One-by-one they arrive bright eyed and bushy tailed. Some toddle over to the art easel, eyeing the rainbow of paint colors, while others plop down in the book corner, arms stretched out with story in-hand. Smiles and laughter fill the room as parent educators greet the district’s youngest learners and their parents for an hour filled with fun.
It’s another playgroup day for Wendy Webb and her Blue Valley’s Parents as Teachers (PAT) program at Hilltop Learning Center, Overland Park.
Weekly playgroups are just one of many offerings the PAT program provides families with children from birth to three-years-old, along with home visits, screenings, group connections and more.
Blue Valley’s PAT program has served parents in the community, helping to provide knowledge and skills parents need to make a difference as their child’s first teacher preparing them socially, emotionally and academically.
Wendy Webb, Stilwell, coordinator of Blue Valley’s Parents as Teachers, has been with the program in Blue Valley since its inception and is proud and humbled to be a part of the PAT team and the impact it has on families.
For Webb, the parent educators, in addition to the continued district support, are truly what have made PAT so successful over the past 25 years.
“Parent educators are the heart and soul of the PAT program,” Webb said. “The reason the program has grown and developed a great reputation is because of the job they do every single day.
“Excellent parent education begins with a relationship, and our parent educators are experts at building relationships. They go above and beyond to make sure families are networked with the resources they need and are always ready to deal with all kinds of circumstances in a calm and composed manner,” according to Webb.
During a special presentation this week at the Kansas statehouse, Kansas House District 68 Representative Tom Moxley of Council Grove presented Webb with a framed House certificate.
He said, “Wendy Webb personifies the Parents as Teachers program in Kansas. Twenty five years ago, she saw what it could do by observing in Missouri and worked to found the program in Kansas. Since then, Wendy has inspired others to develop this valuable program throughout the state.
“It is with sincere congratulations that the Kansas House of Representatives honors Wendy Webb for her inspiration, planning, development and nurturing of the Parents as Teachers Program in Kansas,” Moxley commented during the recognition ceremonies.