In response to heightened need during the coronavirus pandemic, Step Up Suncoast has partnered with the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to support parent educators and children for the upcoming school year. The bank’s $25,000 grant will enable the organization’s Parents as Teachers (PAT) program to provide families with toolkits containing essential materials and supplies that enrich interactions with their children and create developmental opportunities that are critical during their child’s early years.
Parents as Teachers is an evidence-based, home-visiting program serving prenatal to five-year-old children in low-income households. Because Step Up Suncoast is no longer able to conduct in-person visits due to Covid-19, the organization needs to provide each family with individual toolkits for them to effectively participate in its newly created virtual sessions. The contents of these toolkits vary based on every child’s needs and can include a range of interactive items, such as books, puzzles and crayons. In addition, the nonprofit will continue its ongoing service of delivering food, diapers, formula, cleaning supplies and other necessary essentials to the homes it serves. The Parents as Teachers program is available to families living in Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties.