‘Word pedometer’ aims to improve language development for children in Southwest Colorado

Article Summary:

A team of education and language experts is working to create the most language-rich environment possible for young children in Southwest Colorado through a talk-measuring program called LENA. The team is using LENA Grow, professional development for early childhood teachers, and LENA Home, a language-focused home-visiting supplement, in Montezuma and Dolores counties.

LENA will give us data back about how many words a day the child heard from adults, and how many times there was a conversational turn throughout the day. That means any time an adult responded to the child, or the child responded back to the adult.

- Jamie Jones, an AmeriCorps team member

The team hopes to boost school readiness for young children before they enter kindergarten by increasing their early literacy skills. This fall, LENA Home will expand to Archuleta County, and the team will also add LENA Start, a virtual parent-group class.