November 7, 2022

The day was attended by representatives of Spanish-speaking HIPPY groups from the United States, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile. They exchanged experiences they’ve had with the program that empowers parents and caregivers as children’s first educators.

“How we can address motivating HIPPY families”, was the central theme of the Annual Meeting of HIPPY LATAM tutors. It brought together more than 120 tutors representing Paraguay, Argentina, the United States and Chile, who took the opportunity to exchange strategies and experiences of the program.

HIPPY – Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters – is a home visit program that began in Israel 50 years ago. Today it can be found in 15 countries.

At the start of the day, HIPPY International CEO Benny Feifel, who joined the meeting from Israel, highlighted the role of tutors in each country. He emphasized the great responsibility that they have, since they are tasked with educating fathers, mothers and caregivers, so that they can be their sons and daughters first educators. “They are the very foundation of the HIPPY program,” he said.

This program seeks to empower parents and/or caregivers to be the first educators and mentors of their children, promoting their linguistic, cognitive and socio-emotional development of those aged two to four years old.

In line with its objective, one of the goals of the gathering was to share and describe the children’s progress to all attendees. Each country discussed its strategy to strengthen work done with parents to keep them in the program while affording the flexibility needed for tasks, schedules and each context depending on every family’s situation.

“It’s wonderful to see how HIPPY works in different contexts. HIPPY has these pillars that are the same everywhere, including the role of the community tutor. It is one of the elements that originally fascinated us about HIPPY that gets confirmed every time you hear these wonderful women talking with love about the program and how they are helping build it day by day through interactions with the families,” said CMPC Foundation Executive Director Carolina Andueza, who served as moderator of the annual meeting.

Interventions

As the protagonists of this meeting, the tutors worked in groups organized around tips for encouraging the motivation of HIPPY families.

Vanessa Jara, HIPPY tutor in Ercilla, said that in order to maintain the families’ interest, their children’s achievements must be made visible and progress needs to be congratulated. “Sharing the children’s work in WhatsApp groups motivates other moms and shows that the activities are achievable. These are just a few of the useful steps to take,” she said.
HIPPY tutor in Cañete Victoria Zambrano said, “It is important that the tutors share their own experiences to show moms that the activities are easy to do, entertaining and age-appropriate for their children.”

For Doris Venega, HIPPY tutor in Chiguayante, it is also of utmost importance to have an ongoing dialogue with families, imparting motivational messages every week. “By recognizing the progress and achievements of families and their children, they gain more confidence and certainty, motivating them to continue,” she said.
Tutor Linda Parra from Loncoche commented on the importance of motivating families, using different strategies such as giving advance notice about the materials and books in the program so that they can keep inspiring their children at home to stick with the program.

Valeria Sáez, HIPPY tutor in Renaico, said that one of the tools that helps motivate families is to make home visits at times when families are available, always with a positive attitude, and to share specific experiences about their own children.

In Traiguén, the tutors María José Fuentes and Francisca Sánchez, stressed that one of the ways to maintain the commitment of families is to keep the tutor team the same because having strong ties and trust encouarges them to keep participating.

Finally, the HIPPY directors of each country presented the most relevant actions they have carried out during the year and what they have meant for the development of the participating families’ children. They highlighted, for example, the growth in each of their countries, reaching even more than 4,675 Hispanic families in HIPPY in the United States in the 2021-2022 school year.