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ECA Onondaga Launches “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” Campaign to Help Children Succeed in School and Life

Too Small to Fail’s national campaign comes to Syracuse to promote early language and brain development

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Early Childhood Alliance of Onondaga (ECA) launched Too Small to Fail’s national “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” campaign today in Onondaga County, empowering parents to promote early brain and language development in their children. Onondaga County is the 12th community in the country to partner with Too Small to Fail in this national initiative, which aims to help children with school-readiness by promoting brain and language development starting at birth.

The “Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing” campaign encourages parents to engage with their children in meaningful, language-rich activities like talking, reading and singing every day, and provides helpful tips and resources. Using creative graphics, parent videos, social media and information from expert partners, the campaign empowers parents and caregivers with fun and easy ways to improve their children’s learning. The community can expect to see resources around the city on posters, billboards, bus stops and even online that provide parents with helpful tips for engaging with their child.

“This campaign demonstrates Onondaga County’s commitment to ensuring that all children get a strong start in school and in life by helping parents become brain builders for their children,” said Meg O’Connell, chair of the ECA. “We are thrilled to partner with Too Small to Fail on this important initiative to help children in our community become ready for school and beyond.”

“Too Small to Fail applauds Onondaga County and its tremendous local leadership to help parents make small moments big with their young children,” said Kara Dukakis, director of Too Small to Fail for The Opportunity Institute. “This campaign builds on a strong research base and engages multiple community partners to support parents as they create brighter futures for their children.” 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:

“As a parent, this campaign helps me to support my children in developing their brains from a young age,” said Brandi Koss-Wingard, a community parent. “I am thrilled to be a part of this community effort that helps remind everyone that learning begins at birth. Talking is Teaching provides simple reminders to help all parents and caregivers to talk, read and sing during every day activities like changing a diaper, walking to the bus, doing the laundry and grocery shopping.”

“By encouraging families to promote language skills with their kids at a young age, it is our hope that we will positively impact parents and children in our community, including families residing in the Near West Side neighborhood,” said Paul Nojaim, owner of Nojaim Brothers Supermarket on Syracuse’s Near West Side. “With this established and proven campaign, we are able to hit the ground running and ‘flood the Near West Side’ with resources to help parents be the best teachers for their children.”

To learn more about how this initiative is impacting the community, visit, like, and share the “Talk, Read, Sing Onondaga” Facebook page. For more information about the national campaign, including parent-friendly resources, tips, and activities, visit talkingisteaching.org.


About the Early Childhood Alliance

The Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) was launched in Onondaga County in 2015 and is comprised of stakeholders from all levels of the early childhood system, including health, early learning, and family supports. The ECA oversees a coordinated strategy to create an integrated local system of early childhood care and family support services. The ECA has committees to help shape the strategic planning process and implementation of the strategic plan. Learn more about the ECA at: www.ecaonondaga.org.

About Too Small to Fail

Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and The Opportunity Institute, is leading a public awareness and action campaign to promote the importance of early brain and language development and to empower parents with tools to talk, read, and sing with their young children from birth. Today, almost 60 percent of children in the United States start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language, math, and social-emotional skills. Through partnerships with pediatricians, hospitals, faith-based leaders, community based organizations, businesses, entertainment industry leaders, and others, Too Small to Fail is meeting parents where they are to help them prepare their children for success in school and beyond. Whether at the pediatrician's office or the playground, Too Small to Fail aims to make small moments big by creating opportunities for meaningful interactions anytime, anywhere.