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Closing the talk gap.

  • Honoring Pioneers in Improving Early Language Development

    We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Terry Paul “Making a Difference” awards. These awards are given at our biennial conference, to recognize outstanding contributions to fostering talk with children birth-3 – the critical age for stimulating brain development through interactive talk. In keeping with the “Paths to Opportunity” theme of the 2017 conference, this year’s recipients represent organizations addressing three different large-scale avenues for improving school readiness – parent group programs, home visitation, and early childhood education. The School Readiness Team from Huntsville, Ala., City Schools. The Huntsville school district adopted the LENA Start™ parent-group program in 2015, to help parents better prepare their kids for the district’s pre-school program. They were one of the first … Read More

  • LENA Start™ Triples Its Reach

    In partnership with 11 organizations, we are excited to announce that LENA Start will be expanding to 16 metro areas nationwide in fall 2017! LENA Start features parent classes in English and Spanish that employ LENA “talk pedometer” technology to measure how much parents are talking with their children, and how much children are responding. New in 2017  (dark green) Longmont, Colo. – St. Vrain Valley School District/OUR Center Aurora, Colo. – New Legacy Charter School Kansas City, Mo. – Turn the Page KC Memphis, Tenn. – Seeding Success Pensacola, Fla. – Studer Community Institute Detroit, Mich. – Black Family Development, Inc. Cherokee County, South Carolina – Talk to Me Cherokee Guilford County, North Carolina – Ready for School, Ready … Read More

  • State of Georgia Adopts LENA Grow™

    First of six new implementations nationwide In partnership with Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), we are pleased to announce an initiative to support responsive caregiving of infants and toddlers by improving language-based interactions with early childhood educators. LENA Grow™ features professional development coaching sessions to help teachers increase language interactions in classrooms, based on feedback from LENA “talk pedometer” technology. The first of six new LENA Grow™ implementations nationwide, the program will serve 800 children in 16 centers across the state during the first year! One day each week, LENA technology will collect data on the classroom talk environment. Teachers will review reports with coaches every other week, using video examples and other tools to master techniques … Read More

  • Q&A with economist Flávio Cunha

    Flávio Cunha, PhD, is a professor of economics at Rice University in Houston. His interest in factors that determine long-run economic growth and inequality has driven his research on human capital formation, with a particular focus on understanding the forces that explain the large differences in the quality and quantity of investments that children receive from their parents and family. His plenary talk, “Paying it Forward: The Economics of Closing Opportunity Gaps,” will kick off the final day of the LENA Conference on Thursday, September 14. Q: How did your work in economics bring you to the talk gap? A: There is a body of literature that shows that inequality in human capital starts to open up when individuals are … Read More

  • Meet Miss Vera

    Vera Dunson was skeptical at first. After all, she’s in her 70s, and she knows how to take great care of the kids in her classroom – what difference was having them wear a little device once a week going to make? But the results surprised her. “I am encouraged because I see the results in my children,” says Ms. Dunson, an early childhood educator at a childcare center in Pensacola. “I know the children are learning more quickly because of my active participation.” Last fall, Ms. Dunson became part of a pilot program called LENA Grow at the childcare center where she teaches, implemented in Pensacola through a partnership with the Early Learning Coalition of Escambia County (ELC). LENA … Read More