Talking is Teaching


The “Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing Fresno” campaign is a collaborative effort to turn Fresno and the world into a learning community for young children. Studies prove young children need frequent language-rich interaction given 80% of a child’s brain develops by the time we are three years old. Infant human brains are wired through interaction. No digital screen can do this alone – it is human to human. In Fresno County, many children are getting much less language rich interaction than they need to be successful in school and in life.

The Problem: A 30 million Word Gap

By the time children are 3 years old, those from families receiving welfare assistance have heard 30 million less words than children born into professional more affluent families. The effect of this phenomenon has shown to impact third grade level reading and in turn future academic success.


The Talking is Teaching Fresno Task:

  • Magnify attention - among parents and caregivers about the power of their own language-rich parenting and how much their words shape their baby’s future

  • Motivate action - Prompt parents and caregivers to talk, read and sing even more with their young children each and every day.

The Plan:

  • Reinforcing prompts throughout the community and in the hands of trusted messengers

  • Launch marketing and contextualized prompts – billboards and items that encourage talking, reading and singing;

  • Website and social media use (“Take the Pledge”); television and radio messages

The Local Campaign

The “Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing” campaign consists of a community-wide multi- media campaign that highlights for parents and caregivers how simple actions done every day from birth—like describing objects seen during a bus ride, asking questions, singing songs, reading aloud, or telling stories—can significantly improve a baby’s ability to build vocabulary and develop their brains. Campaign messages will appear on billboards, bus ads and in paid media spots. Initial funding support for the paid media campaign comes from Granville Homes.

Local organizations, churches, libraries and health care providers will also help distribute “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” materials—including books, CDs and clothing with prompts that encourage parents to talk, read, and sing with their children—directly to parents and caregivers.

How can you be involved?

  • Engage partners in the campaign through your own networks

  • Sponsor marketing and media tools

  • Bring your own personal talents to the table

For more information, contact:

Amber Jacobo -

Natali Carrera -

About Fresno Grade-Level Reading Coalition

The Fresno Grade-Level Reading Coalition includes community based organizations, schools, local government, businesses and churches throughout Fresno County, who are committed to applying their resources to improving our outcomes for third grade-level reading.

About Too Small to Fail

Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and Next Generation, aims to help parents, communities and businesses take meaningful actions to improve the health and well-being of children ages zero to five, so that more of America’s children are prepared to succeed in the 21st century.

Too Small to Fail has focused its work on closing the “word gap.” Studies have found that by age four, children in middle and upper income families hear up to 30 million more words than their lower income peers. This disparity in hearing words from parents and caregivers translates directly into a disparity in learning words. And that puts our children born with the fewest advantages even further behind. Among those born in 2001, only 48 percent of poor children started school ready to learn, compared to 75 percent of children from middle-income families.

The “word gap” is a significant but solvable challenge. Too Small to Fail is about parents, caregivers, other concerned individuals, and the private sector coming together to take small, research-based actions with big impacts.

Learn more at and on Twitter @2SmalltoFail.