Happy New Year, friends!
Reflecting upon 2020 fills me with such pride for how far TALK READ SING Tampa Bay has come in just one year. While the Covid-19 pandemic caused us to pivot our plans to participate in community events and do in-person outreach with parents and human services professionals, it certainly did not hold us back from reaching families in Tampa Bay “virtually”!
Here are some notable TALK READ SING Tampa Bay accomplishments:
- In February 2020, we trained Trusted Messengers 47 professionals from 13 organizations how to engage with parents and articulate to them how talking, reading and singing to a child from the moment of birth has multifaceted benefits from brain development and early literacy to attachment building and child abuse prevention. In November, we trained an additional 11 Champions for Children staff persons as Trusted Messengers. In total, 57 individuals became Trusted Messengers in 2020!
- We recruited and sustained active collaborations with multiple Community Partners including, but not limited to, Tampa Family Health Centers, Bess the Book Bus, Current Initiative’s Laundry Project, Enterprising Latinas, Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough, Eckerd Early Head Start, and Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park. These partners provided TALK READ SING Tampa Bay materials, support, and information to the families they work with, thus reaching many more families than we could on our own!
- We launched our TALK READ SING Tampa Bay digital channels such as our website, Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to like and follow @talkreadsingtampabay for resources, tips, and updates on this community initiative.
In 2021, we are even more optimistic for the continued success of TALK READ SING Tampa Bay!
We plan to:
- Grow our digital presence via our website, Facebook, and Instagram to reach more parents and caregivers with helpful resources, tips, and content to assist them in connecting with their child and helping them to thrive
- Continue to host (virtual) Trusted Messenger trainings to educate individuals in the community how to engage with parents, caregivers, or children and embed the message of TALK READ SING into the work they are already doing.
- Explore collaboration opportunities with new and existing Community Partners in an effort to creatively and strategically saturate the community in TALK READ SING Tampa Bay messaging.
- Develop a TALK READ SING Tampa Bay Ambassador program to educate community members on the efforts of TALK READ SING Tampa Bay. These informational “lunch-and-learn” style virtual sessions are for groups who may be interested in early childhood services and programs but may not work directly with children and families.
- And, within Champions for Children we will work to deepen the integration of TALK READ SING Tampa Bay into the services and programs we already have and shine as leaders of this community initiative and supporters of families.
Thank you to our Partners, funders, Trusted Messengers, and all the devoted parents and caregivers who have helped grow this important early childhood community initiative through its quite…interesting and challenging…first year. Thank you in advance!