Fostering family engagement and early literacy at Pasco County Schools: Webinar highlights


graphic showing Pasco County webinar with LENA

Vicki Wolin has worked as an educator for over three decades. She’s seen it all.

When the district’s superintendent tasked her with improving early literacy outcomes, one thing was for sure: More of the same wouldn’t cut it. From where she was sitting, as the director of Early Childhood Programs for Pasco County Schools, she knew she needed innovation. She needed a new strategy. That’s what led her to LENA Grow.

“As you all have,” she said, “we’ve tried any number of things over the years to impact early literacy for our children. … I had heard about language modeling. I had heard about data-driven instruction. But I had never seen the way that LENA puts it together.”

During a recent LENA webinar, along with one of the district’s early education instructional coaches, Wolin spoke passionately about how LENA Grow has helped the district focus on early literacy, family engagement, teacher appreciation, and data-driven instruction. Watch the highlights below!

Not just “the next shiny thing that’s going to make the difference in the life of a child”

“Something that would give our teachers the tools they needed without adding to their plate”

Early interaction is powerful. A conversational turn is such a simple thing, just one adult interacting with one child. Increasing adult-child interaction is among the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve children’s futures. However, the data from LENA technology paints a clear picture: Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers need more adult-child interaction in early education settings. Far too many children experience language isolation at child care.

In the clip below, Wolin describes everything that LENA Grow’s focus on conversational turns has done for Pasco County’s teachers, children, and families.

Involving parents from the start

Head Start and Early Head Start programs prioritize family engagement, and rightfully so! As the Head Start Performance Standards state, child care programs “must structure education and child development services to recognize parents’ roles as children’s lifelong educators.” In Pasco County, family engagement and LENA Grow go hand-in-hand, as instructional coach Jill Carroll describes in the clip below,.

Visit to download the LENA Grow “Crosswalk to Head Start’s Performance Standards and Early Learning Outcomes.”

Getting rid of “always starting and never seeing the results”

We talk a lot about boosting confidence and motivation for teachers. But what about instructional coaches? Coaches play such a critical role in early childhood education. LENA Grow is designed for educators to make their own insights and to arrive at their own “a-ha” moments. In addition, a lot of the heavy lifting is done by the ready-made curriculum materials. That means coaches have more freedom to personalize their approaches for each educator and to keep the learning experience active.

Making teachers feel appreciated like no “Teacher Appreciation Week” or “Latte on a Monday”

Can a professional development program truly improve educators’ professional outlook? Survey results show that LENA Grow does just that, raising both job satisfaction and feelings of self-efficacy among teachers. Wolin said that she’s seen it firsthand.

Say hello to LENA Grow!

LENA Grow delivers a single, straightforward, proven solution to boosting language development, supporting social-emotional development, increasing teacher satisfaction, and focusing on family engagement.

That solution: Giving early childhood educators the tools they need to improve language environments equitably and to truly connect with each and every child in their care.

Explore a LENA Grow Demo


The LENA Team is a dedicated group of professionals who are passionate about increasing awareness of the importance of early interactive talk. We are statisticians, speech-language pathologists, curriculum specialists, engineers, and linguists.

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