New Orleans — Children’s Hospital New Orleans, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton, Too Small to Fail, and Kohl’s Cares announced today the launch of a new, local campaign to boost the early brain development and language skills of children from birth through age five. Working together with the Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail initiative, New Orleans will become the 14th community in the country to implement a local “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” campaign.
“The youth of New Orleans matter. On behalf of the children of this city, I am grateful for the leadership of the Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail Initiative and Kohl’s Cares for launching ‘Talking is Teaching’ in New Orleans – which is the 14th community in the country to adopt this program,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “This campaign equips parents and caregivers with resources needed to help boost early brain development and language skills. We remain committed to the success of our youth and we look forward to the impact of this program in the lives of children across New Orleans.”
“All parents want what’s best for their children, and that’s why I’m thrilled to be here with Too Small to Fail, Children’s Hospital New Orleans, and local partners as New Orleans becomes our 14th ‘Talking Is Teaching’ community,” said Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton. “As we expand this work across the country, we know we need as many people and partners engaged so that every child can get every opportunity they deserve to learn and thrive.”
“We are excited to partner with Kohl’s again to bring ‘Talking is Teaching’ to the New Orleans community,” said Barbara LeBlanc, director of The Parenting Center. “Look for the colorful posters at bus shelters, inside buses and streetcars, and in waiting rooms when you visit your pediatrician or Children’s Hospital. In addition, thanks to Kohl’s and the New Orleans Health Department, every baby born at Touro and West Jefferson Family Birth Place, our LCMC Health partners, will receive a packet with a children’s board book, a onesie with bright graphics, and a booklet reminding parents of their important contribution to their baby’s development by talking, reading, and singing from birth.”
Scientific evidence shows that the first five years present a critical window of opportunity for a child’s brain development. During these years, parents and caregivers can build a strong foundation for learning that their children will need to lead healthy and productive lives. “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” aims to motivate parents and caregivers to engage in meaningful interactions with their young children through talking, reading, and singing together from birth.
In Louisiana, almost half of all children (46 percent) enter kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language, reading, and social-emotional skills. Less than 15 percent of at-risk children under age four have access to any publicly-funded early childhood program.
Research shows that simple, everyday interactions with young children – like describing objects seen during a walk or bus ride, singing songs, or telling stories – can build their vocabularies, prepare them for school, and lay a strong foundation for their social-emotional development, health, and lifelong learning.
The Talking is Teaching campaign will include several components:
- Collaboration with local pediatricians and medical staff to counsel parents and distribute resources: “Talking is Teaching” will partner with trusted messengers, such as Children’s Hospital pediatricians, physicians, and medical staff at Touro Family Birthing Center, West Jefferson Family Birth Place, Children’s Pediatrics Clinics, and the New Orleans Health Department to share information and tools with parents and caregivers about the critical role they play in their children’s early brain and language development. These community partners will distribute evidence-based materials – including children’s books, tip sheets, and clothing with prompts that encourage parents to talk, read, and sing with their children, and engage in quality interactions from birth.
- Signage to transform public hospital spaces such as waiting rooms into more educational, language-rich environments for kids and families: Medical waiting rooms and hospitals will display posters to highlight conversational prompts and activities parents and children can share.
- A community multimedia campaign: to reinforce language-rich interactions between parents and children through other opportunities.
The Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital has been the beneficiary of Kohl’s funding for the last four years. The “Talking Is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” NOLA program will be funded through a grant of $150,000 over two years from Kohl’s. This commitment to Children’s Hospital is made possible through the Kohl’s philanthropic merchandise program, Kohl’s Cares, which sells children’s books and soft toys and donates 100 percent of the net profit to charitable initiatives nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one. Since 2011, Children’s Hospital has received more than $260,000 in grant funding from Kohl’s. For more information, visit www.Kohls.com/Cares.
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About Children’s Hospital New Orleans
Children’s Hospital is a 224-bed, not-for-profit regional medical center offering the most advanced pediatric care to children from birth to 21 years. With more than 400 physicians trained in more than 40 subspecialties, it is the only full-service hospital exclusively for children in Louisiana and the Gulf South.
About the Clinton Foundation
Building on a lifetime of public service, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation on the simple belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, everyone has a responsibility to act, and we all do better when we work together. For nearly two decades, those values have energized the work of the Foundation in overcoming complex challenges and improving the lives of people across the United States and around the world.
As an operating foundation, the Clinton Foundation works on issues directly or with strategic partners from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement and service. Our programs are designed to make a real difference today while serving as proven models for tomorrow. The goal of every effort is to use available resources to get better results faster – at the lowest possible cost.
We firmly believe that when diverse groups of people bring resources together in the spirit of true cooperation, transformative ideas will emerge to drive life-changing action.
About Too Small to Fail
Too Small to Fail, an early childhood initiative of the Clinton Foundation, promotes early brain and language development by supporting parents and caregivers with tools to talk, read, and sing with their young children from birth. Today, almost 60 percent of children in the United States start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language and reading skills. Through partnerships with pediatricians, hospitals, faith-based leaders, community based organizations, businesses, entertainment industry leaders, and others, Too Small to Fail is meeting parents where they are to help them prepare their children for success in school and beyond. Whether at the pediatrician’s office or the playground, Too Small to Fail aims to make small moments big by creating opportunities for meaningful interactions anytime, anywhere.
Learn more at www.toosmall.org. Find resources for parents and caregivers at www.talkingisteaching.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/2smalltofail), Twitter (@2SmalltoFail), and Instagram (www.instagram.com/2smalltofail).
The Parenting Center
Established in 1979, The Parenting Center helps parents and grandparents with the ordinary challenges of raising children. Our staff of parent educators comes from a variety of backgrounds to help families grow from birth through adolescence. The Parenting Center has provided classes, book and video has provided free classes to expecting parents and parents of babies thanks to Kohl’s Cares.
Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a leading omnichannel retailer with more than 1,100 stores in 49 states. Kohl’s has partnered with children’s hospitals across the nation for more than 15 years to create hundreds of health and well-being programs. Over the past year, as the Kohl’s Cares Hospital Program has evolved, they’ve reduced the number of partners to create more impactful programs within our communities. With a commitment to inspiring and empowering families to lead fulfilled lives, Kohl’s offers amazing national and proprietary brands, incredible savings and an easy shopping experience in our stores, online at Kohls.com and on Kohl’s mobile app. Throughout its history, Kohl’s has given more than $650 million to support communities nationwide. For a list of store locations or to shop online, visit Kohls.com. For more information about Kohl’s impact in the community or how to join our winning team, visit Corporate.Kohls.com or follow @KohlsNews on Twitter.