The Hebrew University.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
An Israeli initiative that empowers parents to take the reins in educating their preschoolers is now about to expand to China and South Korea.
Aiming to equip parents to become their child’s first teacher, the Home Instruction for Parents and Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program – owned by the Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – will soon be coming to the two Asian countries.
The Chinese and South Korean programs are the result of an agreement signed by Yissum with Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) China and South Korea’s Lolo Education Services Co. (LES), the Israeli tech transfer firm announced on Wednesday.
HIPPY’s early-learning initiative helps moms and dads around the globe to prepare children for success in elementary school, a statement from Yissum said. Paraprofessional home visitors work directly with parents, who then conduct the educational activities they have learned with their three-, four- and five-year-olds.
The typical HIPPY curriculum consists of storybooks and activity books, according to the program. The activities introduce skills in a progressive manner, focusing on language development, perceptual and sensory discrimination, logical thinking and problem solving.
Wherever HIPPY is active, the curriculum is adapted to the local community, providing materials in the language preferred by parents.
Prior to the deal with the Chinese and Korean organizations, HIPPY was operating 440 program sites and reaching 20,000 families in 10 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel, Liberia, New Zealand and the US. HIPPY-inspired programs are also running in Denmark, Finland, Holland, Sweden and Turkey.
In South Korea, HIPPY will begin as a six-month pilot program. About 100 parents are expected to participate, at three sites in Seoul. Following the pilot stage, the program is slated to officially launch in the late summer.
“I hope HIPPY can help Korean parents to better understand the benefits and importance of their involvement in their children’s education,” said DJ Dongjun Lee, CEO of LES.
Yichan Yuan, CEO of ASDAN China, said that although there are hundreds of millions of preschool-aged students in China, a “lack of informative guidance” makes it difficult for parents to educate their children at home.
“The collaboration between HIPPY and ASDAN China will provide parents with the support and information they need in order to help their children excel in school,” Yuan said.
The HIPPY program agreement marks Yissum’s first licensing agreement in China, based on innovation of research conducted at Hebrew University, according to Yaacov Michlin, the company’s president and CEO. The agreement is also among the first few such deals signed in South Korea.
“We hope that the agreements announced today mark the beginning of a long and fruitful business partnership with companies and organizations in East Asia,” Michlin said.