Resources & News

September 30, 2019 – Early childhood education will be provided to children in Birmingham under the auspices of Bloomberg Philanthropies. Birmingham has been chosen as one of the five cities in the United States participating in an initiative similar to Providence Talks. The Providence Talks initiative was first launched as a program aiming to help secure early childhood education for those between one and three years old, in the Providence area. However, the idea behind this initiative has now spread to numerous cities and states in America, and Bloomberg is helping in developing such programs.

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September 28, 2019 – The city of Birmingham was selected as one of five American cities to replicate Providence Talks, a free, citywide early childhood program that aims to increase interactive talk with children to foster early brain development. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, through its What Works Cities initiative, Birmingham is launching Birmingham Talks to serve 2,500 children across Jefferson County over the next three years.

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September 27, 2019 – The number of words a child is exposed to in the first four years of life can have big impact on their brain development, language skills and school readiness. Just how many words? A minimum of 15,000 words a day for strong language development, researchers say. Children from low-income households often get a fraction of that, leaving them less prepared when they get to school. So how can parents know whether their child is hearing enough words? By counting them. A new program launching in five cities around the country equips children with special recording devices known as talk pedometers.

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September 26, 2019 – The city was selected as one of five American cities that will replicate Providence Talks, an early childhood education program that empowers parents and caregivers with tools to support language development at a critical age and help children enter kindergarten classrooms ready. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, through its What Works Cities initiative, Virginia Beach is launching LENA Home to serve Virginia Beach families with children 0–3 years of age.

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September 26, 2019 – Bloomberg Philanthropies will replicate an innovative early childhood learning program in five new cities, the program has announced. Those five cities are Birmingham, Ala.; Detroit; Hartford, Conn.; Louisville, Ky.; and Virginia Beach, Va. The program, which is called Providence Talks, was the first-ever grand prize winner of the Mayors Challenge. How this program works is that participating families receive a small recording device — a talk pedometer — and it counts the adult’s words spoken when a child is around.

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September 25, 2019 – Birmingham is one of five cities receiving a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to model a program first tested in Providence, Rhode Island, dubbed “Providence Talks.” The grant will pay for the program for three years. Bloomberg Philanthropies will also provide in-kind donations of technology and software, including talk pedometer devices and software. The program will serve 2,500 children across Jefferson County over the next three years.

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September 25, 2019 – The city of Hartford is launching an early childhood program to support language development in low-income households, inspired by an initiative launched in neighboring Rhode Island called Providence Talks. Hartford is one of five U.S. cities replicating the Providence Talks program, which was started in 2013 with a $5 million grand prize win from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ first Mayor’s Challenge. Bloomberg Philanthropies is now providing about $440,000 over three years to Hartford, according to a city spokesperson, and about $11.5 million more to Birmingham, Ala., Detroit, Louisville, Ky., and Virginia Beach, Va., to support similar initiatives in each city.

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September 24, 2019 – Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the five American cities that will replicate Providence Talks, an early childhood education program that empowers parents and caregivers with tools to support language development at a critical age and help children enter kindergarten classrooms ready. Combined with local investments, the support provided across five cities totals nearly $12 million over three years. The five cities are Birmingham, AL; Detroit, MI; Hartford, CT; Louisville, KY; and Virginia Beach, VA.

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September 24, 2019 – Detroit is one of five cities chosen to launch a new program that equips children with special recording devices known as talk pedometers. They work like regular pedometers but instead of counting steps, they count how many words a child hears and speaks during the day. The data is then used to assist parents in upping the word count for children as a way to prepare them to excel in school. The other cities are Birmingham, Alabama; Hartford, Connecticut; Louisville, Kentucky, and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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September 21, 2019 – Americans are becoming more polarized. A series of polls conducted by the Pew Research Center this year show growing partisan divides across a range of topics, including the value of higher education, concern over climate change and the fairness of our tax code. But while polarization seems to persist across many issues, new survey data show that Americans agree that a more effective and efficient government is a good thing.

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