Adam Schultz / Clinton Global Initiative
Jun 10
June 10, 2015

Any Time is Talk, Read, and Sing Time: Too Small to Fail Makes 3 New Commitments


No matter where they live, how much money they earn, or how busy they are, all parents want the same thing:  They want what’s best for their child. They want to ensure their child is safe, that they’re healthy, that their life is full of opportunity, and that they have the best possible chance at success not just in school, but in life.

That’s why Too Small to Fail is working to help parents make the most of everyday moments in everyday places. Our idea is simple: any time is talk time. And, by talking, reading, and singing with children every day from birth, we can boost their early language and brain development, and ensure every child has the strong start they need. Whether doing the laundry, visiting the playground, or getting ready for bed – simple actions each and every day can make a big difference for a young child’s development.

Yesterday, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Meeting in Denver, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton announced new Commitments to Action by Too Small to Fail and its partners that will reach parents of young children, and particularly those in underserved communities, in bold and innovative new ways – such as in a laundromat, or on the playground.

All three commitments utilize local community settings to help raise awareness about the importance of engaging with children from birth in order to develop healthier learning, language and brain development:

1.     Wash Time is Talk Time: Early Literacy Promotion in Laundromats: in partnership with the Coin Laundry Association, this commitment aims reach parents and families in low income neighborhoods by providing helpful tools and resources for engaging young children in 5,000 laundromats in underserved communities around the country. By integrating messages about the importance of talking, reading, and singing in areas where parents already spend their time, Too Small To Fail hopes to meet and reach parents where they are. Volunteers from Current Initiative’s Laundry Project, First 5 Alameda County, and –trained by Jumpstart—along with the University of Arkansas College of Education & Health Professions, will host monthly volunteer story time and free laundry events in laundromats nationwide where  “Talking is Teaching” resources will be distributed to families. These events will kick off in October 2015 in Oakland, California, with Jumpstart’s annual Read for the Record® campaign in laundromats.

2.     Play Time is Talk Time: Early Literacy Promotion in Playgrounds: in partnership with Shane’s Inspiration and Landscape Structures, Too Small to Fail will develop 20 new playgrounds over the next year that incorporate many “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” creative materials throughout their design. By exposing children and parents to these interactive conversation prompts, playtime can easily become an opportunity for parents and caregivers to cultivate the child’s imagination through language-rich activities like talking, reading, and singing together. In addition, Shane’s Inspiration and Landscape Structures will work with local parks and recreation departments, early childhood centers, civic groups, and other community organizations across the country to expand the “Talking is Teaching” messages on playgrounds, with a focus in low-income communities.

3.     Promoting Children’s Early Math & Language Development: by Too Small To Fail and Bedtime Math Foundation, commits to providing 1,500 Bedtime Math books in both English and Spanish, along with training materials for pediatricians, to be distributed through the local outreach campaigns that Too Small To Fail has already established in Oakland, California and Tulsa, Oklahoma. This commitment aims to develop early math and vocabulary skills in young children by encouraging parents to engage children in everyday math conversations and activities such as counting at an early age.

Too Small To Fail’s programs, partnerships, and commitments focus on getting parents the information and tools they need to make ordinary moments and everyday routines into meaningful opportunities to boost their child’s language and brain development, and give them the skills they need to enter school and life ready to succeed. Learn more about the commitments and Too Small to Fail, visit