LENA accelerates child language development by using data from “talk pedometers” (small wearable devices that measure the amount of talk and interaction in a child’s environment) to coach parents and caregivers on increasing serve-and-return interactions with children ages zero to three. During 10 weekly sessions, this objective feedback makes parent-child interactions visible and quantifiable, while engaging curriculum highlights the importance of conversation and ways to embed these practices into daily routines.
LENA’s technology-enabled programs for teachers and families couple actionable feedback with coaching to make proven, sustainable increases in the quality and quantity of talk with children. Communities around the world implement these programs to help build stronger families, improve classroom quality, and increase early literacy and school readiness. Independent evaluations have confirmed that the programs benefit teachers, families, and children alike:
- Classrooms that have used LENA Grow professional development have demonstrated significant increases in CLASS scores after the program. Ninety-four percent of teachers who completed the program reported feeling increased job satisfaction and increased confidence in their teaching abilities.
- Families who attended LENA Start parent-group classes reported feeling more connected to their children and their communities and made measurable increases in how much they talk, read, and interact with their children. Forty-eight percent of participating families improved language quality by at least 10 percentile points at the time of graduation.
- Children whose caregivers participated in LENA Start gained language skills nearly twice as fast as their peers during the three-month program and maintained these gains afterwards, showing advanced literacy skills upon entering Pre-K.
- Overdeck Family Foundation’s support has helped LENA decrease costs via improvements to program design and operations, increase programmatic reach by transitioning to virtual delivery, and build further evidence of effectiveness. LENA is also supported by the Paul Family, Valhalla Charitable Foundation, and Arrow Impact.