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AVANCE, a national organization that runs educational programs in 17 locations in Houston and Pasadena visited the city of Katy on Wednesday, June 29 at The Club at Falcon Point and presented its signature Parent & Child program model within leaders in the community, as the agency seeks opportunities to offer this program to Katy residents.

The meet and greet event was hosted by City of Katy Mayor, Don Elder, and Dr. Zachary Hodges, President of Houston Community College Northwest,  who are strong advocates of education.

AVANCE’s Executive Director Jose Villarreal explained that the nine-month parenting program that AVANCE plans to bring to Katy is designed to build a strong bond between the parent and the child. Both learn in separate classrooms but follow the same curriculum. While the parent learns how to create an educationally enriching home environment, the child is learning through play and developing his/her five senses with fun activities designed around monthly themes and modified appropriately for his or her age.

“Parents learn that they are their child’s first teachers, and the home is the first classroom” says Villarreal. “Parental involvement in a child’s education is important that’s why AVANCE focuses on educating the entire family, which then leads to  a route of economic empowerment and successful communities.”

David Loving, Univision’s VP-Texas Region, and resident of Katy says that the program “gets results” as he mentioned the $12.6 million grant recently awarded to AVANCE’s headquarters by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to expand the Parent & Child program to additional States. Loving is familiar with the agency as he formerly served San Antonio chapter Board of Directors.  He supports AVANCE’s mission and noted it is aligned with the “Es El Momento” campaign that Univision launched last year dedicated to increase graduation rates among Hispanics as well as involve parents in their education.

“AVANCE looks forward to identifying target population and potential schools in Katy to offer the Parent & Child program as early as Fall 2011, if funding permits,” says Villarreal.

Special guests and supporters present included: Service King Collision Repair Centers, Ben E. Keith Co, HEB, AVANCE board members and others.

Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

From left, City of Katy Mayor Don Elder, AVANCE Executive Director Jose Villarreal, and HCCS Northwest President Zachary Hodges.
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