Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces Replication of Mayors Challenge-Winning Early Childhood Learning Innovation in Five U.S. Cities

Article Summary:

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the five American cities that will replicate Providence Talks, an early childhood education program that empowers parents and caregivers with tools to support language development at a critical age and help children enter kindergarten classroom ready. Research shows that robust exposure to words and conversation—from birth to age four—is crucial for children’s vocabulary building and brain development.

After receiving the Mayors Challenge Grand Prize in 2013, the city of Providence, RI, launched Providence Talks the following year with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The program continues today and has served more than 3,000 children. The program provides families with a small device known as a ‘talk pedometer’ that counts adult words spoken in a child’s presence, as well as the number of conversational interactions a child engages in during the day.

Bloomberg Philanthropies will support this programming with grants in each city. Cities will also receive the technology and software, including talk pedometer devices, software, and other tools required to replicate the approach. Combined with local investments, the support provided across five cities totals nearly $12 million over three years.