The Family Conservancy: Talk, Read, Play with a Child Every Day Campaign

Mother helping her little child with homework


Recent studies of early brain development prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend that pediatricians advise all parents to read aloud to children — beginning as infants. Even before a child can talk, hearing words from the adults in their lives helps their brains grow. In fact, 80% of a child’s brain is developed by age three and differences in brain development, based on language, can be detected as early as 18 months.Studies show that children born into low-income families hear roughly 30 million fewer words by the age of three than their more affluent peers. This word gap leads to an alarming achievement gap – in school and life – between poor children and those born into more well-to-do families. Fortunately, there is a simple and effective way to eliminate this gap: Talking, Reading, and Playing with a child every day is proven to increase that child’s vocabulary and school success.

“Every parent wants their child to do well in school and in life. And the most important things you can do to ensure school success are to start early by talking, reading and playing with your child every day – beginning at birth,” said Dean Olson, Vice President of Programs at The Family Conservancy, a founding partner of the Talk, Read, Play educational campaign established by a coalition of agencies in 2009. The Talk, Read, Play campaign simplifies studies about brain development in young children into a few simple steps every parent and caregiver can take to help support a child’s early development: Talk,

Read, Play with your child every day. These simple activities help a child learn words, enjoy learning and get along with others … important skills for school success. Children’s success in school leads to positive outcomes within our communities: greater high school graduation rates, more skilled and contributing citizens, and a reduced need for welfare.

You can find ideas to make Talking, Reading and Playing with your child a part of your everyday routines by visiting

#TalkReadPlayKC #CloseTheWordGap