December 26, 2014

If toddlers are so starved for words that their cognitive development is crippled shouldn’t American education care enough to stop it?

    After almost four years we can’t keep waiting for a big lightbulb to click on in American education.
   We need your help.
   We need to act now to repair the problem discovered by researchers Hart and Risley in the 1990s – that perhaps one half-million toddlers in American families are having their brain development starved and permanently crippled every day, year after year.
    But to this point almost no one in the leadership of American education really seems to care. Or is willing to work to change it.
    Perhaps because later, when the same children drop out of school, it's much easier just to blame their teachers.
    At KBN we have proposed that every child deserves better.
    The basic objective is clear, and even some politicians are starting to understand and agree:
    Every baby and toddler deserves to be in the arms of a caregiver who talks, and talks, and talks with the child to help their brain develop to the greatest potential and highest power in both thought and language.
    But how do we make that happen? And in a way that's both (a) affordable, and (b) effective?
    First, every parent and caregiver needs to understand that nothing helps a toddler learn to speak – and to read and to think – like being held in their lap with the easy, convenient and unique power of an on-paper book.
    You can't just talk with your baby.
    You have to talk and read with your baby –  just like you hug and feed your baby – every day.
    The research is clear. Children whose baby minds are fed with a lot more reading also learn a lot more words.
    If you hug and talk with a baby while reading a book together for one hour or even just a half-hour, every day, that baby will develop a much stronger working vocabulary – and a lot more thinking power.
    And that's more thinking power for life.
    Which is why – working with the U.S. Reading Team Foundation – KBN created and introduced the free Teach Your Child To Read At Two program in 2011. And does it work? 
     Read At Two was originally developed for a toddler who later entered Kindergarten already reading above the highest elementary test level. 
    And after we launched Read At Two on KBN in 2011? See the outcome captured and sent to us by one toddler’s parents on the video here.

     Read At Two was developed on a unique language-based early learning protocol and yes, it really does work. Which is why we published it in the first place.
     But now we need more. 
     We want educators to join and support us with more national research in early-stage language learning – both oral and visual – to identify the solutions that will work best for every child. To confirm our own results independently, and with a larger study population. Plus research to test outcomes in multiple languages, in different learning environments, with alternative program concepts, and with books in other formats. And to begin a long-term controlled study to confirm what common sense already tells us – that children with stronger reading and thinking power before they enter Kindergarten will grow up with more power to handle the learning challenges of high school and college.
    The power they’ll need to stay in school – to become our next doctors, engineers, inventors, architects, scientists, economists and even educators.
    So how can you help?
    You can begin right now with something very important. And very simple.
    You can tell all your friends who have toddlers in their family – or who may know families with toddlers – to watch our KBN video. And ask them each to send this very important learning “secret” on to another ten of their own friends. And then, to ask each of them to send the secret on to another ten of their friends. And so on – until there is no parent with a toddler who does not know the “secret” that can help their baby develop into a super-bright child with a super-bright future.
    You can tell every teacher, educator, caregiver and politician you know, and all of your friends on Facebook, too.
    The U.S. Reading Team Foundation and KBN want to give every child in America the same chance to read, learn, think and lead.
    And with your help we can do it.

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