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China, South Korea Adopt Israeli Program to Give Children Head Start for School

Young families in South Korea and China will now be able to access HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents and Preschool Youngsters), an Israeli-developed early learning program already reaching 20,000 families at 440 program sites in countries including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel, Liberia, New Zealand, and the United States.

HIPPY partners with parents to prepare kids for success in school, particularly targeting children disadvantaged by poverty, limited education, and language deficits. HIPPY peer educators from the local community make home visits to provide 30 weeks per year of culturally and linguistically relevant curriculum activities and books directly to parents.

HIPPY was developed in 1969 by Dr. Avima D. Lombard, a researcher at the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Lombard started an early-education program in Israel that aimed to teach parents with limited formal education to be their children’s first teachers for better future success in school.

Research has shown that children who participated in the HIPPY program at age three, four, or five appear to benefit long-term in their scholastic achievement.

Expansion to South Korea and China was facilitated by an agreement signed by Hebrew University with China’s Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) and South Korea’s Lolo Educational Services. In these countries, the HIPPY model will be expanded and transformed to better serve upper- and middle-class populations. Professional teachers will train the parents, with the goal being to bring the children to a higher level of academic success.

The Korean program, which will launch in late summer, will begin with a six-month pilot involving 100 parents in three sites in Seoul.

“HIPPY has been steadily growing worldwide over the last 10 years. South Korea and China are the first programs in Asia where we will be adapting the core program model for a very different and more highly educated consumer,” said HIPPY International Director Miriam Westheimer.

“Today, we declared our commitment to work together with HIPPY to help preschool children reach high-quality education at home, benefiting them in the long run,” stated ASDAN CEO Yichan Yuan.

As a country with a large population, there are currently hundreds of millions of preschool children in China. Parents are willing to prepare their children for school by educating them at home; however, they lack of informative guidance makes it extremely difficult for them to succeed in this task.

The collaboration between HIPPY and ASDAN China will provide parents with the support and information they need in order to help their children excel in school. We believe that this initiative can have a big impact on education of children in China.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton introduced HIPPY to the United States while serving as First Lady of Arkansas, dramatically improving the state’s education system for low-income students.

(via Israel21c)

[Photo: Steven Depolo / Flickr ]