A two-generation approach to strengthening families
AVANCE’s Dallas office employs 43 early childhood teachers, more than half of whom are former graduates of AVANCE’s early childhood program.
The AVANCE team says these teachers are evidence of the “AVANCE way,” a spirit and enthusiasm for early childhood that attracts parents and teachers alike. It creates not only a commitment to the organization, but an excitement to share what’s been learned through AVANCE’s programs.
The “AVANCE way” does more than just help the organization retain high caliber employees. AVANCE’s dual-generation approach to breaking the cycle of poverty has gained national acclaim for its combination of quality early childhood development and personalized parenting education programs.
AVANCE has positively impacted its child graduates’ development, testing scores, and graduation rates, while helping parents increase their workplace and parenting skills. Highlights of the most recent results from the AVANCE-Dallas program included:
- 80% of the 3- and 4-year-old 2014 child graduates were kindergarten-ready based on the LAP-3 (Learning Accomplishment Profile) scores.
- 86% of the 2014 children age 0–2 were developmentally at or above their target age on the E-LAP (Early Learning Accomplishment Profile).
- 81% of the 2014 parent participants demonstrated at least 75% of the 44 “ideal” parenting behaviors on the AVANCE Home Visiting Checklist while playing with their child. This benchmark was up from a mere 2% of participants at the year’s beginning.
- 82% of the 2014 parent graduates reported reading to their children at least five days per week by the end of the year, up from only 19% at the program’s start.
- 83% of 2014 parent graduates met the 12% (or 3-point) increase goal on the post-APQ (AVANCE Parenting Questionnaire) exam. The average increase was a 26% gain.
- 91% of first- and second-year parent participants who completed an ESL class in the 2013–2014 Workplace English Program improved by at least one proficiency level on the Side by Side Placement Test.
- 24% of parent participants who completed at least one year of the Workplace English Program got a job, increased their income, or started a business by year-end.
AVANCE’s recent expansion into Fort Worth has included a book club that introduces families to its programming. Hosted at a local library, the book club emphasizes interactive reading, engaging both active listeners (parents) and readers (children). It not only familiarizes families with the library’s expansive resources, but also focuses on the parent-child bonding that can occur during the simple practice of reading together.
AVANCE works to deepen families’ interest and access to books by providing avenues to encourage reading at home. In 2014, AVANCE provided families with 24 books throughout the year, four of which they were able to keep to help build their own home libraries.
Next year, AVANCE plans to expand from two classrooms in Fort Worth to four classrooms and two book clubs. The organization will also offer an English-speaking book club through United Community Centers.
AVANCE’s future goals for Fort Worth include enacting a leadership academy for graduates of its early childhood program. The leadership academy helps parents hone their personal development and enhance their leadership skills. By solving local issues through a collaborative approach, participants are able to apply their learning of practical management principles while effecting positive change in their communities.
We are proud to be a partner to AVANCE, and look forward to its continued success in Fort Worth.