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