New York, NY — Too Small to Fail and Sesame Street launched today a new text-to-parents program in partnership with the free mobile health information service, Text4baby, to distribute research-based tips to new parents about the importance of talking, reading and singing with their newborn children. The service will reach Text4baby’s network of subscribers that has reached more than 820,000 parents nationwide at no charge to participants.
This new text-to-parents program of 'Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing’ is the first national partnership to use texting to deliver tips on early language development to parents of infants. Research-based tips developed by Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, will provide parents with specific ways they can promote their infants’ early language development and support Sesame’s mission to help all kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. Each early language development tip sent out through Text4baby will also be paired with a link to an engaging and relevant video, also produced by Sesame Workshop. These videos, featuring real parents and children, as well as the Sesame Street Muppets, will model for parents how to engage in the specific behaviors promoted through the tips.
From meal time to bath time to bed time, text messages will span a wide range of topics aimed at helping parents find fun and meaningful ways to incorporate talking, reading and singing to their babies into their everyday moments and routines. For additional parenting resources, visit www.talkingisteaching.org andwww.sesamestreet.org/talking.
Originally announced at Clinton Global Initiative America, this partnership builds off the latest research about the power and potential of providing parents with key information to promote early literacy development through text messaging. Recent research has found that communicating with parents through mobile text can be a highly effective strategy for producing positive learning outcomes for children. A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that San Francisco preschoolers whose parents received text messages with highly-specific tips on reading to their children or helping them sound out letters and words performed better on literacy tests than children whose parents did not receive such messages.
Beginning today, parents who have signed up for the Text4baby service will receive early language development messages beginning from their baby’s 9th week of development, and every other week thereafter until their baby turns one. The text-based tips will be made available in both English and Spanish. Too Small to Fail will also work with community partners and pediatricians in Tulsa, OK and Oakland, CA, as well as in other cities across the country, to encourage parents of infants to sign up for the service.
New parents can sign up for this service by texting BABY (or BEBE in Spanish) to 511411. To access even more early learning tips and information, visitwww.talkingisteaching.org.
The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
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About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street which reaches 156 million children across more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help all children reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, including television programs, digital experiences, books and community engagement, its research-based programs are tailored to the needs of the communities and countries they serve, helping children everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder. For more information, visit us at www.sesameworkshop.org.
Text4baby is the nation’s only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. Text4baby is provided through a public-private partnership of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), Voxiva, The Wireless Foundation and over 1,200 national, state and local health organizations including the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The service is completely free for the more than 800,000 mothers who have enrolled thanks to the generous support of America’s leading wireless carriers. To learn more, please visit www.text4baby.org.
About Next Generation
Next Generation promotes solutions to two of the biggest challenges confronting the next generation of Americans: The risk of dangerous climate change, and the threat of diminished prospects for children and families. Through the use of non-partisan research, policy development, and strategic communications, we identify strategies that help deploy clean, advanced energy technologies; we also work to ensure a level playing field from which today’s kids can build a brighter future.
Learn more at www.thenextgeneration.org, and on Twitter @nextgen_USA.