10 HIPPY scholars head to kindergarten and first grade, ‘school ready’

2022 HIPPY grads and parents PHOTOS BY GAIL M. BROWN

By Gail H. M. Brown, Ph.D.,
Contributing Writer,

2013 HIPPY grad reflects on his experience; keynote speaker urges lifelong learning

2022 HIPPY grads stand to be applauded.

The ‘pink’ building on the 300 block of Henry Street in Lexington, Miss. was packed Monday evening, July 25, as parents and their scholars celebrated the 2022 Home Instruction for Parent of Preschool Youngsters’ (HIPPY) Graduation Day.

HIPPY is an international evidence-based program that works with families in the home to support parents in their critical role as their child’s first and most important teacher. The Community Students Learning Center (CSLC) has been the HIPPY site for Holmes County since 2009.

During opening remarks, 2021 HIPPY grandparent Lillie Green shared her excitement and honor to serve as the program guide.

HIPPY Coordinator Lubertha Banks introduced the graduates and shared their hobbies and future plans as they marched in. “Our children are our future; we want them to have a great future,” Banks said.

Class members participated throughout the ceremony. The scripture was done by George Timms; prayer, Alayna Boyd; CSLC Motto/CREED, George Timms; the Pledge of Allegiance, Quran Stingley; “My Country Tis of Thee,” the class; the 5’s, Imari Lewis; the 10’s, the class; the HIPPY class song; months of the year, Aubree Rule; and days of the week, the class. Graduate Raylin Dixon recited a poem called, “I’m A Little Graduate.” Four graduates were not in attendance.

“HIPPY was a great start for me during my preschool years,” said Le’Baudrio Bridgeford, a 2013 HIPPY graduate who did reflections. He recently graduated at the top of his middle school class. “I learned so much,” he said. He reflected how wonderful it was for his parents to spend time teaching him his HIPPY lessons.

Introduced by Parent Educator Audrey Anderson, native Holmes Countian Jeffrey Coleman virtually served as the speaker. A HIPPY parent and current assistant principal at Germantown High School, Germantown, Miss., he said: “The sky is the limit for you, HIPPY graduates…Taking from your theme, ‘God Bless America,’ God has blessed you to be whatever you want to be. HIPPY is a great program; it gives you your foundation to success.” Coleman encouraged them to “always want to be lifelong learners.”

A cell phone flashlight memorial tribute was held in memory of first CSLC MS-PIRC HIPPY Coordinator Lula Mae Friar, and in memory of devoted HIPPY Parent Antavier Green.

Friar spearheaded efforts to secure and establish CSLC as a HIPPY program site in Holmes County. She devoted her life to education. Green, who through health challenges, stayed the course in teaching her son Sylas Green, and in doing everything required of parents in the HIPPY curriculum. Friar succumbed to COVID-19 in July 2020, and Green succumbed to an illness in 2021 shy of her son’s HIPPY graduation.

On a happier note, CSLC Executive Director Beulah Greer said during closing remarks: “I am so excited; It is just so wonderful to be among such a beautiful, smart, and brilliant group of children and parents. We had the parents to present the certificates to their children because they are the teachers.”

On behalf of Board President Leslie Greer and the board, she thanked everyone for helping to make the HIPPY program a great success. “It is important to work together for the benefit of the children,” she said.

Speaking of children, during Beulah Greer’s remarks, her granddaughter Aalyiah, a 2020 HIPPY graduate, was moved to ask permission to recite a favorite Bible passage. She recited Genesis 1:1-5.

At the close of the program, Parent Educator Lucretia Holmes asked the graduates to stand. Then she asked the audience to rise and give them a standing ovation. “Parents, you’ve done a wonderful job,” Holmes said.


A happy HIPPY graduate
Parent Educator Lucretia Holmes (left) assists grads.
Proud 2022 HIPPY graduate
HIPPY graduates participating in the program.
HIPPY graduates participating in the program.
HIPPY Coordinator Lubertha Banks
2013 HIPPY grad Le’Baudrio Bridgeford giving reflections
2020 HIPPY grad reciting bible passage
CSLC Executive Director Beulah Greer
Guest speaker Jeffrey Coleman
HIPPY Parent Educator Audrey Anderson

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