Young families in South Korea and China will now be able to access HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents and Preschool Youngsters), an Israeli-developed early learning program already reaching 20,000 families at 440 program sites in countries including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel, Liberia, New Zealand, and the United States.

HIPPY-inspired programs also operate in Denmark, Finland, Holland, Sweden and Turkey.

HIPPY partners with parents to prepare kids for success in school, particularly targeting children disadvantaged by poverty, limited education and language deficits. HIPPY peer parent educators from the community make home visits to provide 30 weeks per year of culturally and linguistically relevant curriculum activities and books directly to parents.

In some countries, the program is partly subsidized by the government or HIPPY’s regional partners.

HIPPY originated in 1969 and was developed by Dr. Avima D. Lombard, a researcher at the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Lombard started an early education program in Israel that aimed to teach parents with limited formal education to be their children’s first teachers for better future success in school.

Research has shown that children who participated in the HIPPY program at age 3, 4 or 5 appear to benefit long-term in their scholastic achievement.

A mother in Somalia works with her child using HIPPY materials. Photo: courtesy

Expansion to South Korea and China was facilitated by an agreement signed by Yissum Research Development Company, the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, with Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) in China and Lolo Educational Services (LES) in Korea.

In these Far East countries, the HIPPY model was expanded and transformed to better serve upper- and middle-class populations. Professional teachers will train the parents, and the goal is to bring the children to a higher level of academic success.

New wave of parent involvement

The Korean program will begin with a six-month pilot involving 100 parents in three sites in Seoul. The official launch of the program is planned for late summer of this year.

“HIPPY has been steadily growing worldwide over the last 10 years. South Korea and China are the first programs in Asia where we will be adapting the core program model for a very different and more highly educated consumer,” said HIPPY International Director Miriam Westheimer.

A father and son share a HIPPY moment. Photo: courtesy

DJ Dongjun Lee, CEO of Lolo Educational Services, commented, “We were very impressed by the proven added value that HIPPY offers in preparing children for school and studies. I hope HIPPY can help Korean parents to better understand the benefits and importance of their involvement in their children’s education and that our partnership will bring a new wave of parent involvement to the Korean education market.”

ASDAN China CEO Yichan Yuan added, “Today, we declared our commitment to work together with HIPPY to help preschool children reach high-quality education at home, benefiting them in the long run.

“As a country with a large population, there are currently hundreds of millions of preschool children in China. Parents are willing to prepare their children for school by educating them at home; however, they lack of informative guidance makes it extremely difficult for them to succeed in this task.

“The collaboration between HIPPY and ASDAN China will provide parents with the support and information they need in order to help their children excel in school. We believe that this initiative can have a big impact on education of children in China,” Yuan concluded.

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