HIPPY USA: A mother and son tell their story


As announced in April, HIPPY USA is our Education beneficiary this quarter. HIPPY stands for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters. Parents are their children's first, and ultimately constant, teacher. They work as a support organization by distributing their curriculum, consulting with agencies and schools using the curriculum, and promoting the HIPPY model of education.  Please read a first-hand account from a mother and son, Miranda and DJ, about their incredible experience with the HIPPY program.

Miranda's story

"I was going through a divorce and about to become a single parent. It was a really hard time for me because I feared that I wouldn’t be able to offer my 4-year-old son, DJ, everything that he wanted in life.

I needed something that could guide me through this. Then, an amazing thing happened.

One day, I picked up a flier while I was at DJ’s pre-school. It talked about a program called HIPPY. It helped parents and their children bond through fun learning experiences. It was free and available to me.

This was what I needed. So, I enrolled.

Through the program, I learned how do activities with DJ that were fun and that helped him learn. After I mastered how to teach, DJ and I sat together and learned together. We did lots of interactive projects. For example, we’d do a silly version of a nursery rhyme where he acted out characters and learned letters at the same time. This helped him master reading.

We did this for 15 minutes every day. He was engaged in the activities and I was there to support him. The point was to work together and develop a closer relationship through learning. The lessons held his attention and he enjoyed doing them.

Having fun learning was a big change for me. When I was growing up, learning was not fun. It was a very serious matter where you had to sit and focus. With HIPPY I learned to take a different approach. My goal was to build for DJ a foundation to love learning.

Gradually, I let him be more independent. My expectations for him grew and he was better prepared for every new school grade he entered, every new step he took.

I did a lot of learning too. I learned how to be an advocate for my child in school, education and just about everything he did. And I learned I could do this not just when he was young but all through adulthood as well.

Now I look at DJ, and I am so proud of the man he has become.

He volunteers. He’s a great student. He mentors children. He has great ambitions in life.

The program worked for us.

It actually meant so much to me that I became a HIPPY home visitor myself. I’ve been working part-time and full-time for the program for past 13 years.

It’s very fulfilling that I can help other parents learn to bond with their children and be there for them all through their lives — just like I learned to do with DJ years ago.

I truly believe that because of HIPPY, DJ is ahead of the game today as he’s entering college and planning his future."

DJ's story

"I was a HIPPY child.

Now I’m 19-years-old and attending college. I’m studying biology. I plan on becoming a physical therapist and help people improve their lives.

One of the reasons I am ahead in life is because my mom has been so involved in my life.

It’s also because of the HIPPY program.
Most people don’t remember much when they are 4 years old. But I do.

I remember being excited to study with my mom. Our HIPPY home visitor, Ms. Audrey, would come and we’d play games, do coloring, and make cutouts. It was a lot of fun. These activities taught me fine motor skills, word comprehension, and how to be creative.

My mom and I eventually did our own stuff and added on school-related activities. I’d tell my mom: “Let’s just do the activities right now. I don’t want to wait anymore.”

Honestly, it was a very exciting and joyful experience for me as a child to learn things in a fun way.

Learning with my mom also showed me that she was a part of my life, not just at home but everywhere else. She was there for me, she supported me, and she helped me when I need it most.

The HIPPY program taught me that no matter what I am going through, I can come to my mom and talk to her about it. If I don’t understand something, I can ask her for help, advice or support.

I cherish spending time with her. I’ve taken on her values and principles, and I admire the way she raised me. I’ve also learned to treat her well and to understand that she’s not just my mom – she’s my teacher, she’s my role model, she’s my mentor."

Foundation Beyond Belief is proud to support HIPPY USA as our Education beneficiary this quarter. To support our work, please donate here.