Recently I received an exciting message from one of, if not the first, mother to ever sit down with me for a Kindergarten Instructional At-Home Plan(IAHP)® conference. Her one and only daughter is now an eighth grader who was not only visiting prospective high schools but had already began the process of college sight seeing. Viewing her updated picture and the joy of this anticipated milestone couldn’t be expressed in words, the messages left me in tears of joy. The joy and excitement of competing applications for high selection could be felt through the phone. I distinctly recall conferencing with this precious child’s mother and discussing how the question for the baby would not be IF she was going to college, the question would be for her which university do you choose, and which scholarships will you accept. Despite being a resident of a Chicago community plagued by poverty, sickness, despair and death, this parent, child, and this educator could still write the script and get her ticket out of this.
My former kindergarten students, who will always be my babies are completing their final year of elementary school and preparing for a June 2018 graduation. This marks a very special time for them as well as my creation for them. The Instructional At-Home Plan (IAHP)® has just completed its eight year of solid, sustained, and consistent results. Typical results for my kindergarten students, whose parents utilize the IAHP, are between 90 and 95 percent of classroom proficient or above in literacy assessment with the math averaging above 85 percent.
The story of the IAHP’s creation is an educator’s love story. My many years of teaching Chicago students revealed that without a very potent and powerful academic tool which would foster parent, teacher and child academic interaction, most students were bound for failure as early as five years of age. The 3 am morning creation of the IAHP was created out my passion and concern for the students who I anticipated would sit before and would need emergency academic assistance, which could reach beyond the walls of the classroom and enter their home. A strategy and tool were created which could overcome the trauma of an impoverished life in Chicago. The IAHP started as what I believed to be a simple yet extremely effective academic tool. It panned out to produce results that went far above and beyond mere academic proficiency. Over the years, I have had the privilege to observe the Instructional At-Home Plan impact: individual children, classrooms, and most importantly the family and a community paradigm shift regarding the value education.
Congratulations to the class of 2018 and all my IAHP babies. The successful completion of the elementary school years will be the first of many for you!