“Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” is a national public awareness and action campaign that empowers parents and caregivers with fun and easy ways to improve their babies’ learning, from birth to age five.
Using books, parent videos, text messaging, and social media, the campaign prompts parents to take advantage of everyday actions, such as describing things while walking outside or singing songs together during bath time.
In October 2018, Portland, Maine was honored to be named an official Talking is Teaching community by Too Small to Fail, a national initiative of the Clinton Foundation. Talking is Teaching is supported with a grant from United Way of Greater Portland in support of Thrive2027 Goal 1.
TALKING IS TEACHING IN PORTLAND, MAINE
Building upon the success of a local Talking is Teaching pilot in 2017, Starting Strong expanded the Talking is Teaching campaign in 2018 to engage partners including Early Head Start, Portland Public Health, Portland Public Library, Portland’s Family Shelter, and several local child care facilities to distribute 500 Talking is Teaching kits to families of children from birth through age two. In 2019 and 2020, Starting Strong expanded the campaign to include Westbrook and South Portland, as well as Portland, Maine. This year our outreach and education continues and is even more important during the pandemic and we are distributing hundreds of free Talking is Teaching kits to families thanks to over a dozen Starting Strong partners. Kits include books and prompts to remind families to use everyday activities as opportunities to talk, read, and sing to their young child in order to support healthy cognitive and social-emotional growth. Many of these partners also display posters and distribute other tools and prompts, such as books, flyers, and bookmarks in public spaces.
Check out our Facebook Page for more about Portland’s Talking is Teaching work.
Thanks to our partners who are participating in the Talking is Teaching Campaign:
Catherine Morrill Day Nursery
Chestnut St. Family Shelter, City of Portland
Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine
Early Head Start, The Opportunity Alliance
General Assistance, City of Portland
Greater Portland Health
In Her Presence
Maine Families, The Opportunity Alliance
Northeast Hearing and Speech
Portland Public Health
Portland Public Library
St. Elizabeth’s Child Development Center
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, The Opportunity Alliance
Youth and Family Outreach
For more information on how to get involved, please contact us!
When parents and caregivers talk, read, and sing with their children—even before they can use words—they are building their brain and helping them to prepare for success in school and in life.
But it may not always be easy to talk to babies, especially when they can’t talk back. To help, the Talking is Teaching campaign pulls together fun tips and resources grounded in the best science to help parents talk, read, and sing with their child every day.
Please download our handouts with Talking is Teaching parent tips.
This handout is available in five language options below.