How to end the word gap? Cities invest big in baby talk.

Article Summary:

Providence, Rhode Island is implementing new strategies to focus on improving school readiness and language development of young children. Although many parents know they need to be speaking with their child in order to stimulate their brain, talking to children who are not yet verbal poses a challenge. Jasmine Davis of Providence Talks coaches parents in how to engage young children in back-and-forth conversation even before they can say real words. The program hopes to decrease the talk gap that signifies a difference in the numbers of words a child hears, typically related to their family’s socioeconomic status. This is especially important for immigrant families to help them assimilate into new cultural norms at school, and better prepare their children to learn a second language. Providence Talks is currently using LENA technology and programs to teach parents how to communicate with their child and prepare them for school.