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Hippy graduates beat Covid-19

Posted at 10:24am Monday 11 Jan, 2021

Hippy graduates proudly wearing the korowai, from left, Theo Connelly, Raiden Henry and Carlin Wright
Hippy graduates proudly wearing the korowai, from left, Theo Connelly, Raiden Henry and Carlin Wright

The Hippy team, from left, tutor Helen Ward, tutor Renee Wright, co-ordinator Linda Davidson and tutor Candyce Armstrong
The Hippy team, from left, tutor Helen Ward, tutor Renee Wright, co-ordinator Linda Davidson and tutor Candyce Armstrong

Despite the challenges imposed by Covid-19, a record 19 families graduated from Wellsford's Hippy (Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters) programme last month.

The home-based programme is designed to help parents of preschool children, with limited opportunities, to succeed at school and in later life.

Coordinator Linda Davidson says tutors couldn't visit homes during various Covid-19 lockdowns, but kept communication going with families through video and phone calls.

“The fact they have 19 graduates is outstanding,” Linda says.

The graduating families had completed a two-year programme, working through 60 Hippy workbooks with their child over a period of 60 weeks.

Ms Davidson says the children's literacy and readiness for school has improved thanks to the programme, and it's helped parents become more confident in helping their children learn.

She says the Hippy tutors come from the same community and also have young children, so they have a good understanding of the families they are supporting.

“The tutors become role models for parents, many of whom may become Hippy tutors themselves,” she says.

Graduating children were honoured through the wearing of a korowai (cloak) and rewarded with a necklace made of lollies. Graduating parents received a certificate.

Twenty-eight families also completed the first year of the Hippy programme last month.

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