Kindergarten Readiness Workshop 


The Knox County Health Department (KCHD) Parents as Teachers (PAT) program is launching a new virtual Kindergarten Readiness Workshop. This free event is open to all parents/guardians of children that will enter kindergarten in 2021 or 2022.


This virtual workshop, which will be held in English the week of April 26 and Spanish on April 30—will teach parents how to lead activities or crafts that focuses on kindergarten readiness skills.


Registration and program information is available here.

PAT is a comprehensive home-visiting, parent education model focusing on children from the womb through age 5. The program uses personal visits, group connections, resource networks, virtual events, and child screening. Combined, these components help provide services to educate parents, detect early developmental delays and health issues, increase school readiness and success, and help reduce Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Additional information about ACEs and their impact on overall health can be found in KCHD’s most recent Community Health Assessment.


From July 1 to April 1, 2021, PAT served more than 150 children. Over this nine-month period, PAT team members conducted over 1,200 visits, most of them virtually. Families and parent coaches, who have been vaccinated or feel comfortable conducting meetings outside have been able to meet in person, while following the Five Core Actions.


“Throughout the pandemic, and while our parent coaches have adapted their lessons for safety, we have continued to enroll families into this program,” said KCHD’s PAT Program Manager Yvette Parker. “But we would love to work with more families because we can see the impact our program makes every day as our children are healthy, safe and ready to learn.”


Those interested in participating in the program, can learn more on KCHD’s website and PAT’s Facebook page: Parents as Teachers, Knox County TN (@knoxcountyPAT).


To increase the number of families and children it can serve, PAT is adding two new positions between now and next year. The new positions are part of the State of Tennessee’s four-year, $56 million investment to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds.


“We’re thrilled to be able to expand this important program,” said KCHD Senior Director Dr. Martha Buchanan. “Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) contribute to numerous other health issues so it is a priority for our department to do what we can to prevent them as well as provide overall support to families and children.”