Sunnyside Unified School District Parents as Teachers Program (Sunnyside PAT) has the vision that all children will learn, grow and develop to realize their full potential. Sunnyside PAT has been an affiliate of the PAT National Center since its inception in 1997 and has served over 6,500 families and 7,000 children. Currently, PAT is working with single parents, grandparents, teen and foster parents, family and kin caregivers, who have transitioned to serve as primary caregivers, single fathers and refugee families from Somalia. In the past ten years, Sunnyside PAT has served over 500 teens, including those from the Sunnyside High School and Desert View High School. Sunnyside PAT has provided evening programs for fathers at the neighborhood elementary school, helping them to build their child’s language and literacy skills. As a result of this program, 160 dads have participated in home visits.


A parent is a child's first and most important teacher. This PAT program is designed to provide parents with information and assistance to enhance their children's intellectual, language, social, and physical development from birth to age five.


The learning that occurs before a child is five years old set the stage for life. Intelligence develops as much during the first four years as in the next thirteen. Most of the language that one will use as an adult is developed by age three. This language skill, along with the establishment of curiosity and social skills, set the foundation for all future learning.




All children will learn, grow, and develop to realize their full potential.


To provide the information, support and encouragement, parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life.


  • Personal Visits

  • Screenings 

  • Resources

  • Group Connections

  • Stay and Plays

  • Evening Programs for Fathers

  • Library/Story Hour

  • Fieldtrips

  • Reading Incentives 
















Rachel  and her son, Christopher, are at home during a home visit from Patricia Escarcega (top), a Sunnyside School District Educator.


A program in Tucson's Sunnyside Unified School District is teaching parents how to be teachers to their children.

Parents As Teachers focuses on kids before they enter kindergarten, using funding from the First Things First initiative approved by voters in 2006 and Title I Funding. 



One of Sunnyside's participants include Raquel and her 20-month-old son Christopher, who get home visits from Parents as Teachers educator Patricia Escarcega.


Escarcega works with 30 families in the Sunnyside District, visiting each once a month and bringing books and toys as part of a lesson plan. Lessons include focus language and literacy, motor, cognitive, social, health, safety, nutrition and family well being.


Escarcega and 12 other educators from Sunnyside visit more than 350 homes and hold group classes to help parents understand the crucial role they play in early childhood education.


The program is a voluntary early childhood family education program that begins prenatally. Joan Katz, the program director, says it’s intended to help parents play a critical role during the first three years of a child’s life.

Library Story Hour : Jonathan Rothschild, Mayor of Tucson read to our children in the program, March 30, 2015. 





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Parents as Teachers Sunnyside School District

5445 S. Alvernon Way
Tucson AZ 85706

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Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc