– According to a 1995 study, children from low-income environments will have heard thirty million words less than their better-off peers by age 4, a number that makes a determining difference when school begins. Pupils with a limited vocabulary have weaker reading skills and thereby higher probabilities of lagging academically from the start.

– Dana Suskind, a professor of surgery and pediatrics, is the director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implantation Program at the University of Chicago Medical School and the founder of the “Thirty Million Words” program, whose goal is to promote strategies to close the 30-million words gap. “It’s one sentence in a rich science that says how parents interact with children impacts the way brain processing develops. It’s really about helping parents understand how important they are in terms of how they can grow their children’s intelligence,” says the professor.

– Early childhood is the foundation of 85 percent of a child’s brain development, ages 0 to 3 being the most important period. A lot of people don’t realize that intelligence is not something you’re born with, but something you can develop. “Parents are the foundation of language development… and interaction with children is the food for the developing brain,” says Suskind. This is why the “Thirty Million Words” program works with families to help parents become better teachers.



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