The Great Start Collaborative & Parent Coalition have had a busy summer 2021, expanding on the Talking is Teaching campaign in area parks and trails, grocery stores and more!
On Aug. 13, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the new Talking is Teaching Nature Trail at the McCune Nature Trail in Emmet County, a partnership with the Little Traverse Conservancy.
“Visitors to the trail are encouraged to talk, read, and sing together while exploring nature,” said Jean Faivor, Great Start Parent Liaison. “From talking about how the nature trail changes each season to looking for insects along the trail, the signs are full of ways to learn while exploring the beauty of nature!” Many of the signs at all locations include a QR code that leads to a video of a trusted messenger talking about the area and helping families with young children build early literacy skills.
The McCune Nature Preserve is the first of many conservancy trails where the GSC & GSPC plan to incorporate Talking is Teaching signs. As part of this project, staff from the Little Traverse Conservancy were trained as trusted messengers, and future trainings will include trail stewards and community members
Great Start’s Talking is Teaching campaign is visible in many community spaces, promoting the importance of early brain and language development and empowering parents with tools to talk, read and sing with their children everyday. In July, Maureen Hollocker, Great Start Collaborative Director, presented the momentum of the Talking is Teaching campaign to the Char-Em ISD Board of Education members with a positive reception.
Other Talking is Teaching locations launched this summer include the Talking is Teaching Learning Adventure at the Village Market in Central Lake, Charlevoix Public Library Children’s Garden and the newly opened Boyne Laundry. In addition to community spaces, Talking is Teaching materials such as Storytime Totes, Diaper Time Kits, Bedtime & Bathtime Totes, and Laundry Kits are being distributed to families through trusted messengers like pediatricians, playgroup facilitators, WIC clinics and parent leaders.
Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing, is a national campaign created by Too Small to Fail. For more information about the local Talking is Teaching campaign and community projects, visit greatstarttalkingisteaching.org.