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August 7, 2016 7:15 am

Countries Inquire About Israeli Educational Program After President Clinton Praises Initiative at DNC

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Former US President Bill Clinton praised HIPPY during his speech at the DNC. Photo: Twitter.

Former US President Bill Clinton praised HIPPY during his speech at the DNC. Photo: Twitter.

An Israeli educational program has been receiving inquiries from Kenya, Nicaragua, Trinidad and other countries about the possibility of adopting it, since former US President Bill Clinton praised the initiative at the Democratic National Convention (DNC), The Jewish Chronicle reported.

Speaking at the DNC on July 27, Clinton said he was serving as president when former First Lady and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came across the Home Instruction for Parents and Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), a program developed in Tel Aviv in 1969 to help parents teach their children basic skills before primary school. She helped bring the initiative to the US and the former president said, “Next thing you know I’m getting dragged around all these preschool graduations … watching these poor parents with tears in their eyes because they never thought they’d be able to help their kids learn.”

He added that 20 years later, “research has shown how well this program works to improve readiness for school and academic achievement.”

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Miriam Westheimer, Hippy’s international director, said it is “exciting to get that level of recognition” from a former president and “pretty thrilling,” but not surprising.

“We’ve worked with the Clintons for many years, and when there’s talk about her work in the field of early childhood, it comes up as one of her big accomplishments,” Westheimer said. “Early on, Hillary saw the power of working with parents and making sure they had the information and support they needed when their children were very young…Today, Hippy is one of several evidence-based programd based in the US which are federally funded, but in those days, it was the first home-instructed program.”

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