HIPPY is an international program for educating preschool children. HIPPY is an acronym that stands for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters.
The program has 141 sites in 23 states including New York. The NYC location is housed by Citizens Advice Bureau at 1477 Townsend Avenue in the Bronx.
The mission of HIPPY is to empower parents to become the primary educators of their preschool children in their own home. A secondary aspect of this mission is to encourage parental involvement in education and community life to ensure that preschool and school age children have the best educational opportunities available to them. HIPPY has been endorsed by former President Bill Clinton.
The HIPPY educational model is developmentally age appropriate that uses role play as a primary educational tool. HIPPY operates on four primary methods or techniques:
- Developmentally appropriate curriculum
- Role play
- A local coordinator with home visitors
- Home visits with group meetings
The curriculum is designed for children ages 3 through 5 and consists of 30 weekly activity packets, 9 storybooks, and a set of 20 manipulative shapes each year. Supplies are provided for each participating family as well. The curriculum is cognitive-based with a focus on language development, problem solving, logical thinking, and perceptual skills. Learning and play time are intertwined to keep children engaged.
Rather than just teach children to read and write, HIPPY educators also teach children healthy eating habits, creative game playing, and offer extension activities that expand the learning beyond the core curriculum.
Role play is conducted by community home visitors. These home visitors are usually also parents who have children in the program. For more information on the benefits of role play, consult the HIPPY USA website.