPPY Staff Includes:

Shawnna Yates - Program Manager

Pam Sims – HIPPY Assistant Coordinator

Becky Epperson – Lead Parent Educator/Data Entry Manager

Becky Cleveland - Parent Educator

Brittney Harvey - Parent Educator

Kim McGinnis - Parent Educator

Laura Puttonen - Parent Educator

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