A Cortez Library Program Teaches Families the Importance of Talking With Newborns
- Local Champion: San Juan Bureau of Cooperative Education Services
- Date Funded: September 30, 2022
- Grant Amount: $10,000
The number of children in Cortez who need reading intervention when entering kindergarten is increasing. Interactive talk—specifically back-and-forth conversation—though, has been proven to be a key factor in healthy early brain development, and a local speech pathologist identified the need to help young families understand the importance of talking with their newborns. The San Juan Bureau of Cooperative Education Services runs a program through the local preschools that helps teach parents of young children how to both measure their children’s language environment and also increase engagement in conversation. It’s called the LENA Start program (LENA stands for Language Environment Analysis). San Juan BOCES worked with the Cortez Library to come up with a solution that would bring the program to more families: Use the library the home for a LENA program in Cortez. Providing LENA Start programming through the Cortez Public Library will also introduce them to the many other resources the Cortez Library offers to support whole family learning. LOR’s funding helped support the launch of the LENA Start program at the library, serving more than 50 families over the course of the inaugural year.
This project is fiscally sponsored by Onward! A Legacy Foundation.