The Minneapolis school district is backing a city plan that aims to build vocabulary skills in early learners and dismantle early gaps between babies who hear more vocabulary at younger ages and those who don't.
The initiative is Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges' "Talking is Teaching" campaign, which aims to spread awareness about the importance of talking to babies to combat the vocabulary gaps between high- and low-income families.
The campaign helps ready kids for kindergarten, the Minneapolis district said in a release.
Research shows that babies whose parents talk to them more frequently can end up with wider vocabularies than other babies whose parents don't chat with them as much. That gap can leave the kids with quieter parents behind by the time kindergarten begins.
The city's campaign cites a study that found kids from wealthier families hear up to 30 million more words than poor kids by the time they're 4 years old, and another that found that children in poorer houses wind up six months behind in language comprehension by age 2.
A Wayzata school district program is also trying to tackle the word gap issue.