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Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy Partners with Talk With Me Baby to Expand “Language Nutrition” Resources Nationwide

~New national toolkit will be unveiled at invitation-only White House Summit on Behavioral Science Insights

PR Newswire

Tallahassee, FL /PRNewswire-USNewswire — The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is excited to announce its new partnership with Talk With Me Baby, a Georgia-based early learning initiative that the Foundation will help launch nationwide.

Talk With Me Baby is a public action campaign aimed at coaching parents and caregivers on “Language Nutrition” – language sufficiently rich in engagement, quality, quantity and context that it nourishes the child neurologically, socially and linguistically. The initiative was formed in 2013 through a partnership among the Marcus Autism Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta Speech School, the Get Georgia Reading Campaign, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Georgia Department of Education.

The Foundation’s new partnership with Talk With Me Baby will help the initiative expand its training and resources—which thus far have been deployed only in Georgia—nationwide. A newly developed online toolkit, which includes a training curriculum to equip nurses and other care providers across the country to serve as Language Nutrition coaches in their own communities, will be among four initiatives highlighted at today’s White House Summit on Behavioral Science Insights in Washington, D.C.

“There is no question that even the earliest learning experiences greatly influence a child’s development of vital language, literacy and social-emotional skills,” said Liza McFadden, President and CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. “By helping Talk With Me Baby launch these innovative tools nationwide, we aim to provide parents across America with simple, but incredibly important ways to help their children achieve success in school and throughout their lives.”

Lead researchers Jennifer Stapel-Wax, PsyD, Associate Professor at Emory University School of Medicine and Arianne Weldon, MPH, Director of the Get Georgia Reading Campaign, managed the development of the toolkit at the request of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The toolkit will serve as a model for other states aiming to integrate Language Nutrition coaching as a competency among workforces already reaching new parents and babies, such as nurses, WIC staff, foster parents and other child welfare stakeholders.

“We are grateful to the White House, the Barbara Bush Foundation and all of our partners for the opportunity to extend our reach throughout other states,” said Stapel-Wax. “Our goal was to make the Talk With Me Baby resources adaptable to each state’s currently existing models for Language Nutrition. We are especially excited to see how the toolkit can be used in the newly adopting states.”

As a complement to the nationwide toolkit launch, the Foundation will host the first Talk With Me Baby training for Washington, D.C. area healthcare providers at the Children’s Health Center Anacostia. Pediatricians, nurses, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, WIC nutritionists and psychologists from Children’s National Health System will attend the training today.

“As the hub of pediatric care in Washington, D.C., and one of the most trusted organizations taking care of children in the District, Children’s National Health System is the natural place to begin rolling out this campaign to pediatric healthcare providers in the area,” said Ashley Darcy-Mahoney PhD, NNP, FAAN, who is a Conway Family Scholar at Children’s National, as well as Assistant Professor and Director of Infant Research for the George Washington University School of Nursing. “We’re excited to hold our first training in their facility, and look forward to bringing Language Nutrition to D.C.”

The Barbara Bush Foundation will soon begin providing Talk With Me Baby training for nurses and other staff, upon request, at hospitals nationwide. To request a training opportunity, hospitals can email the Foundation at info@barbarabush.org. For more information on Talk With Me Baby, visit www.talkwithmebaby.org.

About the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy: The Barbara Bush Foundation is the nation’s leading advocate for family literacy. The Foundation was established by Mrs. Barbara Bush in 1989, and today is a public charity that aspires to achieve a vision of fostering the opportunity for every man, woman and child to secure a better life through literacy. To learn more about the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy’s commitment to promote family literacy in homes across America, please visit www.BarbaraBush.org or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter (@BarbaraBushFdn).

Contact: Lauren Sproull 850.562.5300 lauren.sproull@barbarabush.org

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