Be a champion of a family’s future
The AVANCE Network operates several programs within the framework of a two-generation approach to family success. The largest of these programs are described below. Information on the specific programs offered by each Chapter can be found on individual Chapter websites.
AVANCE Parent-Child Education Program (PCEP)
Parents as All-Important First Teachers
Involving parents in their child’s education, especially before age three, is the best way to ensure children succeed in life.
At AVANCE, we leverage our impact on children by educating parents, teaching them that they are their child’s first and most important teachers. Parents learn how to turn their home into a laboratory of discovery, creating a cognitively rich environment that facilitates developmental milestones. Participating in our activities including parent education, toy making classes, community resource speakers, home visitation, parent-child interactive literacy activities, and leadership training, parents master the typical behaviors that lead their children to excel in school and life. This holistic approach integrates lecture with hands-on experience to instill our educational message deep in the fabric of our families’ homes. All this takes place while their children are becoming school ready in Early Child Development classes.
Parenting Education Class (1 Hour)
While exploring child growth and development, parents learn that they are their child’s first and most important teacher, and that home is the first classroom. Often parents do not feel competent or capable to fill this role. AVANCE breaks that myth! Parents are given tools and techniques to understand their child’s Social, Emotional, Cognitive and Physical growth. We show how education, reading, science, math, are in everyday situations. Parents often become leaders in their school and their community.
Toy Making Class (1 Hour)
The intention with the toy making class is to teach participants how to create educational toys, such as books, a baby doll, or a ball, out of inexpensive, readily available materials. This class also establishes peer support through group activities.
Community Resources (1 Hour)
Topics include health and nutrition, financial literacy, healthy activities, and other subjects that might address the needs of our parents.
Early Childhood Education
AVANCE provides a stimulating and nurturing educational environment for children up to 4 years old while their parents attend engaging parenting sessions. Children learn the school ready concepts such as letters, numbers, figures, colors and more. These activities are designed to stimulate their five senses as well as their fine and gross motor skills to prepare them for pre-school. The goal is for our children to start school a step ahead. Pre-school teachers and principals often remark how AVANCE children stand apart!
Fatherhood Programs - Fathers in Action
Effective fathering plays a vital role in the children’s long-term academic development as well as their cognitive, mental and social wellbeing. In fact, children who have active fathers are more comfortable exploring their environment and more likely to show self-control and pro-social behavior. Our Fatherhood program offers a series of workshops, field trips, and activities to help fathers experience the joy of being an active partner in raising their children.
The program fills the father's toolbox with the right tools, so he grows as his role expands with his child’s education. This healthy involvement and interaction with his child aim to enhance the child's overall health and well-being. In this workshop, a father learns how to nurture and bond with his child, love and respect his child’s mother,and serve as a guide and positive role model. When positive family interactions are paired with nurturing environments, children blossom.
The AVANCE Fatherhood Program:
- Enables fathers to become involved and loving dads
- Enhances family unity
- Increases fathers’ roles in their children’s education
- Improves interpersonal relationships among couples
Head Start Programs
Head Start is a comprehensive program to support children ages three to five years old for low-income families. Rich learning experiences, designed to help children developmentally, socially, emotionally, and physically, contribute to a child’s readiness for school and beyond.
Head Start programs promote children’s growth and development in an engaging learning environment through a variety of services, including:
- Early learning: The quality of adult-child interpersonal interactions through planned and spontaneous play contributes to the child's development of cognitive and language skills that support positive social skills and mental health.
- Health: In order to explore and interact with their environment, children need healthy motor, perceptual, and physical development, which is supported by nutritious meals and regular health and development screenings, as well as oral health and mental health support. To ensure children receive these services, AVANCE can connect families with certified medical, dental, and mental health professionals.
- Family wellbeing: Parenting programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development. Parents also receive support to achieve their goals, which might include housing stability, continuing education, and financial security.
Early Head Start Programs
Early Head Start is an early education and family support program for low-income families that targets expectant mothers and children ages six weeks to three years old, the prime time to influence the child's developmental outcomes. Promoting healthy child development, this program inspires parents to reach their full potential.
Although both the Early Head Start and Head Start programs prepare children for continued growth, development, and success in school and life, they are different. The distinguishing characteristic between the programs is that the Early Head Start program promotes the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers through safe and developmentally enriching caregiving.
Following in the footsteps of the Head Start model, the Early Head Start programs support parents, both mothers, and fathers, in their roles as primary caregivers and child's first teachers. The Programs motivates families to meet their personal goals and achieve self-sufficiency across a variety of domains such as housing stability, continuing education, and financial security.
Early Head Start Programs also mobilize the local community to provide the resources and environment necessary to ensure a comprehensive, integrated array of services and support for children and families.