Parent-Child Home Program greatly benefits from space at JFCS’ new office
JFCS’ Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) is an evidence-based, early literacy, parenting, and school readiness program that promotes creative ways to learn through play. Committed to closing the achievement gap by providing low-income families the skills they need to prepare their children for school and life success, the vision of PCHP is that every child enters school ready to succeed because every parent has the knowledge and resources to build school readiness where it starts: the home.
With every home visit, participating families receive free educational books and toys. The good news about JFCS’ PCHP program is that it has kept growing ever since its inception in 2006. Unfortunately, office space at JFCS’ previous office in Minnetonka never grew along with the growth of the program. PCHP has been continually successful at obtaining the funding necessary to serve more families in Minnesota, which has meant more staff, books and toys. By the time JFCS was ready to move to our new building in February, the program had four staff members squeezed into one office and two other staff members in offices that were half work space, half warehouse storage. Boxes of books and toys were stacked in the office like skyscrapers.
It’s a world of difference at JFCS’ new office in Golden Valley. PCHP now occupies seven work stations, three private offices and one dedicated meeting space to allow staff members to efficiently, collaboratively and comfortably complete their in-office work. The storage room provides over three times the amount of storage space PCHP had at the Minnetonka location. In addition to creating a better working environment for staff, this space allows PCHP to get books and toys out of boxes and onto shelves. The strong visual impact of the variety and breadth of learning materials that eventually go into the homes of hundreds of families the program serves each year is a powerful one.
“Our storage space has been an exciting destination on tours of the new JFCS home,” said Kristi Murray, PCHP Program Manager. “Actually visualizing families receiving these learning tools creates a sharper realization of the priceless impact PCHP makes on the future educational and life success of each family served. We truly cherish the magnitude of space we now have, including the dedicated storage area.”
PCHP’s trained early learning specialists work with children ages 18 months to 2-1/2 years old and their families in their homes two times a week, bringing free educational books and toys and teaching creative ways to learn and play together so that the children are ready for preschool or kindergarten. The program – which serves families in Minneapolis, suburban Hennepin County and rural Cass County – is provided to families at no cost to them. JFCS is the only organization in Minnesota certified to provide PCHP.
This June, 81 families will be celebrating their graduation from the program, and next program year, PCHP is expected to serve 300 families. For more information on the Parent-Child Home Program, call 763-222-9855 or visit www.jfcsmpls.org.