The Power of Conversation in Virginia Beach

Article Summary:

Over the past 20 years, a large and growing body of research has shown that the amount of language children are exposed to between the ages of zero and four is strongly predictive of their developmental and academic growth. This research has driven expanded federal investment in Head Start programming and has spurred the creation of city-based early intervention programs such as Providence Talks in Providence, Rhode Island. Since then, the Providence Talks model has inspired a community of local governments and cities invested in using data to improve outcomes for their youngest residents — cities like Virginia Beach. GrowSmart, a Virginia Beach city initiative whose mission is to “promote and improve the healthy development, school readiness, and reading proficiency of young children” has received support from Bloomberg Philanthropies to replicate Providence Talks through LENA Home, and LENA Grow and continue expansion of their existing LENA Start program.