Funding Talk With Me Baby in Georgia
Although each of the lead partners in Georgia’s Talk With Me Baby initiative were working in the area of early brain development, United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Dare to Forget the Box [ST2] three-year, $1.5 million grant provided them with the opportunity to develop the necessary infrastructure to leverage their individual efforts and create an innovative, population-based approach designed to ensure that all children receive abundant language nutrition. The partners utilized these funds to craft their “reach the people who reach the people” approach, identify strategic workforces an population groups, develop the myriad tools available here, and implement an evaluation plan to test their assumptions about this workforce-focused strategy.
The partners continue to invest staff time, cost-share resources, and offer broad and mutually reinforcing skills, talent and connections, including specialty expertise, communications, public relations, leadership consultation, logistics, grant writing, and program evaluation.
The Get Georgia Reading Campaign, while not representing any specific sector, is primarily focused on supporting collective, population-based action to ensure children, starting from birth, are on a path to third grade reading proficiency. The Campaign, therefore, helps to integrate the TWMB approach into an expanding number of systems and workforces. (The heads of three of the TWMB lead partner entities serve – Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Department of Education, and Atlanta Speech School’s Rollins Center for Language and Literacy— on the Cabinet of the Get Georgia Reading Campaign, galvanizing partner strengths and increasing the momentum of the TWMB movement.)
In 2015, the partners secured $200,000 in additional funding from the U.S. Department of Office of Minority Health to support a 5-year focused intervention in three Georgia communities that are home to a significant and growing immigrant population (Dalton, Valdosta, and Clarkston). In these three communities, TWMB is integrating the TWMB coaching model and the Read Right from the Start, Cox Campus 0-3 curriculum to develop a language nutrition module to supplement the Health emPowers healthy behaviors training for early childhood educators. The resulting curriculum will be made available on the Read Right from the Start Cox Campus.