Engaging Children Early

Engaging a child before the age of three is one of the most powerful things we can do as adults and caregivers.  Because it is during this engagement that a child’s brain exponentially grows.  Reading to a child and having conversations with them is at the top of that list.

As a result, Providence Talks is one of the coolest things around.   And it is cool not only because it has been championed by two mayoral administrations and funded through Bloomberg Philanthropies, but because of its innovative approach to reduce the word gap amongst children living in poverty by increasing the number of words spoken.

I sat in NYC for two weeks listening to Mike Bloomberg talk about his vision for his mayoral challenges – which “encourages cities to generate bold new ideas that solve urban challenges, improve city life and have the potential to spread”.   And it was inspiring to hear his commitment to public private partnerships as well as government innovation.

And as much as it was an honor to sit listening to Mike Bloomberg, the greater honor came in accompanying one of our staff on a Providence Talks home visit.  I was reminded of the incredible commitment of our staff and amazed at their creativity.  I watched this staff person with a young child and his mother read a book together where she encouraged her son’s comments on the story and did a great job responding to him.  And learned firsthand why this particular staff person is so popular at our family event nights as he pulled out his ukulele and they sang a traditional family song.


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