FAN Event: Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain – Thurs. Sept. 17

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and the Family Action Network (FAN) present two events with Dana Suskind MD., Founder and Director, Thirty Million Words Initiative, Director, Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital and Author of Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain. 

EVENT #1: Thursday, September 17, 2015, Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain, 1:00 PM, With Michael Kaufman, Director, Education Law and Policy Institute, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson St., Chicago, 60611.
EVENT #2: Thursday, September 17, 2015, Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain, 7:00 PM, With Diana Mendley Rauner, PH.D., President Ounce of Prevention Fund. Skokie School Auditorium, 520 Glendale Ave., Winnetka, 60093.
A famous study by researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley (1995) found that some children heard thirty million fewer words by their fourth birthdays than others. The children who heard more words were better prepared when they entered school. These same kids, when followed into third grade, had bigger vocabularies, were stronger readers, and got higher test scores. The bottom line: the kids who started out ahead, stayed ahead; the kids who started our behind, stayed behind. This disparity in learning is referred to as the achievement gap.
Dana Suskind, MD, Professor of Surgery and Director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program at The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, learned of this thirty million-word gap in the course of her work as a cochlear implant surgeon. Along with her sister-in-law, Beth Suskind, she founded The Thirty Million Word Initiative, developing programs for parents to show the kind of parent-child communication that enables optimal neural development. The goal is to get parents to follow the three Ts: Tune in to what your child is doing; Talk more to your child using lots of descriptive words; and Take turns with your child as you engage in conversation.
Family Action Network (FAN) offers two events in one day with Dr. Suskind. At the first event at1:00 PM on Sept. 17, Dr. Suskind will be joined on stage after her presentation by Michael Kaufman, Director, Education Law and Policy Institute, Loyola University Chicago School of Law. At the second event at 7:00 PM on Sept. 17, she will be joined by Diana Mendley Rauner, Ph.D., President, Ounce of Prevention Fund. Both events will be moderated by Heidi Stevens, the “Balancing Act” columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

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