Too Small to Fail Early-Literacy Campaign

Too Small to Fail Early-Literacy Campaign – Doctors Deliver the Message

The national Too Small to Fail Early-Literacy Campaign has enlisted the support of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which means that doctors are now part of this effort to help parents take substantive action to improve the academic success of their children in the 21st century.
As reported in EdWeek, doctors are going to encourage “parents to talk, read, and sing to their infants and toddlers as a key precursor to literacy” starting with baby’s two-month check-up. Too Small to Fail’s role in this new push will be piloted in two hospitals in Oakland, California. Researchers will be tracking the program and working to hone it down to “its key elements.”

Improving early literacy is gaining momentum across the country. The Latino Family Literacy Project™ can provide staff training to work with parents to learn to read and talk and sing with their children.

All the children involved in the Oakland hospital test site will hear more words that past babies and this will lead to better brain development as the first three years of a child’s life are critical time for the brain as 80 percent of the brain develops in the first three years of life.

Parents in the program are reporting that they are talking to their babies from the moment they wake up until they go to bed. The more you talk to your baby, the better.

According to the EdWeek report, “Too Small to Fail’s doctor strategy banks on two key facts: Doctors are one of the most trusted sources of information for new parents. And doctors have nearly immediate access to new parents, allowing them to deliver the message early enough in a child’s development for it to make a difference.”

Parents in the program receive baby board books and also a baby blanket that says “Let’s Talk About Colors” and “Let’s Read a Bedtime Story.” Research also shows that besides talking to your children, you need to asking questions and building a relationship with them. The combination of talking, reading, singing, asking questions, and having quality exchanges during the first three years of a child’s life will yield a more aware and proficient three-year-old.

Dr. Dayna Long, who heads the program at UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospital, says their goal is “to really look at the social determinants of health—where a child eats, sleeps, plays, prays, and goes to school. It’s about building resilience.” As she and other doctors involved in the program have learned, early language proficiency is “inextricably linked to health.”

We’ll follow up on the program and report back on its progress.

Katherine Del MonteToo Small to Fail Early-Literacy Campaign