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Mayor Libby Schaaf and Community Partners Unveil "Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing" Early Literacy Playground In Oakland

National Too Small to Fail Initiative to Promote Children’s Early Brain and Language Development Launches Next Phase of Oakland Community Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2016

Oakland, CA – Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and The Opportunity Institute, together with Mayor Libby Schaaf and community partners, launched the next phase of the “Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing” Oakland campaign today with a community playdate celebrating improvements to the Officer Willie Wilkins Park in the Elmhurst neighborhood. The playground received new panels featuring words and artwork encouraging parents to talk, read and sing with their children as part of a nationwide push to promote early brain and language development.

This event marks the next phase of the “Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing” Oakland campaign, which informs parents of the critical influence they have on early brain development and encourages them to make language-rich activities with their children a part of their daily routines.

At today’s event, Dukakis was joined by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Carla P. Keener, Senior Administrator, First 5 Alameda County, Dr. Bertram Lubin, President and CEO, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and Adonal Foyle, Community Ambassador for the Golden State Warriors.

Following some brief remarks, neighborhood children and their parents enjoyed music by the Alphabet Rockers and storytime with Adonal Foyle, and received free books and Warriors t-shirts while interacting with the new early literacy panels. The panels are the first to be installed in a public park in Oakland, but similar installations have been implemented at two local Head Start centers. Landscape Structures, a leading playground manufacturer, is donating these panels to additional playgrounds nationwide.

The next phase of the “Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing” campaign in Oakland will leverage existing partnerships with First 5 Alameda County, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. The campaign intends to reach several thousand additional families and caregivers through the distribution of messages and toolkits to parents and child care providers by home visitors and other First 5 Alameda County partners; interventions at the the hospital’s primary care clinic; and the expansion of literacy programming throughout the hospital.

Since launching in 2014, the “Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing” Oakland campaign has reached nearly 8,000 low-income families with young children through trusted messengers, including primary care physicians at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and Kaiser Permanente, as well as through librarians, child care providers and faith-based leaders through First 5 Alameda County and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation.

Contact: Melinda Krigel
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
510-428-3069, 510-388-5927 (cell)
mkrigel@mail.cho.org 

Alexandra Cole
The Opportunity Institute
press@theopportunityinstitute.org

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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.

Learn more at www.toosmall.org. Find resources for parents and caregivers at www.talkingisteaching.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/2smalltofail), Twitter (@2SmalltoFail), and Instagram (www.instagram.com/2smalltofail).

About UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (formerly Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland) is a premier, not-for-profit medical center and is the only hospital in the East Bay 100 percent devoted to pediatrics. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is a national leader in many pediatric specialties including cardiology, endocrinology, hematology/oncology, neonatology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, urology and sports medicine.  The hospital is one of only five ACS Pediatric Level I Trauma Centers in the state, and has one of largest pediatric intensive care units in Northern California. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland’s research arm, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), is internationally known for its basic and clinical research. CHORI is at the forefront of translating research into interventions for treating and preventing human diseases.