Gaps in language development
Children in low income communities hear far fewer words than their peers from middle- and high-income homes. And it’s not just the number of words they hear, either – some children hear fewer questions, and are encouraged less in their exploration of language and the world – this makes the difference in how many words they know, and how well they can express themselves when they get to school. New research has found that by age 2, a 6-month gap in language development is apparent. The vocabulary that a child has by the age of 4 is one of the best predictors of how they will do in school, and whether they will be able to read independently in third grade. Students who fail to reach this critical milestone often falter in the later grades and often drop out before earning a high school diploma, putting them at greater risk for lifelong poverty.
The solution is to make sure that every adult who has interaction with a child has the tools, resources, and confidence to engage with their child in the ways that build that her confidence, language and literacy skills and motivation to learn.
Tandem™ will distribute over 2,500 books for families and educators to keep and share at home and at school this year. Our books and resources are available to families in their home language, as well as services and supports, which are delivered in the neighborhoods where families live.
Tandem™ provides easily accessible information based on the latest research in neuroscience and language and literacy development so parents and caregivers know how brain and language development works at different stages of children’s growth. We also use this research to develop workshops, trainings, and informational materials that support parents and educators to take a positive approach to language and learning by building on children’s interests and passions and providing interactive learning opportunities.
Tandem™ brings the best, most current information on children’s brain development, language and literacy to families in fun ways that engage children and adults together. Parents get to practice new skills, ask questions of knowledgeable staff and volunteers from their own community, and build a culture of joyful learning.