Together, we can improve education in Utah.

Watch these videos and explore this site to learn what we can do to improve education.

Talk to your baby
When you talk to me, you build my brain and set me up for success.
We need to talk to our babies to prepare them for life and get them ready to learn and succeed.

When we talk, read, and sing to babies and toddlers, we help their brains grow so they can gain the knowledge and skills they’ll need in life.

Talking to and interacting with children from the moment they’re born will lay the foundation for the happy, productive communities we want in the future.

Resource
Babies aren't born smart, they're made smart

Dr. Dana Suskind, Founder and Director of the Thirty Million Words® Initiative, talks about early childhood development and how parents can harness the power of their words to build their children’s brains and shape their futures.

By the time your child turns four, nearly 80% of her brain will be developed.

The amount of language she hears and the interactions she has with you in those first years will shape her ability to learn later in life. The more talking, the better.

On average, kids from lower-income households hear as many as 30 million fewer words by their fourth birthdays than their more affluent peers. As a result, they start kindergarten with less than half the vocabulary and are much more likely to be behind later in school. But talking can overcome those odds!

Parents are a child’s first teachers, and children thrive best when they have parents, family, and other adults who lovingly interact with them.

When you talk, read, and sing to your babies and toddlers, you build their brains and help them learn everything from creativity and problem solving to spatial reasoning (that means math) and self-discipline.

Kids who hear more words are more likely to do well in school, earn higher incomes, and be prepared to learn and achieve their goals.

Pay
Attention

Notice and respond to what your children are interested in. When they’re curious, their minds are ready to learn and grow.

Talk
More

Talk in your native language. Talk when you’re playing or doing chores. Talk about your work. The more words and the richer vocabulary, the better.

Interact

Respond to your child’s coos, kicks, and looks from her very first days. When you interact, you build a foundation for communication and self-expression.

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My Education Story
Why does education matter to you?

We all have a story about education. Remember that teacher that made an impact? Or the moment you realized why school mattered to you? Or when you felt like you could see wheels turning in your baby’s head? Click below to hear more stories and to share your own!

Our Research

Talking to babies has been proven to deliver the outcomes Utahns want from education: a higher quality of life, the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their goals, and prosperous communities. Take a look at the research and resources below to learn how talking to babies will create a brighter future for all of us.

 

Get The Facts
Parents who provide learning support at home for young children have a positive impact on their child’s cognitive, language and socio-emotional development, regardless of the parent’s class or educational background.
Get The Facts
Early childhood experiences lay the foundation for success throughout both school and life, and early childhood education is being recognized as a cornerstone for lifelong learning. Brain development begins before birth and is most active in the early years when children gain their language and higher cognitive functions such as learning and reasoning.
Center on the Developing Child (2007).
Get The Facts
A child’s brain undergoes an amazing and critical period of foundational development from birth to age three— producing 700 new neural connections every second.
Get The Facts
Parent talk is predictive of academic success in general, but also on reaching potentials in math, spatial reasoning, and literacy, the ability to self-regulate behavior, reaction to stress, and even perseverance.
Get The Facts
Parents with knowledge of child development compared with parents without such knowledge have higher-quality interactions with their young children and are more likely to engage in parenting practices associated with children’s healthy development. Moreover, parents with knowledge of parenting practices that lead to healthy outcomes in children, particularly practices that facilitate children’s physical health and safety, have been found to be more likely to implement those practices.
Get The Facts
Quality early childhood education promotes cumulative learning, with each stage building on the next. "Early experiences determine whether a child’s developing brain architecture provides a strong or weak foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health."

Center on the Developing Child (2007). The Science of Early Childhood Development (InBrief). Retrieved from http://www.developingchild.harvard.edu.

Get The Facts
Differences in parenting – especially maternal sensitivity and nurturance, but also provision of books, library visits, and the like – is the single most important factor explaining differences in school readiness between rich kids and poor kids, as measured by literacy, mathematics, and language test scores at age four.
Putnam, Robert. (2015) Our Kids (page 122)
Get The Facts
Showing warmth and sensitivity; establishing routines; reducing household chaos; providing preventative health and safety measures (vaccinations, nutrition, physical activity, etc.); and using appropriate (less harsh) discipline are all positively correlated with learning outcomes.
Putnam, Robert. (2015) Our Kids (page 167)
Previous
Look beyond
high school

The jobs of the future will require knowledge and skills that we can’t expect to gain in high school. But when we continue our education into college or another kind of post-high-school training, we’ll be prepared to find the jobs that will create a better quality of life for us and for future generations. In addition, people with more education are more likely to volunteer, live longer, participate in civic activities, contribute to the economy, and have greater family stability.

Next
Begin with
preschool

High quality preschool can help every child have the right foundation to gain the knowledge and skills they’ll need. Even though preschool is for young children, the effects of good preschool can last throughout a child’s education and throughout a child’s life—helping them become productive, contributing members of society.