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Evanston Cradle to Career has launched a new campaign to boost the early brain development and language skills of children in Evanston from birth through age 3. The campaign, titled “Talk, Read, Sing,” is a community-wide effort in partnership with Too Small to Fail, a national, joint initiative of The Opportunity Institute and the Clinton Foundation.

“Talk, Read, Sing” aims to support and reinforce parents and caregivers in talking, reading, and singing more with their children from birth. Almost 50 percent of Evanston children start kindergarten without the foundational skills they need to prepare them for school success. Research shows that simple, everyday interactions with young children – like describing objects seen during a walk or bus ride, singing songs, or telling stories – can build their vocabularies, prepare them for school, and lay a strong foundation for lifelong learning.

“Talk, Read, Sing” is partnering with trusted messengers, like pediatricians, local maternity hospitals, child care providers, librarians, home visitors, pastors, and others to share information with parents and caregivers about the critical role they play in their children’s early brain development. These community partners will distribute “Talk, Read, Sing” information directly to families.

“Talk, Read, Sing” also aims to trans-form everyday places where families spend time together into language-rich environments. Various locations around the community will display “Talk, Read, Sing” posters and creative materials that encourage families to talk, read, and sing while they engage in everyday activities. Parents and caregivers can also sign up for our texting program, which sends twice weekly parenting tips, by texting COE TRS1 to 468311.