tv Beyond the Headlines KOFY June 4, 2015 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT
welcome to "yond the headlines", i'm cheryl jennings, each of the shs loks at early chdhood development, the precious yearsetween bth and five years old. we know nurtufring young minds is key to ensuring a healthy and happy childhood. our guest shows us how the future of our society depends on our ability to develop this nxt generation. joining me in the studio is dr. ross thompson a distinguished professor of psychology. >> thank you for coming. >>my pleasure.
>> you'reoing parent/child development ithe first three yea. tell us about that. >> we study parent/child relationships and our appreciation for the importance of what is going on in these every y encounters betwe a responsive adult and interested child. our appreciation of that i really grown bause of the work on earl brain development because of the ways researchers andneuroscientists have focused on how explosive is the growth of thbrain in the early years of life and how much the brain grows as a result of how it's stimulated by socia interacon like these, aduts who are singing and otherwi being responsive to what achild's interests are. >> it'snteresting because so many new parents wa to have the baby in a quiet room and don't say anything, don't take around big crowds and i have other parents who take them out to baseball game >> that's right. >> that a lot of stimulation. >> it is possible. it is -- you can overstimulata young child and overstimulate
anbody. the fact is that the brain is ke a magnet for imution. a good example of that, w know that 6-month-olds are figure tifly citizensf the world, they can make out language sounds at all in of the languages because e brain is ready to learn a language but the brn doesn't know whether the birth landed them in beijing on london. it has to be ready to learn language. all of that changes by 12 months when the child has lost that universallanguage learning ability. as a result of langua they've been overhearing in those kinds of soal interactions. as a result the brain rewires itself to lear the language that the child orlanguages the child s overheard. and this ishe beginning of the vocabulary that te place in the secondyear. all of that in the first 18 months of life. >> you say as society, whave a
serious challenge. >> we do because there are two pieces of information that ought to concern . one is that the achievement gap appears as sooas child enters the school house door. we are seeing quite a significant difrence in language skills and mathematical ls between kids from most advantad and least advantaged omes. that's one concern. the other concern is equally significant. children's experience in school only widens that gap. it doesn't narrow it. schoo does not become the great equalizer of opportuni. takes the gap already there and it simply increases it. to close the achievement gap, we've got to start earlier, we already know by age 3 the number of words the children he who come from most advantaged homes are more than twice as large and vocabulary as children coming from the most disadvantaged
homes. children coming from advantaged family are hearing more language so theirrain has more to work with in develong a vocabulary. now the research ishowing that that gap can appear as early as 18 months. >> when you'reorking with disadvantage the family, how do you -- i work with programs where they encrage us to come and read t these kids in day cae. but that's one ing. how do you get the families to get on board with that? >> that's true. because some parents are not convinced that thi kindf interaction real makes a difference in the life of a child. part of the challenge is to take this research and to communicate it in a w that would really make sense to fmilies and parents, whatever their backgrou andwn experiences have been. i think that part of the challengis that it's easy to underestimate how much the brain and mind are exploding i grth in the early years of life. it's partly because infants and toddlers a so tuned into the moment that they look really distractible and it's hard to
ee the wheels turning. what the research is showing us is that the quality of stimulation, the amount of child directed speechthat occurs in the first few years of life really makes all the difference in the rld. for the velopment of thinking skls and some indicaton it has to do -- contributes to the growth ofumber derstanding for these children. it provides all of the seds that children need. and part of our challenge is to find ways o communicating that, especially pants who might not otherwise do it. >> i have to ask you about the screens, the ipad and ipod, all of these devices that we now have, i see little ones with these things and touching th and phones too, is that helping or hurting? >> it can do either. i wasn an airplane trip last month where ias sitting next to andorable -month-old for her child and she was captivated andi could see two reasons why, there wa exciting stf going on in the screen and the rents
were interacting with the child. they were talking about whawas on the screen. inviting the child to tryout different things. they we using their voices to help the child understand a connection between the child's own actions and response of t screen. and that is consistentith what the research is showing us. thatthese screens can be helpful especially if they occur inhe context of response of social interaction that goes on between andhild and parent. in some respects it's the sam lesson years ago with respect to tv. watching a screen alone is not nearly as helpful as dng so interactively with a partner. >> we have about 15 seconds left. what do you want parents to take awayrom what you're telling us toy? >> what a child nds more than anything is an adult who is responsive, tuned in, focused and interacting with them. and in doing so, they are providing the fodation for the ild's later health j development. >> thanks f being here.
levin, the chief deputy director of first five california celebrating its 15th anniversary. >> yes. >> thais phenomenal. >> for flks who don't know what it is, please explain. >> first five calirnia first came to be in 1998 when the passage of the ballot initiative called proposition 10. the whole focus wa to find an ditional funding stream to focus on children and their familie in the earliest years, 0 to but without takingoney fr other programs or from ducation. prop 10 created a 5 cent per pack tobacco taxand other tobacco products are taxed as well to create what bga as about a $700 million a year funding stream for the purpose of supporting and providing resources for education and outreach to parents and young children. and so since tt time -- and we
also prop 10 is al mandated to focus on smoking cessation. the good newss that weave suceded in, you know, smoking cessation, but the bad news is -- not bad news but the revenues from prop 10ave declined so it begans a $700 million a year proposition and down t just under 500 million >> do more with less. >> fewer people are smoking but you'r absolutely right. have to do me with less. >> we have areat mpaign going on right now. i want to talk about brain search forery young children. ow is first five california talking about ths? >> you just heard from mark thompson, it's a very complex iss but very important. so the purpose of our campaign which is called talk, read, sing is to take this -- the notn of the importancef early brain development and push it out to the publ and those families who have young children or who are caregivs of yng children and phasize how important it is to interact with kids and
stimute the bin so that it grows and develops in the earliest years. and in the long run actually works to prevnt the achievement gap. if we can get kids to develop their vocabularies and start out in school,ot behind their peers, th have a much better chance to succe in school and in lie. but so the campaign really talks about --e have two psas. 30econ long, you can only talk smuch about brain development in 30 seconds. we cut to the chase and talk about the importce of that early engent and language stimulation in the earliest of years from the day a chi is born. >> i know we can't show the psas because there are lights involved, but you have everybody interacting with the children. >> absolutely. and in every day activities, you don't --it isn't just sitting down and reading a book to a child which is wonderful. from day one it's wonderf. if you read 30 minutes a day with a child, not all at one
time, t minutes here and ten miutes there but really consistency every day as well as using engagement opportunities to talk to your child about colors and shapes and what they are doing and what you're doing. how is your da explaining your day to you child. they are hearing your voice and may not be able to understand what you're saying but their listening voluntary kcabulary i expanding. bythe time they are 3 we hope they have at least 1,000wods. >> what can we find on the website? it's a lot of resource. >> the it is. the purpose of the ad iso drive parents the wsite. once you get to the weite, there's an activity ceernd learning center where you can see examples of the kinds of activities that are very simple and free that you can engage in with children of all ages from infants to yong toddler to kids who are rey for preschool. and it's just a -- it's just a
eat resource for ideas when you're looking forthings to do. then when you're there, you realize how simple it really is. >> we were talking about ross thompson about screens, multiple screen, onef your tsas is on texting, and not interacting wi the child. >> the purpose of that ad is not to ta the evils of texng or watching television. tho are not evil things in themselves, what's noticeable is here's a child staing up in a play pen looking at his m and her back is to him and she's texting and got the tv on. it's a missed opportunity for thatanguage engagement. it's more about that andess it's not a commentary about texting. >> what kind of feedback are you getting abou this campaign? >> the gratest thing -- 's one of the mos fun, wonderful things i've eer worked on in my career. e feedback has been so overwhelmingly positive. parentsre excited about it. it does a lot of hings, reinfoewhat many of them believe they are doi already
but a lot through social media are sharing their ias about -- he's another ideaf how i do this at home and it worked well with my kids. he's in third grade no and at the head of his class. >> i want to ask before weun out of time. you have kits for new parents. >> yes, every moter in the state of calornia should go home from the hospital witha kit for new parents. it's one of our flagshipfirst five california,ou go home because babies don't come with an instction manu. >> they don't. >> so the kit has children's books but also has information and resources for parents on what too for immunizations and ccinations for your baby. what to do when your baby is sk. really fun actities to do with your baby. it's just -- it's something that ha been so successful. people can't get enough of them. they call in andsay, i've hea about your kit, how do i g them? >> very successful. >> and you are mom and now a
new grand mom. >> i am. >> did you raise your kids this way? i did. all of my graduate workis in literacy andanguage development. my boys were read to and sung to and talked to -- i don't know how much they loved it but i loved . d they are wonderful adults today and moldest son has a 1-year-old dghter, brooklyn, and sheas -- she's surrounded by loving adults who talk with r and read with her d sing to her. she is a kick. she is bling and engaged and hpy. i know she'll be brilliant. >> i love your passion for this. thank you so much for bng re. >> my pleasure, thank you so much. >> we have to take another break. when we come back, we're going to learn howarly childhood development ultimately affects
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welcome back, i'm cheryl jenning research shown that exercising a baby's brain in the first ye of life has a dramatic impact on their delopment. the bay area council took note that during the annual outlook conference becau well he educated cldren will have an effect on california's economy. this report was filed may. >> reporter: they say by the
time a child enters kindergarten his orer brain is largely developed. why are business leader gathered in san jose talking about it. >> early investment in chiren is a no brainer, simply a no brainer. the business community gets that. >> reporter: james is th the center for t next generation and addresse the bay area council on the importance of an early education. califoia hashe highest population of young childn in the nation. groups li first five california have invested millions in early education. the organization says babies and toddlers need to get the right amount of growth support, especially those in underserved communities. >> very small vocabularies and with much lower success levels they e up not being able to read and dropping out of school. reporter: the bay area council has joined first five californi in a campaign called talk read and sing. billbods like this one will go
up in june in bay area cities nd appear on buses. >> w're telling that to moms all ross t bayrea, talk to your kid, give them words, give them numbers, just talk to them. other groups including the hillary rodham clinton are involv inthe campaign. those behind the campaign says if we invest in children early, we can close the achievement gap fore it ever starts. in san jose, lee an melendez, n. >> matt regan is the vice presint of policy at bay area council. explain to peop a little bit abou what the council does. >> thank you, cheryl. >> the bay area council is an organization cprised the bay area's leading business figures, ceos from the largest employers and we work on is of public polic. our objective is to maintain t bay area a the best place in the worldo live and work. we work on issues like transportation, health care and the environment
>> i wodn't expect that childhood velopment as a priority but this is a great opportunity, right? >> it doesn' seem like a natural fit for a business organization to be focusing so much attention on, but we've stied a lot of research and actually commissioned a research report of our own seral years ago that shows that investing in early education is perhps the best dollar that the state of california make an ivestment in. the returns on those vestments are high as 17 to1. >> wow. >> depeing on the demographic of the child tt you make the investment in. the highest risk children, you're loong at returns that high because these kids as they grow older, they end up in remedial education, grade repetition, which is very expensive tohe k-12 system. en beyond to bome susceptibleo much highe rates of welfar dependey, unployment and drug use and
incarcerati incarceration. >> it makes good business sense to get to th early. >> i love this campaign. this is the talk, read, sing.org. easy as that. we have little onesies here and t-shirts. explain to theolks at home hat we're looking at here. >> we through fundingrom our principle funder two years ago embarked upon aneffort to try and close the word gap among primarily low income families, as professor thompson explained, children with more unfortunate bagrounds enterkind garten are entering with a 2,000 word vocabulary a very big differential and makes it difficult for those children to bein to learn and keep up with their peers. so our objective is to close thatork gap before it happens, focusng on the first three
years of life where the centers of the brain are developed language and literacy are most active, 80 prosuti 080% of brait takes place in the first three years of life. it's important to talk, read and sing to their children and by the time th reach kindergarten will be able to succeed in school and beyond in life. >> your campaign is very aggressive, not only ha the kit you can get butlso the outdoor signage that will be everybody where. why is this signage so important? >> were launching in oakla with a pilot program. you'll see these bill boards and bus shelters going up in oakland in the next moh or so we're partnering with a national organization called too small fail and they have a number of national collaborati partners, bill and hillary clinton foundatiowho you mentioned in the piece.
american academy of pediatrics, sesame street, whole slew of the est and brightest in early education. this campaign hopefully succeed in oakland. we'll take the be pies of it, including the clothing line and the outdoor signage, which by the way designed by silverstin, they are the folks behd the got milk commercia and bt and brightest in the advertising world. we've combined the talents of wonderful organizations to create th and hopefully we can scal it nationally with our national partners and but oakld is where the pilot is going to run, for again, launching hortly. >> i know people are going to want -- they say, how can they t the good stuff? youave a website? >> yes, it'stalking is teaching.org. people can go on to that website and find out where the materials are available. we will be rking with communit partners in oakland, clinics and hospils and
libraries and beistributing the marials to family w most need them inoakland. butt will be available to everyone. yowill be able to purchase these. > so there is a fee for them, then? >> yes, for folks who like to purchase, we'll settle the money back into the program so that we can then supply them free of cost to families in eds. >> what i like about it, it kind of walks you through what y ed to do with yourhild. >> yes, the purpose of the materials is to turn the world into a learning experience. wh we discovered in our resear and focus groups is that a lotarents talking and reading and singing to children, notnly that, when you explain to them, they find it difficult to tie those activitieso the daily roin. they are very busy people. what we've discovered was that if you tie the request of talkingeading and singing to an existing daily activity, there's a much eater
propensity for those parents then talk read and sg, we supply the materials around bath time and getting dregsed with prompts on theront to give ideas for stories and t talk to their children and babies about. >> it's absolutely brilliant. thank you so much. i can't waitntil this becomes available for everybody. thank you for being here and for what you're doing. >> se. >> for more information about today's prgram, go to our website, abc7 news.com/commity. we're on febook,lease foow me on twitter. i'm cheryl nnings, have a great week. we'll see you next time. female announcer: want your best rest ever?
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