Parents as Teachers Guilford County was started by Patti Learman, a stay-at-home mom at the time, who spent many afternoons chatting with other neighborhood moms while their young children played in the yard. She had no idea then what God was doing, but He was preparing her for a lifetime calling. Soon enough, Patti realized her passion for helping other moms be the best moms they could be and help them get the information they needed to parent well.
So she and a friend started researching if any programs like that existed and stumbled upon Parents as Teachers – a program that believed parents were their children’s first, most influential teachers. Ironically enough, the program was founded right in Patti’s hometown of St. Louis, Missouri and piloted in her own school district. Certainly, it couldn’t get more providential!
That’s when Patti and her friend decided they wanted to form a Parents-as-Teachers chapter in Guilford County, but it would take a few more providential happenings before they were convinced. Like the time Patti ended up on an eight-hour road trip with a stranger who knew a national trainer for Parents as Teachers in Missouri (this stranger-turned-friend ended up working for St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, which will be important later in the story). Or the time her bible study focused on the theme of relying on God when things seemed too big or hard to handle (just what Patti needed to hear). No matter how hard Patti tried to justify her nonprofit idea as too big to do herself, the people around her kept encouraging her to go for it.
About that same time, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church set a new vision to be known in the community as an advocate for children. A few months later, the church provided funding to send Patti and her friend to a week-long parent educator training in Raleigh. That experience, plus $5,000 of seed funding from Community Foundation, was all they needed to make it official and incorporate.
The rest is history.
Every day since, Patti is humbled by the realization that God is using PATGC to help Him show His love for His people. And that anything is possible with Him. Though PATGC is a faith-based program, sustained and driven by its faith, religious education is not incorporated into the program curriculum.