Fresno Community and Business Leaders Launch ‘Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing’ Campaign

Local business and community leaders, including Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, Jim Yovino; Fowler Unified School District Superintendent, Eric Cederquist; Fresno County District Attorney, Lisa Smittcamp; First 5 Fresno County, The Children’s Movement and other community leaders announced today the launch of a new campaign to boost the early brain development and language skills of children in Fresno from birth through age five.

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Local business and community leaders, including Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, Jim Yovino; Fowler Unified School District Superintendent, Eric Cederquist; Fresno County District Attorney, Lisa Smittcamp; First 5 Fresno County, The Children’s Movement and other community leaders announced today the launch of a new campaign to boost the early brain development and language skills of children in Fresno from birth through age five.

The campaign, titled “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” is a community-wide effort with promotion from Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of Next Generation and the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. “Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing”, aims to close the “word gap“—a difference of about 30 million words that children in high-income families hear from parents and caregivers by their fourth birthday, compared to those in low-income families. The fewer words children hear and learn, the more likely they are to experience an achievement gap, which persists through the preschool and kindergarten years and has a life-long impact on health and well-being.

Research shows that parents and caregivers can help close the word gap by talking, reading and singing to their children from birth every day. These activities have a profound impact on the early learning of very young children, whose brains develop approximately 80 percent of their capacity by age three. 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.

For more information, visit www.talkingisteaching.org, or Facebook.

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