Omar Woodard, Executive Director
GreenLight Fund Philadelphia
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
April 11, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Philadelphia, PA – After a year-long effort to identify high-performing nonprofit organizations with proven models for early literacy from around the country, the GreenLight Fund announced the selection of its fourth Philadelphia portfolio organization, Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP). PCHP, an evidence-based early literacy, parental engagement, and school readiness model, is committed to closing the achievement gap by providing families with the knowledge, skills and materials they need to prepare their children for success in pre-kindergarten and beyond.
PCHP brings Early Literacy Specialists into the homes of families with children aged 2-4 who do not have access to quality early childhood programming, helping parents build language-rich home environments that enhance children’s literacy, cognitive, and social emotional skills, while supporting the transition to pre-k. In 50 years of evaluation, PCHP has documented important longitudinal impacts for program participants: graduates enter school as well or better prepared than their classmates, perform significantly better than their socioeconomic peers and as well as or better than the overall population on school readiness measures in kindergarten and first grade, and are reading and doing math on grade level in third grade. They are 50 percent less likely to be referred to special education services by the third grade; and they graduate from high school at the rate of middle class children nationally – a 30 percent higher rate than their socio-economic peers.
In 2012-2013, only 45 percent of Philadelphia third grade public school students scored proficient or advanced on the PSSA-Reading assessment, the lowest scores the city has seen since 2005-2006. Research has shown that early literacy proficiency and the ability to read on grade level is the foundation of almost all future student learning. Moreover, parent involvement is the number one predictor of early literacy success and future academic achievement. “Philadelphia is a city that faces huge challenges, including the continued growth of family poverty and limited availability of early childhood services before pre-k, particularly services accessible to English Language Learning families,” says Sarah Walzer, chief executive officer of PCHP. “We are proud to join forces with existing programs and organizations to build a continuum of services that provide a pathway to school and life success by ensuring that underserved families have the knowledge and tools necessary to build early literacy skills at home.”
“Philadelphia’s city-wide Read By 4th Campaign, a coalition of more than eighty local public and private organizations that have joined forces to increase early literacy development and grade-level proficiency within public schools, released a plan in July 2014 to increase 3rd grade reading proficiency by 2020. Parents and caregivers, the campaign plan argues, should be empowered and supported to serve as their child’s first teachers and most important guides of their progress as readers throughout the school years. Jenny Bogoni, Executive Director of the Read By 4th campaign, said, “Parent-Child Home Program, a nationally accomplished school readiness and parent engagement program, is an exciting addition to Philadelphia’s rich array of literacy resources for our city’s children and families.”
Over the past year, GreenLight has worked with PCHP to build exciting local partnerships with the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) and Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC). According to GreenLight Fund Philadelphia Executive Director, Omar Woodard, “PCHP’s launch represents an exciting cross-sector literacy collaboration reaching a hugely underserved population in Philadelphia. These partnerships are critical to the long-term sustainability and success of PCHP’s work in the city.” PHA has committed $1m over four years to support PCHP’s work in the Sharswood/Blumberg Choice Neighborhood Planning Area, and PHMC has committed their staff’s time and early childhood expertise to be PCHP’s replication partner in both Philadelphia sites.
With these strong partnerships in place, PCHP plans to launch two Philadelphia sites in fall 2016. In its first year, PCHP will serve approximately 100 families – 50 in the Sharswood/Blumberg Choice Neighborhood Planning Area and 50 immigrant, refugee and/or English language learning families in Southwest Philadelphia. Over the next four years, GreenLight will work closely with PCHP to ensure the Program’s long-term success, sustainability and growth.
About the GreenLight Fund:
The GreenLight Fund transforms the lives of children, youth and families in high-poverty urban areas by creating local infrastructure and a consistent annual process to: identify critical needs; import innovative, entrepreneurial programs that have a significant, measureable impact; and galvanize local support to help programs reach and sustain impact in the new city. Working in Boston since 2003, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area since 2012 and Cincinnati since 2015, GreenLight aims to grow a national network of GreenLight sites that learn and work collaboratively to find and spread proven nonprofit solutions that achieve meaningful and measurable impact in our communities on the issues that matter most. Learn more at: www.greenlightfund.org.
About Parent-Child Home Program:
The Parent-Child Home Program’s (PCHP) nationwide network of program sites provides low-income families with the necessary skills and tools to ensure their children achieve their greatest potential in school and in life, serving more than 7,200 families per year. PCHP’s National Center assists over 400 underserved communities in fourteen states in replicating PCHP’s proven school readiness model that builds early parent-child verbal interaction and learning at home, and carefully monitors the quality of the Program as it expands in these communities. Learn more at: www.parent-child.org.