HOME WORKS! The Teacher Home Visit Program was founded in St. Louis in 2007 to partner families and teachers for children’s academic success. HOME WORKS! began in a handful of elementary schools, and has since served 116 early childhood, elementary, middle, and high schools in urban, suburban, and rural districts in Missouri, including charter schools in St. Louis. During that time, our teachers made almost 30,000 home visits, primarily to disadvantaged families.
HW! strives to address the needs of schools and communities meeting students, families, and teachers where they are. In March 2020, HOME WORKS! pivoted to Virtual (remote) Home Visits to ensure that all students, especially the hard-to-reach students, had the resources they need to succeed academically during COVID-19 and beyond. They were very different from in-home visits so HW! rewrote the manual and developed new teacher training.
This fall, HOME WORKS! launched the “Getting Patrick Henry Connected” initiative to close the digital divide at one low-income, low-performing school. The initiative coordinates community stakeholders including nonprofits, academics, and volunteers to ensure students, parents, and teachers have what they need to participate in virtual learning. Findings are being captured in a playbook which is shared with schools across the region and country.
HOME WORKS! defines parent engagement as a set of behaviors that parents intentionally and continuously practice that positively impact a child’s learning. Parent engagement acknowledges and focuses on the connection between a child’s learning at home and academic success at school.