Closing the Word Gap With “Talk, Read, Sing”

In spring of 2015, we began our partnership with the LENA Research Foundation, opens a new window through the "Talk, Read, Sing" program, to help us reach our goal of closing the word gap in our communities. This free research-based program, opens a new window, held in both English and Spanish, emphasizes the importance of early talk by empowering parents and caregivers to shape this crucial period of neural growth in their little ones. Because a baby's brain reaches 80 percent of its growth capacity by age three, "Talk, Read, Sing" targets babies age 0-32 months in order to provide support in this critical window of time.

Through 14 weekly hour-long classes for parents and caregivers, "Talk, Read, Sing" gives language-enriching tools such as "talk-pedometers" and brand new baby-friendly board books. The "talk-pedometers" collect information that indicates how many adult words the baby hears, how many conversational turns they had with the caregiver or parent, how much time they are exposed to electronic sounds and also collects reading time. These reports can help adults understand their talking habits and see where there might be room for growth to assist in developing their baby’s language skills. Above all, "Talk, Read, Sing" reinforces the power that parents and caregivers have to set their little ones up for success later in life.

"Talk, Read, Sing" began in our Half Moon Bay and East Palo Alto libraries. Because of its remarkable success, we were able to bring this amazing resource to many more locations, including some outside of our libraries thanks to our invaluable community partners, opens a new window. Since May 2015, we have reached 276 families and we are currently serving 37 families this fall.

The “Talk, Read, Sing” fall cohorts are currently wrapping up in the East Palo Alto Library, Half Moon Bay Library, Pacifica Sharp Park Library, San Mateo County Housing Authority, opens a new window and Ravenswood Family Health Center, opens a new window.