Today, Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative between Next Generation and the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, will join the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and Urban Institute for an all-day conference entitled “Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Bridge the Word Gap.”
Research shows that the more words children hear directed at them by parents and caregivers, the more they learn. Yet, researchers have found that by age four, children in poverty hear 30 million fewer words than their higher-income peers, and, as a result, have more than double the vocabulary as those children who have heard fewer words. These dramatic gaps result in significant learning disadvantages that persist into adulthood.
Representatives from government, the pediatric community, child advocacy organizations, and foundations plan to discuss new research and share best practices for closing the word gap. Too Small to Fail will also announce its plans to offer online resources and webinars to cities that are interested in developing word gap campaigns in their local communities. During “Family Day” at the 20th ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans, ESSENCE and Too Small to Fail announced a partnership to deliver information and mobilize ESSENCE’s audience to improve the lives of young African-American children, from birth to age five.
How You Can Help: Visit toosmall.org and show your support for the initiative by using the hashtag #bridgethewordgap