New program to build communication skills in children

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 10:57 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Setting your child up for academic success.

That’s the goal of a new program at the Germantown Library.

It’s called the Language Environment Analysis, also known as LENA.

It was made possible through a partnership with the University of Memphis.

Through the program, parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers age three and under will use the “talk pedometer” technology to measure their communication with the children, how much they’re talking and more.

According to the research, a child’s academic success can be strengthened when children experience more words and conversations, especially during the early years as babies’ brains are developing.

That’s why experts say reading to children is important.

Dr. Loretta Rudd, the Clinical Professor in Child Development and Family Studies at the University of Memphis, says the social emotional skills built up through programs like this are important to a child’s educational success.

“Improving language and social emotional skills in very young children really sets them on a trajectory for higher IQ, better reading proficiency at an earlier age, better social emotional skills, which is the foundation for reading and all lifelong learning,” Rudd said.

The Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo is on board with the program. He says it’s an opportunity for families across diverse areas like Shelby County.

”If we can do that early on and promote more well being at the early child level, it’s going to make for great young people that become great adults that become great leaders that live a highly productive life,” Palazzolo said.

The program cost is $150 and includes 10 sessions and an orientation. Sessions will be once a week on Thursdays for about an hour and a half.

Pre-registration is required before January 27. You can register on the City of Germantown’s website.

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