Parents, grandparents, and friends filled the Heber Springs High School performing arts auditorium for the celebration of the Heber Springs Hippy class of 2016-2017 on Monday. 

Hippy (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) is a educational program developed by Dr. Avima Lombard at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel in 1969. The program came to the United States in 1984, but Arkansas joined in 1986 and in 1988 the Heber Springs Hippy Program took form.

“This program has been around for 28 years” said HIPPY preschool coordinator, Julan Wood. 

Hippy is designed to provide parents with the educational enrichments for their preschool children. 

After meeting with the staff, the Hippy teacher will come to the home of the child and give the parents activities and a book to read to their child. This not only helps the children get ready for school, but it promotes parent involvement in their children’s education. 

“Parent involvement is one of the strongest indicators for academic success” continued Wood. 

As the program began, Wood gave thanks to several individuals that partnered with the program, the staff, and group meeting helpers. 

Over 50 children between the ages of 2 ½ to 5 years of age received a metal and a book of assorted work they completed throughout their time in the program. As the student’s names were called out, their parent and/or parents accompanied them to the stage to receive their award of completion. 

Once all the awards were given out to the students, door prizes, provided by Walmart, were given out to the parent or parents that attended all the scheduled meetings and events provided by the Hippy staff. 

The Heber Springs Hippy program received a Walmart community grant for $250 to help make the group meetings possible. 

For more information on the Heber Springs Hippy program, contact Julan Wood at (501)362-7508.