Build school readiness and strengthen families with parent-group classes.
Measurable outcomes delivered through a scalable, ready-to-launch community program.
LENA Start is an evidence-based group program for families that uses regular feedback from LENA technology to help increase interactive talk between adults and young children. Over the course of 10 weekly sessions, parents and caregivers learn how back-and-forth conversations boost their child’s brain development along with ways to incorporate more talk into their daily routines.
LENA Start helps communities reach parents and caregivers of children ages 0-3 through five integrated elements:
The LENA Online™ portal
simplifies program administration and provides real-time insight into each family’s progress, supporting individualized coaching.
Training, data analysis, and ongoing support
are provided by dedicated LENA staff to help ensure successful implementations with high fidelity.
The LENA Online™ portal simplifies program administration and provides real-time insight into each family’s progress, supporting individualized coaching.
Training, data analysis, and ongoing support are provided by dedicated LENA staff to help ensure successful implementations with high fidelity.
Build a two-generation approach to community engagement.
LENA Start helps parents promote and participate in their child’s learning. Feedback-based educational content helps parents advance their own learning interests, and the peer model promotes social well-being and community.
Families have the opportunity to connect with each other before dropping their children off in provided child care and heading to class. During each session, structured sharing times keep the focus on building connections and create a safe, comfortable, and responsive learning community.
One of the things that speaks to me about this program is the community that we’re building with our parents. We have classes full of parents from every corner of the city that wouldn’t usually come together.
What makes LENA Start unique?
Interventions with large populations often hit two roadblocks: excessive complexity and inconsistent implementation. LENA Start avoids these traps by focusing on a single goal — improving talk between parents and children.
LENA Start takes a cost-effective and scalable approach by delivering LENA feedback and strategies to increase talk to groups of parents, particularly targeting high-need families. Staffing needs are reduced, while impact is increased. Effective implementation is ensured by delivering the program through videos and scripted instruction — and by continuous data feedback.
The data shows parents how impactful they can be. LENA provides a visible way for us to demonstrate to parents that they’re increasing conversations, and reading time, and all the other things we’re already sharing with parents through PAT.
Impacts and outcomes
Over the course of the LENA Start program, parents and caregivers are given feedback on how much they’re talking with their children. Built-in effectiveness measures indicate that, though their work with LENA Start, adults are talking more and children are increasing language skills as a result. Through a partnership with First Book, LENA Start builds home libraries by giving every family a book at each session.
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Children participating in LENA Start gain nearly two months of developmental skill every month.
How are communities using LENA Start to build early talk?
Together, school districts, libraries, healthcare systems, and community- based nonprofits across the country have reached more than 2,800 children and families through LENA Start. Check out our interactive map of program partners and explore some of their unique impact stories:
Ready to bring the power of early talk to families in your community?
To begin, read our guide to launching a new LENA program. Our highly-rated program implementation process and ongoing support will ensure your success with LENA Start.
In 2020, we are excited to be able to offer Launch Funds to selected partner communities launching new LENA Start programs. Read more about the requirements, application process, and important deadlines on the LENA Start Launch Funds Application page.