Talk, Read, Play with your child every day
A simple Message to Support Child Development
A child’s most important teachers come long before they enter the traditional classroom — parents, grandparents, siblings and caregivers play a vital role in preparing young children for success in school. Before most children begin kindergarten, 90 percent of brain development has occurred (Rauch Foundation).
Talk, Read, Play is a public awareness campaign with a simple, yet important message: Talk, Read, Play with your child every day. By encouraging these easy everyday interactions, parents and caregivers help children develop language and literacy skills that are vital for school success.
The campaign centers around an idea developed by The Children's Campus of Kansas City (CCKC) — a collaboration of organizations committed to promoting the health and well-being of 0-5 year old children and their families. In 2011, Children’s Campus partners — The Family Conservancy, Project Eagle, and Juniper Gardens Children’s Project — identified a gap in the services they were providing. Programming presented by providers was not being reinforced in the home. The Talk, Read, Play campaign was launched as a way to close that gap, equipping service providers with a simple, science-based, and memorable message to share with parents.
What are the benefits to children and to the community?
After the concept’s initial development, it quickly became apparent that all parents, not just those being served by the Children’s Campus, could benefit from a reminder that adult interactions are what help children's brains grow. In fact, simliar projects began to spring up all over the country, each aiming to engage the parents in their communities with this same, simple message. (For a list of all the work being done nationwide, check out: https://toosmall.org/community/word-gap-campaigns). Today, the Talk, Read, Play campaign has become part of a national and international movement. We are one of many localized efforts, collectively striving to build brighter futures for children everywhere by closing the Word Gap.
In Kansas City, the Talk, Read, Play message has spread beyond the Children’s Campus to become a community wide initiative, supported by partners all across the metro area. And with good reason — the whole city benefits when parents interact with their kids, especially during the formative early years. By talking, reading, and playing together, parents and children build strong emotional bonds, creating a home environment where children grow up feeling safe. Talking, reading, and playing also promotes early literacy and school readiness by consistently exposing children to a language rich environment.
When kids are supported with loving and nurturing relationships and a brain-stimulating environment, it puts them on the path to educational achievement, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation and successful futures.