Avance – San Antonio
Parenting is a 24/7 job that you begin with no training manual – only the skills you learned from your parents, if you were paying attention! In 1973, AVANCE – San Antonio was established when it was realized that there was a noticeable lack of parenting knowledge and nurturing skills among the poorest populations on the west and south sides of San Antonio. This became AVANCE’s target area: parents from at-risk communities living in poverty, with little or no education, un- or under-employed, socially isolated, with children between the ages of 0-4 years. This area is 93% Hispanic and is the most economically challenged area of San Antonio.
AVANCE’s Parent-Child Education Program is a research-based, two-generational model that educates at-risk families; and intervene in the cycle of poverty and abuse by strengthening parenting knowledge. Through its patented curriculum, parents learn about their child’s physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development, as well as the importance of creating a loving, nurturing and stimulating home environment for their children.
An equally important part of its Parent-Child Education Program focuses on helping parents define and achieve their personal education and career goals. AVANCE provide parents whatever they need to advance and thrive – high school recovery, financial literacy, college attainment and/or technical certifications. Parents work with AVANCE’s Career Navigator to plot their course towards education, employment and ultimate self-sufficiency.
AVANCE removes barriers and breaks the cycle of inter-generational poverty through innovative, two generation education and support for families with young children.
While parents are attending classes, their children are receiving a quality, early childhood education at AVANCE’s licensed sites. All of these teachers are degreed and have early childhood education certifications. This ensures that the children are building the foundations they need to achieve school readiness and success.
AVANCE – San Antonio also runs health clinics at two of its sites in conjunction with UTHSC-SA. These clinics offer well-baby check-ups, immunizations, lead testing, and hearing and vision checks, as well as screenings for health issues.
Transportation is provided as needed for parents and their children to attend classes and the health clinics. Nutritional meals are served to both children and their parents. All of AVANCE’s services are free of charge.
Serving thousands of family members per year, longitudinal studies show that these programs develop strong, stable families, healthy children who are kinder-ready and familial economic self-sufficiency. Education is the key to the future and the changes AVANCE facilitates lead to positive generational change.
AVANCE – San Antonio is funded by the City of San Antonio, United Way of San Antonio, grants, and personal donations.
By Beth Walthall, Director of Development- AVANCE