Dr. Elanna Yallow, CEO of KU Early Learning Programs took to the national airwaves again this week to raise awareness about the word gap on Lifetime TV’s The Balancing Act. On the morning interview show for working moms, Elanna discussed explained what parents can do to increase their child’s vocabulary and prepare their child to learn to read. Watch the clip here.
The national TV exposure comes on the heels of last fall’s White House workshop, which brought together national policy makers and leaders, including Elanna, aimed at decreasing the “word gap”.
In the United States, a child from a professional family hears an average of 215,000 words per week, while a child from a more economically disadvantaged family only hears 62,000 words per week on average. Elanna told Lifetime viewers that by the age of three, the result is a child from a more advantaged home will have heard 30 million more words than a child from a lower income family. That child will be better able to grasp the fundamentals of reading and will be at a significant advantage when they enter school. This word gap can have significant adverse consequences for our children’s future.