First Teacher Home Visiting
Parents as Teachers Program
"SAFE did not happen by accident, it is the result of visionary planning on the part of Sylacauga and Talladega County citizens who met the test of leadership and proclaimed to the world....we value families and we will build a support system so that everyone has the opportunity to succeed."
- Mary A. Jolly, Executive Director Emeritus, Alabama Network of Family Resource Centers
Parents as Teachers (PAT) is provided through the First Teacher Program administered by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education. It is a free home visitation program that provides support to pregnant women, mothers, fathers, and other caregivers of young children. PAT builds strong communities, thriving families and children that are healthy, safe and ready to learn by matching parents and caregivers with trained professionals who make regular personal home visits during a child’s earliest years in life, from prenatal to kindergarten.
SAFE’s Parents as Teachers program began in April of 2014 through MIECHV funding administered by the First Teacher Program through the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education. The SAFE PAT program serves 63 families throughout
Coosa, Clay and Talladega Counties.
Success Story 1:
A mother of three children was unemployed with no transportation and no immediate support system. She could not access the local Head Start for services, because she could not get the children there. One child had just turned 3 yrs. old, when I begin to work with the family. The child would make ‘sounds’ or “noises” for words and use gestures to communicate. Mother indicated that she thought this was normal, his making sounds, and referred to her oldest child as starting out like that, but he talks correctly. She attributed it to the fact that the three year old child would develop just like her first child. Parent-child activities revealed a lack of readiness and communication skills. The parent educator administered the ASQ assessments and the results helped confirm the child had developmental delays.
The parent educator helped the mother see her worth and set goals. Education, finances, and transportation were three goals set, with a plan of action. She now has transportation and started a savings plan. Also, the parent educator referred the family to educational agencies, where the child has now been evaluated and will be receiving services soon.
With this team of possibilities, Parents as Teachers, Board of Education, Help Me Grow, and the parents, this is simply a recipe for learning!
Success Story 2:
A family had a goal for a while to buy their own home. They worked with their Parent Educator using the goal process to set goals and work to achieve them. They set their goals, were connected with resources and celebrated milestones along the way. They recently were able to purchase their own home and are thoroughly enjoying the benefits of raising their kids in their own home. They love getting to have adventures and learning opportunities with their kids in the outdoors spaces. Mom and Dad are so excited to be able to raise their kids in a safe and nurturing environment.
Success Story 3:
A Parents as Teachers Mom had a dream to go back to school and get her nursing degree. She worked with her Parent Educator and set the “big goal” of graduating but they also talked about making “smaller goals” to celebrate her progress along the way. Mom was accepted to nursing school during the pandemic and also had two small children at home. With the help and support of her family and Parent Educator and a lot of work on her part, she has persevered and just found out she passed her state boards! They have now set a “new goal” of finding a great job for Mom. Mom is so excited to be doing something she loves while contributing to her family well-being and showing her kids that with hard work anything is possible.
The Parent As Teachers Staff Includes:
Shawnna Yates - Program Manager
Lisa Simmons - Program Coordinator
Mary Ellen Harbison - Parent Educator
Rashanna Marbury - Parent Educator
Jo Ann Shealey - Parent Educator
Shelia Tuck - Parent Educator
Robin White - Parent Educator