FCIC - Florida Center for Inclusive Communities


Research studies investigate the characteristics and effects of HIPPY model components in real-world, applied settings. Research studies may not be tied specifically to program objectives. Research studies may be designed more in the context of the current state-of-knowledge in education (e.g., training, instructional strategies, curriculum), psychology (e.g., interpersonal relationships, stress, parenting practices), or other relevant disciplines.


Evaluation Studies investigate program effectiveness with respect to stated program objectives. Is HIPPY achieving the program objectives? Is HIPPY engaging in actions that will lead to the achievement of program objectives? What are integral HIPPY components, program strengths? Why does HIPPY work? What are the weak links in the HIPPY model, areas to develop strategies for improvement? What are some effective HIPPY model adaptations and modifications? Evaluation studies provide information to make policy decisions regarding program improvement. The Florida State HIPPY research vision represents one design for the evaluation of the HIPPY Program. In evaluation studies, research questions and investigative activities are directly related to program objectives.

Extensive research in Israel, HIPPY's country of origin, indicates that HIPPY benefits children by improving academic achievement and adjustment to school, reducing the need for children to repeat grades and increasing the rate of school completion. Positive impacts on parents include increases in involvement in their children's education, higher self-esteem and further education for themselves. The first systematic evaluation of HIPPY in the United States, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, was conducted by the NCJW Center for the Child. Preliminary findings of first grade teacher ratings suggest that participation in HIPPY may have a positive effect on children's classroom adaptation, an important component of school success (Baker and Piotrkowski, 1993). Other United States research includes several case studies that focus on implementation.





Longitudinal Study

Previous Florida HIPPY research findings suggest that HIPPY programs are preparing children for kindergarten. The Florida HIPPY Longitudinal Study is being conducted to demonstrate the sustainability of HIPPY’s influence on children’s academic performance from kindergarten through the third grade. Annual academic performance data will be collected for three years for three cohorts of children: HIPPY children entering kindergarten in September 2004, 2005, or 2006. This three-year longitudinal study will address an extensive set of outcomes including kindergarten readiness, grades in reading and mathematics, third grade FCAT scores, grade promotion status, school attendance, and disciplinary history.





Research Briefs

The Florida HIPPY T&TA Center, in conjunction with USF, HIPPY USA, and Florida HIPPY sites, began a research initiative to evaluate the efficacy of the HIPPY model, measure and describe changes in program participants, and provide evidence-based support for HIPPY programs. Data from selected Florida HIPPY programs have been collected and analyzed. The purpose of these research briefs is to share knowledge on topics of interest with HIPPY stakeholders. Findings from this research may be used to develop "best practices" in service delivery, for program improvement and enhancement, to describe program functioning and impact to stakeholders, and to support program sustainability. Each Research Brief is offered here as a pdf file for viewing and printing. You will need to have the free Adobe Reader software program installed in your computer to access these files. To access these files, just click on the blue underlined title.

#1: Ready…Set…Research! A Statewide Accountability Initiative in Early Childhood Programming In the age of accountability, programs that provide services to children and their families are often asked to provide evaluation research about program activities and effectiveness to stakeholders in their communities. This document summarizes findings from a brief survey of the 18 HIPPY sites in Florida. Specific site-based research and evaluation needs, interests, priorities, and potential measures are discussed.

#2: Positive Changes in HIPPY Families As a parent training, education, and empowerment program, a wide range of positive changes in HIPPY parents and families have been observed by HIPPY paraprofessionals and coordinators. This document discusses parental increases in community involvement, personal and professional development among HIPPY parents, personality and attitude changes, changes in how parents understand and relate with their children, and positive changes in how parents regard and relate to school issues.

#3: Employability Skills That Matter! The Value of Job Training Opportunities for HIPPY Paraprofessionals Although HIPPY is primarily viewed as an initiative that serves children and families, it is also a viable model for job training in populations with limited work experiences and marketable skills and a history of poverty and public assistance. This document discusses the HIPPY job training model and reports on basic and advanced employability skills that are valued by HIPPY paraprofessionals.

#4: Building relationships and trust with HIPPY families Building relationships and trust with HIPPY families As a home visiting program, interaction with families is a key element of HIPPY. The development of communication and trust between the home visitor and families is necessary for the successful implementation of the HIPPY curriculum and engagement and retention of families. This brief discusses the importance of good home visitor/family relationships and presents ways HIPPY paraprofessionals establish good relationships with the families they serve.

#5: Overcoming challenges to engaging HIPPY families Overcoming challenges to engaging HIPPY families HIPPY paraprofessionals face many challenges when working with parents in a home-based environment. Successful program delivery requires engaging parents and overcoming challenges experienced in a home context. This brief identifies some of the common challenges HIPPY paraprofessionals face, and the ways they have addressed them.

#6: HIPPY Families Participate in Home Literacy Activities HIPPY Families Participate in Home Literacy Activities Goal One of the National Education Goals emphasizes the importance of parent-child engagement in literacy activities to children’s learning and readiness for school. Activities such as reading to their children, telling stories and singing songs stimulate children’s imagination, help them increase their vocabularies, and provides them with information about the world around them. This brief discusses the level of involvement of HIPPY parents in different kinds of home literacy activities in comparison to a national sample of young children.

#7: HIPPY Families Participate in Educational Activities in the CommunityHIPPY Families Participate in Educational Activities in the Community Families are involved in many educational activities to support their children’s learning and their motivation to learn. Family teaching includes providing opportunities for learning and development within the community. Parents play an important role in helping their children develop close ties to their neighbors and the broader community. Parents are also important intermediaries as their young children learn about cultural traditions of their community. This brief presents information on the extent to which HIPPY families are engaged with their children in community educational activities in comparison to a national sample of children.

#8: HIPPY Children’s Pre-Academic Skills HIPPY Children’s Pre-Academic Skills Young children who enter kindergarten with a range of cognitive and social skills tend to maintain an advantage as they progress through school compared to their peers who are not prepared for the academic challenges of kindergarten. Children whose parents are engaged in several types of educational activities with them may be more likely than other children to show signs of emerging literacy such as recognizing letters and counting, writing their own names, or reading or pretending to read. This brief identifies some of the pre-academic skills HIPPY parents report their children are developing, and also compares the preliteracy skills of HIPPY children to those of a national sample.

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