The core of HOME WORKS! is to make home visits to establish trust and build a relationship with parents to empower them as partners in their children's education.
HOME WORKS! 2+2 Model requires two mandatory teacher trainings, two people on each visit, two visits per priority student per year, two Family Dinners, and two staff in each school who ensure program fidelity and data collection. Detailed manuals developed by HOME WORKS! that describe each step in our home visit process are provided in all trainings and serve as a reference for all HOME WORKS! participants. Teachers are paid to make the visits.
The purpose of the first home visit is relationship and trust building. It is to establish the communication necessary for a partnership between parents and teachers. The visit allows teachers to learn about the families ‘on their own turf’ or in a neutral setting to discuss the importance of reading and talking with their children daily, and attending school all day, every day. Teachers help parents create an environment that supports learning by sharing tools and strategies that parents can intentionally and continuously use for their children to succeed academically. Families receive a resource bag with school, library and community information, along with a book and fun, educational activities for the family to do with their child.
On the second home visit, teachers and parents discuss the child’s academic performance. Teachers provide parents with more strategies, support, resouces and tools to be used at home regularly to increase the academic achievement of their children. If the family has limited English proficiency, or a parent is deaf, an interpreter accompanies the teachers on the visits. Attendance is discussed at both visits. If it's perfect, they celebrate; if not, they discuss - with no blame or shame - ways to get the student to school all day, every day.
At both visits, families are invited to a FAMILY DINNER at the school. These provide an excellent opportunity for families and teachers to meet informally to share information regarding ways parents can provide academic support at home, and talk about the importance of attendance and education. When teachers hear about barriers to attending the dinners, such as needing childcare, transportation or having to work, they offer solutions. They do whatever it takes to get parents to attend because they know that the children of parents who are involved with their education at home do better academically.
Donations go towards helping to pay teachers to make home visits and for teacher training; data collection and analysis; an evaluation; academic materials for parents to use with their children at home; Family Dinners at the schools and transportation and interpreters for families who need them; and for staffing.
It is estimated that over 5,000 people (students, parents, teachers, siblings, and staff) directly benefited from teacher home visits last year. We currently have 231 Lead Teachers and 112 Other School Personnel who have been trained and are participating in the HOME WORKS! program.