Learning doesn`t have to start when a child begins school. The Parents-as-Teachers Program is designed to encourage learning at a much younger age. Today the Joplin R-8 School District joined with more than 2,700 Parents-as-Teachers Programs world wide in celebrating national P.A.T. Day. The reception was held at the Washington Education Center in Joplin. The event was started to pay tribute to thousands of trained and certified parent educators who give support to parents in the critical early learning years of children`s lives.