Arianne Weldon, MPH

 B7BD6EAB-3686-4242-9254-018A039FF161.png   Director
Get Georgia Reading Campaign 

“The best predictor of a baby’s later academic success is the number of words spoken to the baby and the amount of time spent in active engagement and communication. Right now, only 34% of Georgia’s third graders are proficient readers but, by ensuring parents deliver abundant language nutrition to their infants, we can ensure all our children learn to read by the end of third grade, preparing them to read to learn throughout school and life.”


Role in shaping TWMB on the Leadership Team:

In 2013, Arianne Weldon was engaged with more than 100 public and private partners from across Georgia in an 8-month process that resulted in the development of a common agenda for ensuring that all children in Georgia, starting at birth, are on a path to reading proficiency by the end of third grade. As Weldon and those partners examined research and best practices and literacy development, it quickly became apparent that early exposure to language-rich adult-child interactions provided a critical foundation on which language and literacy could be built. Weldon coined the term “language nutrition” and stressed its importance in supporting early brain development and ensuring that children learn to read by the end of third grade so that they can read to learn throughout life. 

Organization’s Role in Shaping Talk With Me Baby

Get Georgia Reading is a statewide platform for collective, population-based action by public and private entities, driven by a four-part common agenda designed to ensure that all children, starting from birth, are on a path to third grade reading proficiency. With research showing the power of abundant language-rich adult-child interactions to support early brain development, Language Nutrition is one of the four pillars of the Campaign’s common agenda. Early exposure to language has a strong effect on vocabulary development by age 3, which is a key predictor of reading comprehension by the end of third grade, which, in turn, is predictive of high school graduation. Get Georgia Reading reminds the Talk With Me Baby collaborative of the long-range implications of their work for children and enables the collaborative to reach and influence the more than 100 public and private partners engaged in the Campaign.  

Talk With Me Baby is made possible by a grant from the United Way of Atlanta and is a collaborative effort among organizations.