“Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” was first brought to Michigan in 2018 through the Great Start Collaborative of Wayne County. While the target area for GSC Wayne was initially the City of Detroit, the campaign began to expand and grow. Rachel Pritchard, Great Start Programs Specialist for the Michigan Department of Education was invited to a meeting with GSC Wayne and representatives from Too Small to Fail in Detroit to learn more about how they were implementing Talking is Teaching within the community. Around the same time, Livingston County, Saginaw Great Start Collaborative and COOR-Iosco Great Start Collaborative were also starting to implement Talking is Teaching in their communities. The success and momentum of the GSC Wayne campaign, the growing interest across the other Great Start Collaboratives and the availability of Preschool Development Birth-5 (PDG B-5) funds focusing on early literacy and family engagement made the timing right to launch in more communities through a statewide campaign.
Talking is Teaching aligns with not only the early childhood outcome that children are prepared to succeed in fourth grade and beyond by reading proficiently by the end of third grade, but also with the Top 10 Strategic Plan goals of expanding early childhood opportunities, improving early literacy achievement. Both are achieved by utilizing trusted messengers, environmental prompts, and tools to create a continuum of awareness, attitude, and behavior change that is incorporated into the lives of families with young children in everyday situations within their community, as well as within early learning and care environments.