SMSD News: Parents as Teachers SMSD enrolling families now

Do you know someone living in the Shawnee Mission School District who has a new baby or young child? 

From pregnancy to age 5, families who live in the Shawnee Mission School District are able to enroll in Parents as Teachers (PAT), a national program that connects families with trained educators. PAT promotes early development, learning, and health of children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers. Enrollment for parents is free of cost. 

Parents as Teachers resources include: 

  • Evidence-Based Home Visits (Now being conducted virtually)
  • Social Activities
  • Playgroups
  • Parenting Classes
  • Health-related and developmental screenings

Those interested can learn more about the program on the district website and enroll online.  

Parent educators are continuing to provide resources and engage families in a virtual setting. 

During a virtual home visit, along with sharing resources and  ideas, it’s typical for Parent Educators to ask parents questions about their child’s development, strengths they have, ways to enhance learning, and talk about anything that is impacting their child. 

 “We want to help parents explore their roles and be the best parent they can be,” Janet Cody, parent educator said.  

Even virtually, visits have helped boost confidence, noted parent Aimee Hanan. 

Hanan has recommended the Parents as Teachers to friends who have young children. The wealth of resources and unintimidating approach and experience of parent educators made it a comfortable experience, she noted. 

When health conditions allow, Parents as Teachers also provides a play center, opportunities to connect with more parents, and interactive and informational events. 

 “It helped from the first visit,” Hanan added. “I had no idea to expect the absolute wealth of knowledge. They fully support parents. It has helped us build our confidence as parents and has given us so many ideas. We highly value the program and hope people will check it out.”