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Parents as Teachers Evidence-based program marks 30th year

“Parents are (their child’s) first teachers” says Parents as Teachers (PAT) Affiliate Supervisor Eric Fontanez. Promoting optimal early development, the capacity for learning and the physical and mental health of children is supported by engaging parents and caregivers. This is the mission of the Bethlehem PAT affiliate which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary of providing in-home services for pre-kindergarten children living in the Bethlehem Area School District.

This event was a celebratory gathering of parents, children and community that have been part of or support the transformative work being done by PAT. The program monitor Brand Elevation CEO Tiffany Sondegaard was assisted by Spanish interpreter and former parent participant Michelle Laureano. Brand Elevations is responsible for the national branding of PAT.

Parents as Teachers is an evidence-based program that creates opportunities for parents to learn how to prepare/teach their children skills they will need when they start school. The program prides itself on diverse experiences and perspectives, equity, inclusion and accessibility in an empowering environment. Children are encouraged to identify and develop their skills and talents.

PAT is available to Bethlehem residents and is located at the Mervine School Family Center.

The Liberty HS Grenadier Band Bag Pipers greet guests as they arrive at the Icehouse in Bethlehem for the 30th anniversary celebration of Parents as Teachers.
Parent volunteer and former parent participant Lourdes Martinez helps at the Parents as Teachers celebration event.
PAT Program Supervisor Lissette Maldonaldo and BASD Supt. Dr. Jack Silva attend the PAT event at the Ice house in Bethlehem. More photos on A2.
Northeast MS Steppers perform a high energy routine.
PRESS PHOTOS BY JENN RAGO Brand Elevation CEO Tiffany Sondergaard welcomes parents, families and community members to the PAT 30th anniversary celebration.