We can’t stress this enough. And while we realize we may be preaching to the choir on this one, since you are reading a library blog, we need your help to get this message out to the community!
According to the Association for Library Service to Children, by the age of four, children in some homes will have heard 30 million fewer words than their more advantaged peers. This word gap has a profound influence on a child’s ability to succeed in school and later in life.
Small steps have a big impact. The first step we are taking is to get people talking about how important it is to talk to your babies. Higher technology use means lower interaction in many cases. Babies are not learning words well from screens. They need real time, loving, human faces talking to them.
That is how children learn to speak, and think. If that step is skipped, reading will be much more difficult. And sadly, research shows that children never catch up to their peers if they fall behind in this area. As an added benefit, “ongoing research proves that one of the most high-impact and cost-effective ways to reduce crime, improve health and education outcomes, and build a thriving community is by investing in its youngest members” (ALSC website).
Please tell parents of small children you know how vital it is to talk while they go about their day. Talk to them about what they see, talk to them about the grocery list. It really doesn’t matter what the subject is, babies just need to hear words from people. We need your help to get the message out. Together, we can make a difference.