What’s new in LENA Start 3.0


We’re excited to share that today we’re releasing a new version of our group program for families — LENA Start 3.0. This edition includes fresh features based on feedback we’ve received from the field. Our team has been hard at work on this update for more than a year, and we’ve made key improvements that will streamline delivery and increase flexibility to meet families where they are within the ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

We’ve made lots of changes that strengthen the program, but we’ve also kept the elements that we know make it successful. After all, at graduation, 95 percent of parents report that they feel all caregivers should participate in LENA Start, and we didn’t want to lose the pieces that made them love the program in the first place! Here’s an overview of what we’ve updated and added:

Virtual session delivery — We’ve created resources that make it easier for local partner sites to deliver sessions online, so that families can participate from home. We’re piloting two options for delivering content in a virtual setting. In the first option, each session will be available for sites to share with families through pre-recorded videos, with an opportunity for a live interactive follow-up discussion. In the second, coordinators can use the class slide decks to conduct their sessions real time over a video conferencing platform like Zoom. We anticipate that upcoming sessions may be virtual, in-person, or a combination of the two. We’re learning along with sites and are committed to continuing to refine our support based on feedback to create the best experience for families.

Expanded session prep — We’ve fully redesigned the session prep page in LENA Online, our program management portal, which will make managing each group’s progress and performance easier for program directors and coordinators. Program directors can use the Session Prep page to monitor the status of any groups run by their coordinators or partner organizations. Coordinators can navigate to Session Prep to prepare for their sessions, update data, and perform any follow-up tasks needed to support families and keep them on track to graduate.

To learn more, we invite you to watch a detailed webinar walkthrough of the updates.
Watch the webinar!

Updated materials — Our team has revamped the session presentations, accompanying Coordinator Notes, and Parent Guide to include more information on brain research throughout the sessions, include more optional activities and a wider variety of formats for video reviews, and add a stronger focus on goal setting and reflection on progress toward goals. Click here to see a curriculum sample. The entire updated curriculum will be available in Spanish in the coming months as well. We’ve also redesigned annual trainings to be more interactive and to be delivered remotely.

Recruitment resources — Recruiting and engaging families can be hard for any program, and we anticipate the challenge will be escalated as in-person interactions continue to be limited throughout the year. To help with this, we’ve added new recruitment materials, messaging, and training resources to LENA Online.

We’re very excited to roll out these new features and begin to receive feedback on the changes. We hope that this program update will help our local partners to make meaningful change in their communities as we work towards our vision of preparing every child for success in school.

Interested in bringing LENA Start to your community? Apply for 2020 Launch Funds!

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, our funders have stepped up to help fund the launch of new LENA partnerships. These funds, available by application until June 30th, 2020, will offset a significant portion of the costs to implement a new LENA program (or help current partners expand to a new type of LENA program). Learn more here.


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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