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Parents as Teachers


 Content Editor


Chuck Denney, Narrator (UT Institute of Agriculture)
He’s still a good three years away from kindergarten, but two-year-old Jackson McGriff is already quite a vocal little guy. His mom Audrey maybe had something to do with that.

Audrey McGriff (Parent)
“From the very beginning when he was just a baby, I made sure to talk to him all the time. I felt like that has helped with his language development now.”

Chuck Denney, Narrator
Audrey and Jack-Jack as she calls him are part of a UT Extension program in Wilson County called “Parents as Teachers.” Audrey considers herself a mom first, but she also likes helping her son learn.

Audrey McGriff
“Everything is like a counting game and color game. We have horses, so I’ll ask about Lexus our horse – what color is she, and he’ll say brown. Or the color of the grass.”

Marietta Sanford (UT Extension - Wilson County)

“It helps with the child with communication skills. It helps them learn how to communicate with the parent, which is definitely a very important skill to have. But it also helps them in how to exchange language and sharing.”

Chuck Denney, Narrator

“UT experts say it’s not just the academics that kids learn in this program. Yes, reading, numbers, that’s all important. But it’s also about attitude. Parents send the message to their kids that education is a family priority.”

Shelly Barnes (UT Extension - Wilson County)

“It’s teaching them that learning is their job.”

Chuck Denney, Narrator
Shelly Barnes with UT Extension says the program, partially funded by the United Way of Wilson County, includes both home visits and group meetings. It’s to help kids learn today, but also with an eye on what comes next.

Shelly Barnes
“Really we want the parent child interaction to take place. We really want the parents to help their child get ready for kindergarten because it’s a kindergarten entry program. That’s very important. We want to emphasize the importance of reading and developing those milestones that children are going to accomplish depending on their age.”

Chuck Denney, Narrator
Being a good parent includes preparing your child for the future. Not only can a mom or dad be a child’s first teacher, they may also be the most influential.

OF NOTE: More than 50 families are taking part in the program in Wilson County. Other partners include the local schools and Prospect Inc. – a center that works with families.