17 Oct UCA Partners with Talk With Me Baby
Utah Community Action is joining forces with a new initiative to build early childhood vocabulary and close the “word gap” for low-income children. During the first three years of life, children from low-income families hear millions fewer words than their peers from higher-income homes, creating the word gap. It can lead to slower vocabulary development and negatively impact school readiness.
One low-cost solution? Teach parents how to improve the frequency and quality of their interactions with their babies. Every time a parent talks, sings or reads to their baby, it makes it easier for babies to learn later in life – this heightened language input is called “language nutrition.”
Talk With Me Baby (TWMB) was founded by experts under the leadership of the State of Georgia, and the program teaches parents how to successfully use language to nourish babies’ brains. TWMB trains WID staff, pediatric workers, Ob/Gyn professionals, hospital staff, and public health nurses to coach new parents in the quality and quantity of their verbal interactions with their babies.
Leaders in other states, including Utah, have taken note of Talk With Me Baby and are looking to replicate this model. In response, with support from OSTP, TWMB and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, an online toolkit has been made available to help scale this initiative. The toolkit includes all of TWMB’s curricula, training tools, marketing and promotional assets, sample documents, and more.
Utah Community Action is among several organizations around the country that has committed to leveraging this toolkit and bringing the benefits of Talk With Me Baby to Utah’s communities. Erin Trenbeath-Murray, CEO of Utah Community Action says, “We know this is a long-term program that will show results down the road, and we are committed to helping children in Utah achieve school success. The Talk With Me Baby curricula is a fantastic tool for our teachers, parents and partners.”
To learn more about this important program, visit http://www.talkwithmebaby.org/.