YWCA Uses LENA Technology to Increase Parent-Child Communication

YWCA New Britain’s Family Literacy Center is piloting the use of LENA Talk Pedometer Technology which was created by the LENA Foundation.   This new technology is being used to increase early childhood communication between children and adults which is critical to early brain development and important for academic success.

The LENA Talk Pedometer is a small recording device worn by the child that measures the amount of words exchanged between young children and caregivers.  The Family Literacy Center then facilitates a curriculum to help parents increase the amount of verbal exchanges that happen at home.  The YWCA site will begin their 10-week curriculum on October 8th and the program is open to parents of children between the ages of 1 to 3 years old.

Valerie Cammarota, Director of Programs and Grants at YWCA New Britain, says, “Studies have shown that increased words and verbal exchanges are one of the biggest predictors of academic achievement later in life.  The goal of using this technology is to train adults to increase their communication with their children beginning when their children are very young, setting them up for academic success.  The curriculum also encourages relationship-building between parents, strengthening the support system families need.”

The YWCA is partnering with Literacy Volunteers of Central Connecticut, New Britain School District, Hospital of Central Connecticut Education Center, New Britain Housing Authority, HRA, and the New Britain Public Library to introduce this technology.  The project is funded by the LENA Foundation and The Fund for Greater Hartford.