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Dublin Inquirer, 1/31/18   In the Docklands, An Effort to Close the Word Gap


 

After she signed up to the Parent Child Home Programme, María Hernández Cannon had a wowza moment. She realised she needed to change how she read to her son.

“I was like, ‘Hang on a minute, I’ve been doing everything wrong,”‘ she said. She started to talk to him differently, and to give him the space to work through challenges himself.

That was about six years ago and her son is now 8 years old. He’s somewhere around, says Hernández Cannon, as she glances around the busy ground-floor room at the National College Ireland.

It’s a Wednesday evening, and the auditorium is crowded with others who have been through, work on, or supported the Parent Child Home Programme during the last 10 years.

Children play with balloons and stuff their faces with chicken nuggets off paper plates. Men and women from local Docklands businesses – who are major funders of the programme, along with the Department of Children – mingle with those who run the scheme.

Now years on from her home visits, Hernández Cannon still attributes some of her son’s language skills to the extra support in his early years.

She recalls the sense of anticipation she would feel, waiting to see which books and toys the home visitor would be carrying when they knocked on the door. “It is like an adventure to see what’s coming next.”

Please click here to read the article in The Dublin Inquirer.

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