Last Saturday, Too Small to Fail joined Shane’s Inspiration and Landscape Structures, as well as over 500 children, parents, and families from the Los Angeles and Panorama City communities, to launch our first official “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing”-themed playground at the Sepulveda Recreation Center in Panorama City, California.
We know that playtime can be talk time too – an opportunity for parents and families to engage their children in brain-building activities while exercising their bodies through fun, interactive activities. That’s why we teamed up with Shane’s Inspiration and Landscape Structures to create our 2015 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Commitment to Action. Together we will build 20 themed playgrounds across the country to help parents turn everyday playtime into opportunities to boost their children’s early language and brain development and give them the best possible chance at success in school and beyond.
We’re working with our partners – one playground at a time – to transform public, community spaces into inclusive environments that are fully accessible to children and families of all backgrounds and abilities. With conversation prompts in both Spanish and English, we hope to encourage fun, language-rich interactions between parents and children as a regular component of playtime.
Here is what Sepulveda Recreation Center looked like prior to our partnership with Shane’s Inspiration and Landscape Structures, and the support of First 5 LA Best Start, the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Exceptional Children's Foundation:
And here’s the result of our partnership and community collaboration:
In addition to promoting early language development, these new playgrounds also provide a safe place to play and are inclusive environments for children of all abilities.
Regardless of what language parents speak, when they talk, read, and sing early and as often as possible, they are helping to build their child’s vocabulary.
Shane’s Inspiration and Landscape Structures also will work with local parks and recreation departments, early childhood centers, civic groups, and other community organizations across the country to explore opportunities to expand the number of playgrounds with “Talking is Teaching” messages, focusing on low-income and underserved communities.
We are so proud to be working with our partners to create new opportunities for children and families to play, laugh, talk, read, and sing in Panorama City and across the country. When we ensure that every child has access these types of enriching and educational community resources, we’re helping to strengthen bonds between families and promote a strong future for our communities.