OUR APPROACH

GKFF provides support and resources to young Tulsa families to encourage parent‐child engagement and interaction. Through medical, community and faith‐based outreach, GKFF and key community partners share information about parenting and the importance of hearing spoken language to encourage a child’s budding vocabulary. Commonplace activities, like talking, reading and singing with babies, beginning at birth, can set them on a path to success in preschool.

Tulsa Educare serves more than 550 low-income children in three state-of-the-art community schools.

The majority of a baby’s brain is formed by age three.

PURPOSE

GKFF recognizes the importance of engaging with babies from birth as the early years are the most formative. Research shows that the simple act of talking, reading and singing together every day can greatly improve a baby’s well-being and vocabulary.

 

PROJECTS

Children are born learning, and what they learn in life’s earliest moments will dramatically impact their later success. GKFF’s parent‐child engagement initiatives offer parents and caregivers hands‐on techniques for turning everyday moments into meaningful learning experiences for their babies.

Medical Outreach

As one of the most credible sources for advice on child development and well‐being, the pediatric community has a special role to play in promotion of parent‐child engagement. Through partnerships with Tulsa’s hospitals and clinics, trained nurses meet with the parents of every child born in Tulsa. During these 15‐minute consultations, nurses deliver useful information about the importance of talking, reading and singing to babies from birth. Parents also receive a Talking is Teaching toolkit, full of resources like books, sing‐along CDs, blankets, onesies and more. In addition, through a partnership with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, parents receive free text messages three times per week with helpful tips. GKFF also recently expanded its parent engagement and early literacy efforts to include Reach Out and Read and Healthy Steps programming at pediatric clinics.

Faith‐based Outreach

Many faith-based organizations have direct and frequent contact with families and are trusted messengers to encourage talking through prayer, reading through scripture and singing through congregational chorus. More than 30 local churches have partnered with Talking is Teaching to host family engagement events and incorporate meaningful messaging in all church communication with families.

Community Outreach

To reinforce the messages caregivers are receiving, targeted outlets are broadcasting messages that are both frequent and culturally appropriate. This broad‐based media campaign is presented to the public as helpful recommendations and prompts. Through partnerships with local businesses like grocery and convenience stores, customers are reminded with the use of strategically placed posters and signage to take time to have meaningful interactions with their children. In addition, messages are pushed through public service announcements, billboards, bus signs and more.

PARENT ENGAGEMENT FEATURES