HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Preschoolers clad in caps and gowns marched to "Pomp and Circumstance" and celebrated their graduation from the HIPPY program -- Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters -- on June 14.
This was the 22nd annual graduation for the program, run by the Bergen County Section of the National Council of Jewish Women. The national program helps parents become their children's first teacher.
Judy Chicas, now 11 years old, was the featured speaker, and she discussed how her experience in the program helped make her successful in school. She congratulated the graduates and urged them to continue their work as they entered kindergarten.
Bergen Family Center CEO Mitch Schonfeld called each child up to receive a certificate of achievement as the audience cheered.
One parent wrote this, which has been translated from Spanish:
Through this note, I want to express my appreciation to you for allowing us to participate in this program. It has been a blessing seeing our children learn, seeing their abilities and where they need support. What we are most happy about is the great work reflected in our children's school grades. In addition, this learning process has become a great way to share quality time with the family.
The HIPPY program was begun in Israel decades ago, and it has now expanded to 167 sites across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the NCJW.
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