Implementing statewide PD for ECE teachers in Mississippi: Questions from the webinar

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We had the privilege of hosting a webinar featuring our partners at the Mississippi Head Start Association, Washington County Opportunities, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to learn more about how they have implemented LENA Grow in Mississippi.

The partnership is implementing a five-year initiative to improve language and literacy outcomes for children in Early Head Start and Head Start classrooms across the state. The project aligns with the state’s initiatives to improve reading and complements other investments the foundation has made locally. The pilot began with two MHSA Head Start grantees in the fall of 2019 and will expand, continuing through 2024.

We received several common questions during this conversation and would like to elevate those answers here.


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About LENA

Where are LENA programs being used? 

Organizations worldwide use LENA programs to enrich the language environments of children in their communities. In America, LENA partners with Head Start programs in 20 states, including both rural and urban areas. To see a full list of the communities using these programs, please visit our interactive map.  Our collaborative partnerships are focused on building early literacy skills, stronger families, and school readiness. Learn more about what we do.

How is this program used with children with developmental delays or disabilities? 

LENA programs are usually implemented with children who are typically developing, but many of our partners do use these programs to support children with developmental delays or disabilities. For example, organizations offering Early Intervention, DHH interventions, and programs for children on the autism spectrum all use LENA. We are happy to discuss how you can support the children you serve. Schedule a call to talk more!

 


Implementing a LENA program

Are there any grant opportunities available to use LENA? 

Yes. LENA currently has a launch fund opportunity for LENA Start, our parent-group model program. Many of our partners also utilize local grants and federal funding, such as the Office of Head Start’s Quality Improvement funding. We have grant language and application support available here, and you’re welcome to reach out to our team for further support. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on future funding opportunities!

Is there a discount for a state to purchase LENA and share through a network of programs in the state? 

There are volume discounts based on the number of classrooms/providers participating in a year. Our team can discuss pricing for your specific program goals. Schedule a call to talk more!

Can equipment be passed from one program to another?  

Yes. LENA devices can be transferred from one program to another. Many of our partners, like Mississippi Head Start Association, have purchased LENA devices and pass those among implementing agencies as needed. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning also uses LENA devices in rotation through classrooms across the state.

How would you recommend approaching a local Head Start to potentially partner with them in using LENA? 

We have many resources you can use to explore how to implement a LENA program. It may be helpful to share a webinar with your local Head Start partner, or schedule a LENA overview webinar with our team.

I would like to know more about the coaching sessions. Do you have a “train the trainer” option?  

LENA Grow consists of 10 coaching sessions for teachers. Please click here to view a sample of the coaching materials. LENA’s program team will train local coaches to deliver the coaching content to teachers in your program.

 

 

Is LENA used in Early Head Start home-based programs? 

Yes. LENA Home is used by many EHS home-based partners across the country. Please click here to learn more about these partnerships.

 


Measurements/Outcomes/Assessments

It seems that LENA Grow would be impactful across other Early Head Start measurement tools. For example, did the gains identified on the slides translate to gains in CLASS scores? 

LENA Grow is highly related to CLASS! While data specific to Mississippi are not yet available for CLASS, we have had many programs share how LENA Grow improved their CLASS scores, such as Fort Worth Independent School District. Learn more about LENA/Head Start alignment, or watch our webinar with Teachstone about using LENA Grow and CLASS together.

Is the technology compatible with other data software programs such as ChildPlus to generate reports? 

LENA data can be exported in a variety of formats and used alongside other program data. Our team provides data support and helps implementing partners best highlight the outcomes of their program.

How do you determine success? What child measurements are used? 

Every partner of LENA Grow may have different measurements of success. With LENA programs, there are a wide variety of measurements available to show, from child vocalizations to the Developmental Snapshot language assessment and many more. Visit our blog to see examples of various assessments our partners have used and the outcomes. Or, click here to see a sample LENA Grow report.

Does Mississippi have a kindergarten entry assessment tool? 

Yes. Learn more about it here: https://www.mdek12.org/OSA/K_Readiness

How does LENA or Kellogg Foundation use our state data?  

The data collected is completely confidential and will not be shared with any external entity, including funders, without the explicit consent of our partner(s).

 


 

 

LENA Team

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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