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  • whole PAT group
  • adult helping a child
  • group in front of Children's Haven

What Is Parents As Teachers?

As a parent, you are your child's first and most important teacher. You begin teaching your baby prenatally through your touch and your voice. Parents As Teachers is a family education and support program that begins prenatally and continues through kindergarten entrance. Parent Educators translate scientific information on early brain development into concrete suggestions and activities for you to teach and nurture your child.

Parents As Teachers is a free program for the Carthage R-9 School District. We serve over 1,450 children from prenatal through kindergarten entry. Our goal is help parents prepare their children for school. We offer free screenings and referrals to preschool and other services.

Parents As Teachers started in Missouri in 1984 and is mandated to be in every school in the state. It is in all 50 states and several other countries. Carthage has one of the strongest programs in the state and nation as recognized by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Parents As Teachers National Center.

Our Program

The Parents As Teachers program is designed to offer developmental information and support to the parents. The goal of the program is to help parents give their child the best possible start in life. Parents As Teachers uses four ways to partner with parents to help each child reach his/her potential for learning. All services are free.

  • Personal Visits
    During a visit, a Parent Educator shares information on child development, brings an age-appropriate activity for you and your child to do together, and with you observes your child's play and development. Visits can be done at your choice of in-home or at our center. All appointments are made around your needs and schedule.
  • Group Meetings
    Parents come to a central location to meet other parents hear experts speak on parenting topics and child development, or share interesting activities with their child.
  • Screenings
    Screening provides an opportunity for you to see where you child's progress fits in with standardized measures of child development. Health, hearing, and vision screenings are also provided. These screenings are mandated for our District for all of our preschool and kindergarten students before entry.
  • Resource Network
    Our Parents As Teachers program identifies resources in our community that are available for supporting families that will help you meet your family's needs and goals.

Development Research

Brain development research shows that up to 80% of all learning we do is in the first formative six years, starting at birth. We put developmental materials and books in parents' hands to work with their children and tie them into the appropriate community resources to help them be the best parents they can be. We work with children in making sure they are meeting appropriate milestones and getting any needed early intervention along the way.

Lending Libraries

On April 18, 2018 the Early Childhood and Parents As Teachers students and staff joined the Carthage Literacy Council, the Chamber of Commerce, district administration, school board members and community members for the ribbon cutting of Carthage's fifth lending library. Anyone can borrow books! Lending Libraries are located in front of Early Childhood, Columbian, YMCA, by Chamber of Commerce and North of Grace Episcopal at Howard and Chestnut.



Teen Meetings

This is a program for those parents that are under age 21. If you are enrolled in high school, talk with your counselor or Mrs. Hodson about enrolling in a Parents As Teachers credit class! Special teen meetings are held every third Thursday, during the Seminar block. If you need to schedule a visit with your Parent Educator or need to enroll, call the Parents As Teachers office and ask for Brooke Johnston. For students who are parents at the Junior High School, see the school counselor for details on being bused to the teen meetings.


If sickness is present in your home, please cancel your appointment. We don't want to spread germs. Also, if the Carthage R-9 School District is closed due to inclement weather, we will not be completing visits for the day. Thank you for keeping our safety as well as yours a priority!



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