Providence Talks is a great organization based in Rhode Island. The voluntary program gives low-income families “word pedometers” that count the number of words spoken to their children under four. The organization uses this information to work with families to increase the word count.
Early results demonstrate that simple access to information can be powerful. In one pilot study, caretakers presented with data on their child’s vocabulary development increased their adult daily word count by 55% on average.
Check them out at their website here.
Here is a great New York Times article regarding the knowledge gap and the importance of talking to children before they can respond.
Trying to Close a Knowledge Gap, Word by Word
“’We don’t want parents talking at babies,’ Ms. Lerner said. ‘We want parents talking with babies.'”
Room to Read works in South Africa and parts of Asia to promote literacy. They help build and stock libraries, fill the gaps in the education systems, publish children’s books, and support girls so they can attend school.
You can check out their website here.
Reach Out and Read is a Boston based literacy program. You can read more about it in my other post here or visit their website here.
They hold conferences, and have uploaded the slides from a presentation done by Dr. Dipesh Navsaria on both the neurotoxicity of poverty and the importance of literacy. Dr. Navsaria is inspirational and more information about him can be found on his website.
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
— Frederick Douglass (1817–1895)