Contact: Maria Chiochios, Library Communications
San Mateo County Libraries
San Mateo County, CA – The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) recently announced San Mateo County Libraries as one of 10 Top Innovators in the country. A panel of expert judges selected San Mateo County Libraries' Talk Read Sing program from nearly 300 submissions in 10 categories that demonstrate the value and impact of public library service. San Mateo County Libraries won in the category of Learning: Birth through Teens.
In partnership with the LENA Research Foundation, Talk Read Sing uses LENA’s Smarter Happier Baby Curriculum in English and Spanish combined with “talk pedometer” technology to help families track their progress in ensuring a language rich environment for their young children. The program focuses on serving low-income families, as well as partnering with the San Mateo County Housing Authority and Institute for Human and Social Development to serve their clients. Since May 2015, Talk Read Sing has reached 95 families with 74 percent of families showing gains in adult words spoken to the child, and 60% of families showing gains in conversational turns.
A baby’s brain grows to more than 80 percent of its adult size in the first three years. Parents’ talking habits are powerful influencers during this crucial developmental period, and research has shown that lower-income children hear roughly 30 million fewer words than more affluent children by the time they turn three. "It’s well known that increasing conversations between parents and young children builds babies’ brains, improves their social and emotional well being, and makes them more prepared for school and for life. The Talk Read Sing program perfectly fits our mission to provide opportunities for growth and enrichment in the communities we serve," said Anne-Marie Despain, Director of San Mateo County Libraries. The list of 2016 ULC Innovations can be viewed at www.urbanlibraries.org.