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Too Small to Fail & Partners Announce Three New Commitments to Action at CGI America to Help Make Any Time “Talk Time” for Families and Young Children

Commitments will raise awareness of the importance of talking, reading, and singing with children from birth to reach families in laundromats, playgrounds nationwide

Contact: Clinton Foundation Press Office, [email protected] 

Denver, CO—Today, at the fifth Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Meeting, Too Small to Fail announced three new Commitments to Action to use local community settings to help raise awareness of the importance of talking, reading, and singing to young children to help improve early language and brain development, and ensure every child is given the best possible chance to succeed in school and compete in the 21st century global economy. 

The following new CGI America commitments will impact children, families, and communities in Tulsa, Oakland, Northwest Arkansas, and nationwide: 

For the past two years, Too Small to Fail has been working with trusted community messengers such as pediatricians, nurses, librarians, and faith-based leaders to deliver its “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” campaign information and tools to parents. These commitments expand Too Small to Fail’s reach among families in low-income neighborhoods across the country through new community touch points — laundromats and playgrounds — and work through a new set of messengers — community volunteers — to distribute “Talking is Teaching” materials to young children and families.

Parents, particularly those in underserved communities face many structural barriers to engaging more with their young children. Therefore, it is critical to support parents where they are in the everyday places they go with their children. A recent study found that placing visually engaging and colorful signs throughout supermarkets with open-ended questions that adults could ask children can promote more positive and enjoyable family interactions. Researchers also found that when these types of signs were posted in grocery stores in low-income neighborhoods, children and their caregivers were nearly four times more likely to engage in vocabulary-rich “talk” compared to when signs were not posted.

The commitments specifically focus on helping parents make the most of everyday moments and routines to talk, read, and sing with their children. For instance, with the average laundromat visit taking two to two-and-a-half hours, laundry time offers a valuable, yet often overlooked opportunity for parents and local volunteers to engage in language-rich activities like talking, reading and singing with children. In addition, reaching parents through playgrounds provides tangible opportunities to enrich their children’s play experiences with vocabulary-rich conversations, stories, and songs.

Learn more at www.toosmall.org and on Twitter @2SmalltoFail. Find research-based tips, information and resources on early language development for parents and caregivers at www.TalkingIsTeaching.org


 About Too Small to Fail

Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the 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 is focusing its work on closing the “word gap.” Studies have found that by age four, children in middle and upper income families hear 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 www.toosmall.org and on Twitter @2SmalltoFail.

About the Clinton Foundation

The Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, more than 28,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; more than 85,000 farmers in Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania are benefiting from climate-smart agronomic training, higher yields, and increased market access; more than 33,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced annually across the United States; over 350,000 people have been impacted through market opportunities created by social enterprises in Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Asia; through the independent Clinton Health Access Initiative, 9.9 million people in more than 70 countries have access to CHAI-negotiated prices for HIV/AIDS medications; 75 million people are benefiting from disease prevention efforts and investments in the U.S.; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative community have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. 

Learn more at http://www.clintonfoundation.org, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.

About Next Generation
Next Generation promotes solutions to two of the biggest challenges confronting the next generation of Americans: The risk of dangerous climate change, and the threat of diminished prospects for children and families. Through the use of non-partisan research, policy development, and strategic communications, we identify strategies that help deploy clean, advanced energy technologies; we also work to ensure a level playing field from which today’s kids can build a brighter future.

Learn more at www.thenextgeneration.org, and on Twitter @nextgen_USA.

About Clinton Global Initiative America
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made more than 400 commitments, which have improved the lives of nearly 1.4 million people.

CGI also convenes an Annual Meeting, which brings together global leaders to take action and create positive social change, CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI will also convene CGI Middle East & Africa, which will bring together leaders across sectors to take action on pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.