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In The News

Partnerships with ZERO TO THREE and Highlights for Children, Inc will provide resources to encourage parents and caregivers to talk and engage in conversations about developmentally appropriate math concepts with their children

NEW YORK – Today, Too Small to Fail announced an expansion of its current work on early language and brain development to include a focus on early math. This includes new partnerships with and resources for parents and caregivers from ZERO TO THREE and Highlights.

Research has found that a strong understanding of early math concepts predicts both a child’s future math and literacy skills, and that the roots of early math skills begin developing from birth, through a young child’s everyday play and interactions with parents and caregivers.

“Talking to young children about early math concepts like numeracy early on not only helps their brains develop, but can help their confidence with math later on in school.” said Patti Miller, Director of Too Small to Fail. “Early math concepts are everywhere. By providing parents and caregivers with resources to make the most of everyday moments to talk about math, we believe we can strengthen a young child’s understanding of the world around them and help them succeed in school.”

Too Small to Fail has partnered with ZERO TO THREE to produce a series of six videos that model parent behaviors for interacting with infants and toddlers to help build the foundation of early math skills in the first three years of life. The videos cover six topics: counting, shapes, spatial awareness, measurement, early computation and patterns. Each video will be accompanied by a handout to help parents support these skills through playful activities at home and on-the-go. The videos and handouts will both be available in English and Spanish. Today marks the official release of the first three videos and accompanying materials on Too Small to Fail’s social channels, with the remaining to be released later this year.

Additionally, Too Small to Fail has worked with Highlights, publisher of Highlights High Five magazine for preschoolers, on a bilingual (English/Spanish) resource kit that contains a parent guide with fun math activities that can be done anytime, anywhere; a numbers and shapes matching card game; and a pull-out poster for 3-5 year olds. The resource kit empowers parents with easy, fun ways to incorporate math exercises into everyday conversation. On September 16 at Dreamforce, attendees will have the opportunity to volunteer their time to fill tote bags for Too Small to Fail’s “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” campaign. The bags include the initiative’s standard early language materials along with the newly developed early math resources and new early math-themed children’s books donated by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. They will be distributed to families in Too Small to Fail’s partner communities, including through UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, as well as through grocery stores in Tulsa, OK.

“ZERO TO THREE is proud to be part of the joint initiative to create these videos,” said Matthew Melmed, Executive Director of ZERO TO THREE. “Our goal with these videos is to help parents understand that the roots of math learning can be found in the everyday playful moments that parents share with their babies and toddlers—stacking, counting, sorting, matching, talking, and having fun together. All learning happens in the context of a relationship—and early math skills are no different.” 

“’Fun with a Purpose’ is at the center of Highlights’ mission to help children become their best selves, and we’re thrilled to be part of this joint effort to deliver math resources to families to encourage early math comprehension,” said Highlights Editor-in-Chief Christine French Cully. “These resources support parents in organically generating everyday conversations about math, as well as allow children to have fun while gaining critical math skills.”

The “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” campaign has expanded to include early math and language development with support from the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Find the videos and other resources for parents and caregivers at www.toosmall.org and www.ZEROTOTHREE.org. Also, follow Too Small to Fail on Twitter @2SmalltoFail. Find research-based tips, information and resources on early language development for parents and caregivers at www.TalkingIsTeaching.org


About Too Small to Fail

Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and Next Generation, aims to help parents, communities and businesses take meaningful actions to improve the health and well-being of children ages zero to five, so that more of America’s children are prepared to succeed in the 21st century.

Too Small to Fail is focusing its work on closing the “word gap.” Studies have found that by age four, children in middle and upper income families hear 30 million more words than their lower-income peers. This disparity in hearing words from parents and caregivers translates directly into a disparity in learning words. And that puts our children born with the fewest advantages even further behind. Among those born in 2001, only 48 percent of poor children started school ready to learn, compared to 75 percent of children from middle-income families.

The “word gap” is a significant but solvable challenge. Too Small to Fail is about parents, caregivers, other concerned individuals, and the private sector coming together to take small, research-based actions with big impacts.

Learn more at www.toosmall.org and on Twitter @2SmalltoFail.

About the Clinton Foundation

The Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for girls and women, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, more than 29,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; more than 85,000 farmers in Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania are benefiting from climate-smart agronomic training, higher yields, and increased market access; more than 33,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced annually across the United States; over 350,000 people have been impacted through market opportunities created by social enterprises in Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Asia; through the independent Clinton Health Access Initiative, 9.9 million people in more than 70 countries have access to CHAI-negotiated prices for HIV/AIDS medications; 75 million people are benefiting from disease prevention efforts and investments in the U.S.; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative community have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. Learn more at www.clintonfoundation.org, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation and on Twitter @ClintonFdn


ZERO TO THREE is a national nonprofit committed to promoting the health and development of infants and toddlers. More information can be found at zerotothree.org and by following on Twitter at @ZEROTOTHREE and on Facebook at facebook.com/ZEROTOTHREE.

About Highlights for Children

Devoted to "Fun with a Purpose," family media brand Highlights for Children, Inc. (http://www.highlights.com/) has helped children become their best selves for generations. In addition to the flagship magazine, Highlights’ other offerings include a preschool magazine (High Five), an infant magazine (Hello), a children’s book company (Boyds Mills Press), puzzle book clubs and a variety of digital products. Find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/HighlightsforChildren and on Twitter @Highlights