Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe, Univision Miami, and local leaders launch community and multi-media campaign to promote the importance of early language and brain development
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2016
Miami, FL – Today, Too Small to Fail, in partnership with the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe, and Univision Miami, launched a new citywide “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” public awareness campaign in Miami, with an emphasis on reaching families of young dual language learners (DLL). Miami is the seventh community where Too Small to Fail is partnering with local organizations to implement the campaign, which includes local media and grassroots outreach activities. Three additional communities will be launched this summer.
The campaign promotes early brain and language development by encouraging parents to engage in language-rich activities with their young children starting at birth. “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” will share with parents and caregivers how simple actions – like describing objects seen during a walk or bus ride, singing songs, or telling stories – can significantly improve a baby’s ability to learn new words and concepts.
”Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” Miami is working with local partners to distribute tote bags full of high-quality materials – including books and clothing with prompts that encourage parents to talk, read, and sing with their children – to 8,000 families in Miami. Families will receive these materials from pediatricians at Jackson Health Systems, nurse practitioners at Holtz Children's Hospital, Early Head Start teachers, and a home visiting program run by the Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade. The Miami-Dade County Library System will display “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” posters as well as integrate campaign messages and handouts into their regular programming for families. The local Help Me Grow program that promotes early developmental screenings will incorporate these messages into its services as well.
Building on its multi-year national partnership with Univision called “Pequeños y Valiosos,” Too Small to Fail is also working with Univision’s affiliate television and radio stations in South Florida to provide in-depth news and information to its audience on early education and parenting. Under this expanded partnership, Univision Miami will deliver content for parents on early education through weekly vignettes on its award-winning morning program, Al Almanecer; regular interviews and content segments on its local nightly newscast; regular airing of public service ads (PSAs) featuring local Univision talent on television and radio; and, integrated content during its weekly public affairs program. In addition, campaign materials will be distributed at Univision's local events throughout the year, and will be made available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online at www.univision.com/educacion and www.univision.com/exito.
Research shows that developing a child’s home language provides the foundation for reading, writing, and school success. Bilingual and multilingual children benefit academically from knowing more than one language in many ways. Because they are able to switch between languages, they develop more flexible approaches to thinking through problems. The ability to read and think in two (or more) different languages promotes higher levels of abstract thought, which is important in learning. Research also shows that people who use more than one language appear better at blocking out irrelevant information, a benefit that may emerge as early as seven months of age. Children who learn to read in their home language have a strong foundation to build upon when they learn a second language.
“Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” Miami was announced at an event today hosted by the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, Demonstration School, Educare Miami-Dade — an organization dedicated to the implementation of dual language learning. At the event, the White House released a policy statement on Dual Language Learners and new research on the subject was presented, including:
- A new report from The University of Washington's Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences on the cognitive benefits of bilingualism, including enhanced abilities to control their attention, think flexibly, and update information in their working memory.
- A new research brief by The Civil Rights Project at the University of California Los Angeles outlining the economic benefits of bilingualism in a global economy. The report includes findings that suggest that the average difference in earnings between a children who lose their home language, compared to those who keep their home language and become bilingual, is more than $5,400 annually.
- A new report by The New America Foundation citing the importance of increasing the linguistic diversity of the early childhood workforce. The report highlights the gap between the proportion of children who speak a language other than English at home, and the proportion of educators who speak a language other than English fluently. The report outlines a comprehensive research agenda to identify the barriers to increasing linguistic diversity, and the best strategies to move forward.
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).