New Early Literacy Initiative Aims to Narrow the “Word Gap”

talk-read-sing-icons_cropEvanston Public Library, as part of its involvement with Evanston Cradle to Career, announces the launch of Talk, Read, Sing, an early childhood literacy initiative that provides digital tools to parents and caregivers for encouraging brain development and a healthy learning environment for our youngest children. The initiative is aimed at parents/caregivers of children ages 0-3. Talk, Read, Sing offers regular text messaging and recommends the use of a free app called Vroom to promote consistent, healthy communication habits that can have a profound, positive impact on the rapidly developing brains of young children.

Said Karen Danczak Lyons, Library Director, “With the Talk, Read, Sing initiative, we hope to support parents and caregivers by providing timely and helpful tips and reminders of the importance of early learning. As a child’s first teacher, parents have a key role in building the foundation for success in school and in life. This process of learning together can be filled with fun while being highly impactful on a child’s early brain development.”

To sign up for Talk, Read, Sing text messaging, all parents and caregivers can text COE TRS1 to 468311. Twice a week, participants will receive simple text message reminders such as: talking about colors when taking a walk, playing peek-a-boo when dressing a child, singing as you pick up toys, and reminders to read books everyday. For this program, the Library is reaching out to families of young children, through the library, at preschools, Head Start programs and home daycare establishments in Evanston. Questions about the Talk, Read, Sing program can be emailed to Evanston Public Library’s Children’s Community Outreach Librarian, Laura Antolin.

Research has shown that by age four, children in low income families hear 30 million fewer words than children in middle or upper income families.  Studies confirm that regular reading, singing and talking to very young children from birth forward, as simple as it sounds, is essential for preparing all children to learn, builds early vocabulary, and contributes to healthy brain development. The more words children hear and learn from parents and caregivers, the greater their chance of success through the preschool and kindergarten years which lay the foundation for future growth and success.


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.