TMW Center Newsletter March 2019

March 01, 2019

Building an Early Learning Culture in Pediatric Settings

As we continue to establish the role of the TMW Center in the early learning space, the healthcare field remains an important area for us to focus our efforts. In addition to TMW-Newborn and TMW-Well Baby, programs that map onto existing systems in birthing hospitals and pediatric clinics, we’re developing TMW-Pediatrics. The latter has evolved in recent months to include 2 components: 1) continuing medical education (CME) for providers and 2) an adaptation of this information for clinic stakeholders (support personnel such as nurses, front desk staff, medical assistants, lab technicians, etc.).

Our short-term goal is to further test and refine the Stakeholders’ arm for maximum uptake. Since December 2018, the TMW-Pediatrics-Stakeholder team, spearheaded by University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine student Cori Walker and University of Chicago Laboratory Schools student Asher Liu, has presented the program at 5 federally qualified health centers, reaching approximately 60 participants. Overall, the feedback has been promising and the program well-received.

Our long-term goal is to make TMW-Pediatrics available anywhere TMW-Well Baby is implemented so that all staff in the pediatric clinic setting will be able to share critical knowledge about foundational brain development, early language environments, and of course, the 3Ts, with the families they serve.

Thoughts on an Ideal Early Learning System

Just as the TMW Center looks to parents and caregivers to Spread the Words about the important role their talk and interaction play in building children’s brains, we’ve recently turned our attention to early childhood stakeholders in an effort to elevate the conversation on a different level. A number of people – researchers, pediatricians, non-profit professionals, funders – generously agreed to be interviewed for the project. We’ll be sharing this content in the coming months. Here’s a sample of what’s to come:

New Online Parent and Caregiver Resource

The TMW Center website has a valuable new resource for those looking for ways to enrich children’s early learning environments. We’ve recently launched our TMW Parent and Caregiver portal, chock full of information and tips designed to maximize the impact of adult interactions on foundational brain development. With the 3Ts at its core, this latest addition to our site shares the science in an easy-to-digest manner, uses video to show TMW strategies in action, and offers downloadable materials for parents and practitioners. Special attention is paid to ways we can incorporate more talk and interaction into everyday activities.

Our hope with this new undertaking is that we’ll expand our reach and encourage visitors to turn their newfound knowledge into action to benefit the young children in their lives. Similarly, we hope they’ll be inspired to help us Spread the Words about the critical role caregiver talk and interaction play in building children’s brains and shaping their futures in their communities and beyond.