Research shows that talking, reading and singing with your child regularly from birth builds their brain as well as important language, math, reading and social-emotional skills to help prepare them for school and beyond. Together with partners, Talk Read Sing, lifted by United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, has created early-learning corners in community spaces throughout the region to provide children and families with engaging environments to learn and play while they wait for services.
Space transformations were completed in Star Community Health Fowler Center in Bethlehem and several locations in Allentown including Star Community Health Sigal Center, Casa Guadalupe’s WIC/Nutrition Clinic, Allentown Health Bureau, Refugee Community Center, Ripple Church, Valley Health Partners Children’s Clinic at 17th St. and Christ Lutheran Church.
Talk Read Sing inspires families to help children develop strong language skills by turning everyday activities into learning moments. Installing these spaces provides families with more opportunities to connect to Talk Read Sing resources like a bookshelf filled with diverse children’s books, Talk Read Sing character cutouts and decals, toys, a whiteboard, informational resources and new children’s furniture to help them learn and develop.
In addition to each location helping with the transformations, United Way utilized our current AmeriCorps VISTA cohort and created volunteer opportunities during our 30th Day of Caring to complete some of the early-learning corners.
All of the furniture came from Lakeshore Learning Materials, and our books came from First Book, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that all children, regardless of their background or zip code, can succeed, by removing barriers to equitable education. Special thanks to Leonard Parker Pool Institute of Health for their partnership in completing the spaces at Allentown Health Bureau, Refugee Community Center, Ripple Church, Valley Health Partners Children’s Clinic and Christ Lutheran Church.