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Home Instruction Program ends (June 17)

MEDIA RELEASE

Family Support Hawaii (FSH) has announced it will end its Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program on June 17, 2011 due to loss of funding.

The federal funding — which originates from Parent Information and Resource Centers (PIRC), then funnels through Parents and Children Together (PACT) — was recently cut by Congress.

“The loss of PIRC funds is a huge blow to the state,” said FSH executive director Paki Story. “But the loss of the HIPPY program is especially hard for Big Island families, given the shrinking resources in our community.”

Story said seven sites statewide will be affected by this funding cut. Two of those sites are HIPPY and the Kealakehe Parent Community Center, both on the Big Island. The other five sites are on Oahu.

“I want to acknowledge and thank the HIPPY staff for all their hard work and caring hearts,” said Shannon Ramirez, HIPPY coordinator since 1999. “HIPPY has been a huge part of the pulse of our agency since 1996.”

HIPPY helps parents become their children’s first teacher by giving them the tools, skills, and confidence they need to help their children succeed in school and beyond. The program offers weekly activities for 30 weeks of the year, alternating between home visits and group meetings.

Because of its proven positive outcomes, HIPPY has a long and remarkable history of successfully helping communities meet their goals of increasing school readiness among vulnerable populations and has served more than 3,000 children over the years.

Funding options are being pursued with the possibility of reinstating HIPPY in the future.

Founded in 1979 by members of the community who were concerned about the life-long consequences of child abuse and neglect, Family Support Hawaii is a non-profit 501(c)(3) agency that offers a multitude of programs that touch nearly every facet of family life on the Big Island.

This past year, FSH provided direct support to 3,500+ families through its various programs.

For information on services provided by Family Support Hawaii, call 808-326-7778 or visit www.familysupporthawaii.org

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