Turtle Wing Foundation recently received $1000 from the Wells Fargo Bank Community Grant program to help fund their collaborative effort with the Schulenburg/Weimar Area Parents as Teachers (PAT) program. The conditions being addressed by this program are in response to the family dynamics presented by both parents working and children spending most of their waking hours with a child care provider. Care providers play a critical role in the healthy development of children. Often care providers have the responsibility of nurturing and educating children, and the families depend on them for reports and observations on how their children are progressing. The PAT educator works closely with the provider to bring age appropriate activities and developmental milestones designed to enrich the present care providers program. Families of children attending the child care center are encouraged to enroll in the PAT program to receive parenting education and support through the four components of the Parents as Teachers model – personal visits, child screening, group connections and resource networking. PAT-trained staff are available to conduct developmental screenings for children at each center, communicating results with parents and providers. Turtle Wing is then involved in connecting center families to community resources should a need arise. There are presently four daycares in our area receiving this benefit. Additionally, Turtle Wing will conduct continuing education (CE) for all Early Childhood Care providers in the tri-county area to raise awareness and understanding on developmentally appropriate daily activities, managing environments to benefit behavior, parent communication, how to identify delays, and the tools and resources available to address these. CE is available to all interested, including area preschool teachers and any parent. These trainings are provided by highly qualified personnel with hands-on implementation of concepts and take-home activities - all available at no charge. The vision of Turtle Wing is that children with learning differences and their families readily have access to the supplemental services and support necessary to allow them to fully reach their unique potential. The PAT program’s vision is complementary: that all children will grow and develop to reach their full potential. Turtle Wing fulfills its mission by providing children with learning differences access to services for cognitive, language, sensory or emotional needs beyond those already being received. Turtle Wing’s mission includes educating rural communities on the need for early intervention, the support services available, and making these resources more accessible for those families living in rural communities. The mission of PAT is to provide the information, support and encouragement parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life. Both programs inform, support and encourage parents and focus on children’s healthy growth and development. By collaborating Turtle Wing can extend the reach of PAT beyond the geographical limitations of the Schulenburg/Weimar Area Parents as Teachers. The service area for Turtle Wing includes Fayette, Colorado, Lavaca and surrounding counties. For more information on Turtle Wing Foundation follow them on Facebook @turtlewingfoundation, visit the website at www.turtlewingfoundation.org or contact Managing Director, Susie Shank 979-505-5090.
(L-R) Molly Davila/branch manager, Susie Shank/Turtle Wing Foundation managing director