Sarah’s HIPPY Story: ‘The sparkle in his eyes was priceless!’

Sarah is a mother of five who has been participating in Indigenous HIPPY for 10 years. At our Indigenous HIPPY fundraiser event in Vancouver, BC in March 2019, she bravely shared her incredible experience with our guests. This is her story. 


I first joined the Indigenous HIPPY program in 2009. My son Francis was three years old at the time. We completed two years of HIPPY in a row. It wasn’t always easy, as Francis has ADHD and has a very short attention span. Being impulsive myself, I wanted to finish the work for him a lot of the time.

Osiris, the program instructor, would come to my home once a week. She supported me and role-played the HIPPY materials. She would also remind me that there was no wrong answer if the effort was there. The plan was to help Francis to get ready for kindergarten and prepare him to succeed in school.

Osiris has been very supportive of my family over the years. She would explain the work to me in detail so that I could get a better understanding of how to encourage Francis to complete the assignment’s and at the same time praising him to never give up.

Today, I am very proud to share that Francis is in grade seven and his last report card consisting of A’s and B’s. He is able to complete a Rubik’s cube in less than 30 seconds. He is a very talented young boy. He amazes me every single day.

Patience, Structure, and Educational Guidance

Honestly, the HIPPY program has given me many life lessons and tips on parenting. It has also taught me patience, structure, and educational guidance. And I have been able to pass these down to my children.

My communication with my children is way better today because of the tools I have received from HIPPY. I’ve learned so much through the curriculum as well as from information sessions and workshops offered at the HIPPY parents group meetings.

The HIPPY program definitely played a role in Francis successes today. He was a hungry mind and HIPPY helped me answer his thousands of questions. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be able to give him the best chance at such an early start. And I will continue to guide and praise him as he will be entering high school this year.

A Headstart to Their Educational Journey

I am currently doing the HIPPY program with my 5-year-old daughter Sofia. She just loves that time of the day where it’s just the two of us doing homework one-on-one. Sometimes we light a candle and have a candlelight homework session. It creates a great bonding time opportunity with my lovely daughter.

Last year, we went to her kindergarten orientation. Sofia was the only child that could use scissor appropriately. I took great pride in recognizing that her cutting skills were learned while we completed the HIPPY homework together. I felt special knowing that I have given my daughter a headstart to her educational journey.

I’m excited to continue with the HIPPY program this year. My youngest son Jaxxon just turned three. I recently registered him for the program. When I came home with the homework box for him, he was so excited. He couldn’t wait to start reading the books. The sparkle in his eyes was priceless.

“It is nice to know that people do care.”

I have been diagnosed with ADHD myself. I had many struggles in school as a child, but I never had any kind of support. Being able to provide it for my children brings a great sense of accomplishment, joy, and self-worth.

The HIPPY program is so much more than just the materials we are given to teach our children. It feels like a community of parents. We all come together every two weeks for the HIPPY family group meetings. We check-in and discuss the challenges and successes that we have with our children and in our own personal lives. We are like a tight net family. There is no judgment. We support one another. It is nice to know that people do care.

A Stronger Person and a Stronger Parent

We are also presented with very interesting parenting workshops. I always leave the meetings feeling a little bit smarter and a little bit stronger as a person and as a parent.

At the end of every school year, the children are provided with a special traditional graduation ceremony by HIPPY. We celebrate the hard work they have done all year long. It only seems fit to have them walk into the room wearing their graduation gown and traditional headband. It is definitely a real tear-jerking moment watching our children receive their diplomas.

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