In March 2014, the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) and Too Small to Fail jointly launched a new partnership aimed at improving early brain and language development. Tulsa is fertile ground for this campaign; over many years, GKFF has laid a solid foundation for high quality early childhood education through its support of local Educare Centers and other programs focused on improving parenting and child development.

The following fall, GKFF and Too Small to Fail rolled out our ground campaign “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” in Tulsa with help from trusted messengers in the medical community, among others. Hundreds of Tulsa-based pediatricians, family practitioners, nurses and medical facility administrators have helped educate parents about the importance of early brain development, and given out free materials during routine pediatric visits that prompt parents to talk, read and sing more to their children from birth.

Dr. Amy Emerson is a critical partner in this campaign, championing early literacy programs like Reach Out and Read and contributing to the Educare model for many years. In the post below, Dr. Emerson underscores the importance of parents as teachers in promoting early brain development and literacy in young children.