Learning begins long before a child attends their first day of school. By the time a child turns 5 years old, 90% of their brain is developed. Yet national research shows that children living in poverty hear fewer than a third of the words heard by children from higher-income families (with differences in conversation quality as well). In 2014, only 55% of Dallas Count Kindergarteners entered school ready; that’s more than 17,000 Kindergarteners entering school behind!
A Community Approach
Comprised of over 40 organizations with varying missions and purposes, this network will achieve this objective by engaging parents and families as their children’s advocates and first teachers in a language they understand and through trusted messengers and networks. The work of this Network supports The Commit! Partnership’s goal of ensuring children enter Kindergarten with the physical, social, emotional, literacy, numeracy, language and communication skills, and positive approach to learning necessary to be successful.
What We Are Doing
Through the Family Empowerment Action Network, more than 20 organizations are piloting a free mobile app called Vroom with families across Dallas County. The Dallas County Vroom pilot is a part of a greater national effort to turn everyday moments into brain building moments by providing tips and activities via the app that families and caregivers can use when interacting with young children. Beyond the Vroom pilot, Family Empowerment Action Network members meet to share effective practices and align efforts to better equip and empower parents as their child’s first and foremost teacher.
Developed by a group of dedicated scientists with input from community organizations and families. By building children’s brains from the earliest ages, we can actually shape the foundation for future learning. Vroom is a tool that aims to help parents and guardians maximize the development of children during their first five years.
A free mobile app, Vroom centers around creating brain building moments in young children by engaging them in everyday activities. Vroom features hundreds of unique tips (in English and Spanish) that not only encourage learning among children, but strive to build stronger adult-child relationships. Vroom is all about meeting families in the places they live, work, and play in communities around the country.