September 9, 2015 — Mission Amarillo launches new program to help younger kids in the community
Beginning on November 2, Mission Amarillo will launch a new program known as Parent-Child Home Program, or PCHP hoping to make an impact on kids and families throughout the Amarillo area.
Mission Amarillo has been part of the Amarillo community since 2001. Since 2010, the organization has given more than 6500 pairs of shoes to kids in Amarillo, Bushland, Canyon, Highland Park and River Road ISD. The organization has now expanded their work to no longer solely focus on shoes, but mentoring, hoping to have a long-term impact.
"To a large extent East and Southeast Amarillo are a little bit overlooked, so we are trying to focus our area in that part of town. A lot of our programs do extend to other parts of town, but our primary focus is going to be in East Amarillo for those reasons," said Executive Director Jeff Parsons.
Thanks to Cal Farley donating space in their new engagement center, Mission Amarillo can now expand their programs to include ones like PCPH.
"It's been in other parts of the country for 50 years, so Amarillo is a great place to do it," said PCHP Director Christy Jalbert.
Jalbert, a former teacher said she witnessed a gap between low-income and other kids for years and it never made sense to her why long-income kids were not learning as fast as their counterparts.
"They're smart, they have good teachers but there is still something missing," said Jalbert.
Jalbert did research and found that on average low-income kids hear 30 million fewer words than their peers. That's when she decided to focus her energy on PCHP and bringing it to Amarillo.
"That's something we can never catch up on, no matter how hard we work in schools. So what we are trying to do is catch them early, make sure they hear words, they've learned to talk, learned vocabulary and they are ready for school," said Jalbert.
Jalbert plans to attend training in New York before launching the program in Amarillo. She said she will recruit volunteers for outreach and find families before November 2.
"These parents love their kids they just don't know how important it is to be talking and using words all the time. So we are going to change that we are going to teach them and they are going to learn that it's easy to talk to their kids about everyday things and that it really makes a difference in their future development," said Jalbert.
For more information on PCHP or other Mission Amarillo programs click here: Mission Amarillo