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BhmTalks gets international recognition for helping babies develop a lifetime of literacy

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 9:07 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A free program in the city of Birmingham, designed to help babies form a lifetime of literacy, is getting international recognition.

Mayor Randall Woodfin taking to social media to announce BhmTalks was featured on BBC World Service during its “Fixing the World” broadcast.

BhmTalks is thrilled to know that people across the pond are talking about the city of Birmingham in a positive light especially regarding children and literacy.

BhmTalks is a free citywide program that works with babies from birth to 3 years old, and their families, to help build literacy skills.

BhmTalks said every word spoken to a child is vital for early brain development.

It works using a small, wearable device called “Lena” which measures words spoken to babies.

That data is then used to measure what adults are saying to babies and how much back and forth conversation is actually being had.

A coach reviews the data and regularly meets with families to explain how to increase the number of words their babies hear and determine if they’re having enough conversation in the home to promote literacy.

“We want to make sure that every, single child in our community when they grow up and they’re 18, they’re 21, they get to choose between a host of colleges, between a host of careers and that they have the finances that the need to determine their own future,” said Executive Director for BhmTalks, Ruth Ann Moss.

“And to think that something as simple as talking can’t really change the trajectory of children’s lives has really fueled me in this work over the past two years and I watched it really transform predicaments for families,” said Family Engagement Manager for BhmTalks, Raven Johnson.

BhmTalks will be starting a new 10-week literacy session in a few weeks.

For more information, and to sign up for the program, you can visit: tinyurl.com/bhmlenastart.

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