In October 2016, we launched a partnership with the Early Learning Coalition of Escambia County (ELCEC) to explore the use of LENA technology in child care settings. This week, we had the privilege of presenting results and learnings from the first year at The Association of Early Learning Coalitions convening in Orlando.
The results presented are also summarized in a report on year one from ELCEC, “Results & Lessons Learned from the First Year of LENA Grow™ as part of ELC Escambia’s ‘Grow with Me’ Initiative.” Among other outcomes, data from the first year indicate that classrooms using LENA Grow, our professional development program for early childhood educators, showed gains on Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) scores.
Throughout the pilot, classrooms completed CLASS® observations at three time periods — the first in July, prior to starting LENA Grow, a mid-point observation in January, and a final observation in May. Results from CLASS® observations found gains in scores from pre- to post- assessments for both infant and toddler classrooms in domains such as Early Language Support, Language Modeling, and Positive Climate.
Qualitatively, educators were able to see their areas of strength, as well as more clearly identify opportunities for improvement. It also elicited important “a ha’s” and encouraged meaningful coaching opportunities. Over time, educators, coaches, and center directors reported seeing meaningful changes in the way children were speaking and interacting in the classroom.
“The LENA Grow Program has been a learning tool for the children and teachers; moreover, it has been a great benefit to both. We have children who have begun to talk more – one child plays with his classmates and expresses himself, and his parents thanked us because their son is ‘talking too much,’” said Jennifer Jones, Director at Restoring Hands Learning & Development Center in Pensacola, Fla. “Children are distinguishing between the different emotions and verbalizing what they want. The teachers have learned to repeat what the children say as well as extend their language. The success story is so long that it’ll take hours to talk about the LENA Grow Program. I really appreciate the Early Learning Coalition for introducing the program to us and look forward to years to come working with the program. Thank you, guys!”
About the Early Learning Coalition of Escambia County
The Early Learning Coalition of Escambia County is a 501(c)(3) agency whose mission is to identify and meet the needs of children and families to lay the foundation of lifetime success by: maximizing each child’s potential, preparing children to enter school ready to learn, and helping families achieve economic self-sufficiency. For more information, please visit www.elcescambia.org.