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Early Learning Campaign Promote Parent-Child Interaction, Offers Free Books

Posted on October 5, 2022

Johnstown, PA (Oct. 4, 2022) – Parents are a child’s first teachers. Now, they can learn how to turn everyday activities into meaningful, teachable moments while receiving free children’s books to build a home library. The Learning Lamp is partnering with the “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” national campaign to help parents understand the critical role they play in their child’s early brain development. The local pilot, which is supported by a grant from the Clinton Foundation, gives parents concrete resources to maximize teachable moments in the car, at the grocery store, and during daily activities like bath time and bed time.

Studies have shown that 90% of brain development happens before the age of 5, and yet today, almost 60% of American children start kindergarten unprepared and lagging behind their peers in critical language and reading skills. Additionally, in this age of technology, experts worry that when parents and caregivers scroll phones and tablets, they are connecting less with their kids.

“The Talking is Teaching campaign puts more books in the hands of children and parents and creates opportunities for meaningful interactions between the parent and child through reading, singing and talking,” said Debra Capriotti, development associate at The Learning Lamp and coordinator of the local campaign.”

Designed for children from birth to 5 years of age, the Talking is Teaching campaign in Cambria and Somerset counties will kick off in mid-October with widespread distribution of resources through trusted messengers that work directly with high need, economically disadvantaged families. These are children who are at heightened risk of starting kindergarten behind their peers.

Community partners in the Teaching is Talking campaign include the United Way of the Laurel Highlands Diaper Bank delivery locations in both Cambria and Somerset counties, 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health’s Community Care Hub, Early Head Start providers serving the Cambria-Somerset region, and the Conemaugh Family Medical Center. Families will receive high-quality materials and tools, such as tote bags, age-appropriate books, and tip sheets for fun interactions anywhere, at any time. A new book nook in the waiting room at the Family Medical Center will also be installed and stocked with “Talking is Teaching” materials and books. All told, the campaign expects to reach 500 children through spring of 2023.

“Together, we can increase equity in early learning among children in low-income and high-needs households, giving them a brighter, more successful future and empowering parents to truly engage in their child’s learning,” said Capriotti.

For more information on The Learning Lamp’s Talking is Teaching campaign, email Deb at dcapriotti@thelearninglamp.org.


The Learning Lamp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. We deliver high-quality programs that are affordable and accessible to families of all income levels. In 2021, The Learning Lamp served 28,160 youth/adults from 51 school districts and 69 other schools and organizations in 19 Pennsylvania counties. Our programs include: child care and preschool, after school programs, tutoring, SAT prep, online learning, credit recovery, alternative education and specialized classrooms for at-risk students, trauma support groups for children/families, temporary staffing, and grant writing and project consulting for schools.

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