On June 21, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges announced the launch of an exciting community campaign called, “Talking Is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing.” The decision to participate in such a movement comes from extensive research about early childhood development and education, including the importance of simple, everyday activities building a strong foundation for lifelong learning. This is the major step in fulfilling Hodge’s Cradle to K Plan.
Mayor Hodges shared some staggering facts about early education and brain development:
- Nearly 60% of American children begin kindergarten underprepared
- 80% of brain development happens by the time a person is 3 years old
- Children that grow up in low income families and communities hear, on average, 30 million fewer words than children that grow up in high income families
Governor Mark Dayton also commented on this crucial movement, saying that it Minnesota’s participation further ensures that our state is one that “works for everyone, everywhere, [and that] begins with our youngest learners… [This program] will help to close educational achievement gaps in Minneapolis.”
About the Talking Is Teaching Campaign
The “Talking Is Teaching” campaign comes from Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of The Opportunity Institute and the Clinton Foundation. The organization’s overarching mission is to help parents, businesses, and communities to work more effectively and efficiently to improve the health of children (aged 0-5), primarily through talking, reading, and singing.
Ready to Impact Communities Through Play
We are thrilled to announce that Minneapolis is partnering with Landscape Structures and Flagship Recreation to develop and build the city’s first literacy playground by integrating Talking is Teaching conversation prompts into the playground design. This new playground epitomizes how we play at Flagship. Through inclusive design, nature-based playgrounds, and learning-based environments, we are committed to helping Minnesota close the continuing Word Gap. We are so excited – it’s time to change the world through play!