HOME WORKS! The Teacher Home Visit Program was founded in St. Louis in 2007 to get parents of high-need students to be actively engaged in their children’s education. We aim to increase the capacity of parents and families to read and talk to their children daily, show they value education, and make sure their children attend school every day, all day. HOME WORKS! began in a handful of elementary schools, and this school year, ten years and 16,300 visits later, we are in 27 early child, elementary, middle, and high schools in urban, suburban, and rural districts in Missouri, including one charter school, and reaching 1,500 students on average annually.
Home visits aren’t a new idea. Parents as Teachers and Nurses for Newborns provide home visits to families of children from birth to age three, and many states in the U.S. require home visits before the first year of school starts. HOME WORKS! was inspired by a similar program in Texas and California that began in 1998. Teachers there recorded an increase in academic achievement and test scores, improved attendance and homework completion, a significant increase in family involvement, improved attitudes about school by both the student and the family, and a decrease in discipline problems.
HOME WORKS! is an integral part of our school culture. The relationships and trust created through visiting homes and partnering with parents have made a significant impact on our school’s success. Our students work harder knowing that their teacher and their families are working together and are on the same team. – Amy Watkins Fowler, Principal at Parkade Elementary in Columbia, MO