Text Messages Give Parents Ideas For Teaching Children

DENVER (CBS4) – Research shows that lower income parents talk less with their young children. By the time kids of lower income parents are three years old, they have heard 30 million fewer words than middle class peers.

Local non-profit “Bright by Three” is working to level the playing field.

It recently launched Bright by Text, free weekly learning games that come to parents by text message. The texts come with a link to an explanation of why the game is good for a child’s development, which can be customized to match the child’s age. Levels range from several months old to preschool age.

Nanny Guadalupe Vargas knows that a game of pick up helps 8-month-old Cora develop hand skills. She receives weekly lessons that she and Cora can do together, and said, “It’s a neat program to be a part of, so I know I’m not boring her and I know we’re doing interactive things.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Katharine Brenton, Executive Strategic Director of Bright by Text, said the texts also explain why the child will benefit from the learning game, and that the texts are free.

“Most all of us have cell phones. We think it’s a great way to reach parents and at that moment they can engage in a learning game,” said Brenton.

These free messages provide invaluable lessons for Cora so she is ready for preschool.

A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds preschoolers perform better on literacy tests when parents or child care givers receive learning and reading tips via text message. The study shows by spending time earlier with a child, you mold and shape that child.

Family Psychologist Dr. Larry Curry stated children begin to build life-long learning habits between zero and three years old. He said the texts serve as a reminder to parents to work with children.

“It’s a great resource for folks don’t have a lot of resources available to them,” said Vargas.

To receive the messages, text “bright” to 444-999. Or visit the website of Bright by Three.

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