5 Steps to Five
a program helping parents to prepare their babies for success in school and life.
For years, we in this country have spent hundreds of millions of dollars fighting poverty, especially trying to help children stay in school, let alone do better. The intent, laudable; but the results, too often lamentable.
The country has finally begun implementing pre-K. But pre-K is a long way from birth. A new baby’s brain is raring to go at birth (and even before birth, while still in the mother’s womb).
5 Steps to Five Makes the Most of Every Minute
Take small groups of parents and their babies, put them together with trained early child education instructors, provide them with a structured curriculum, and you’ve got the elements of the successful 5 Steps to Five parenting program.
As the babies mature, parents are coached on ways to nurture each child’s growing body; the parents grow in confidence, empowerment, and skill.
Throughout the program, parents share their progress and receive ongoing feedback and guidance, both from their group facilitators and each other.
How Are We Doing?
Over 260 different families have attended one or more sessions since our start with just seven families in spring 2014. Some families have attended over 80 Saturday-morning sessions. Mothers are interviewed after attending a sufficient number of sessions.
• Across a battery of questions about how the program may have helped, the average rating among 102 mothers was 9.3 out of a possible high of 10.
• One-third of the mothers grew up with no books in the home. We give each family a new book once a month. The parents tell us that they now read to their children four times more often than they did before being in the program.
• From our very first session, mothers have praised the program with their own spontaneous comments. Perhaps the most telling was:
“If I had known what I now know,
I would have raised my first child a whole lot differently.”