Talk. Read. Sing. Talk. Read. Sing.

The Early Childhood Alliance makes a mark in Onondaga County's reading cycle.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)— Talk. Read. Sing. has made a successful mark in Onondaga County.

The Early Childhood Alliance launched Talk. Read. Sing. to encourage the importance of reading and talking between a parent and a child from infancy to five years old. 

“We know the brain is growing at a rapid rate during those first five years,” fellow Pitzker Gina Iliev said. Iliev has been working with the Early Childhood Alliance to build family engagement structures. Those structures come in three tiers: home visitors, pediatric support and visual components. “We’re putting the tools together so that they’re ready for kindergarten and beyond” said Iliev. 

In 2019, 60% of third graders were behind the New York Statewide scores for reading. In Onondaga County, that number was at 62. Since the incorporation of the Talk. Read. Sing. program, the Early Childhood Alliance was able to reduce the percentage by two. 

Although they still have a long way to go, Executive Director of the Early Childhood Alliance, Laurie Black said the first step is engagement, “Don’t miss this important, incredible, powerful moment. Engage with your child, Turn off the technology, and really the way we best develop vocabulary and languages is through the back and forth between the adult and a child.”

The Early Childhood Alliance partners with different organizations for home visitors to bring tote bags to families. The tote bags include books, colorful toys and information to get the child to begin to recognize parts of speech. 

The alliance also coordinates with pediatricians for toiletries, clothes and food education. They were also able to place visuals in parks, Skiddy and Liverpool, with the Talk.Read.Sing. idea platform. The billboards ask questions for children to answer and are available in both english and spanish. 

This past September, the Early Childhood Alliance was awarded 1.5 million dollars in the county budget so that they can continue to impact the Onondaga County Community.

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