Early Literacy

Talk, Read, Sing

Supporting early childhood literacy and engagement

What is Talk Read Sing?

Talk, Read, Sing is part of the national Too Small To Fail campaign founded in 2013. This public awareness and action campaign aims to promote early brain and language development, empowering parents with the tools to confidently talk, read, and sing with their young children. By empowering parents to be their child’s first teacher, the program promotes knowledge about the importance of brain development in the critical 0-3 year period.


They are appreciative of the gift. Some of them tell me about how the older siblings are going to read to the baby and what they already have prepared at home to raise the baby and kind of their understanding of how important [school readiness] is
“Talk Read Sing is something that is really special for the families. They feel really appreciated and they sort of look forward to it. And now we're to the point where like they've heard that other patients got it and they want it too. So it's been really great -MD at safety net clinic

Tips by Text

Providing early childcare support and education

What is Tips by Text?

Developed by Dr. Susanna Loeb of Brown University, Tips by Text is a set of evidence-based text-messaging programs designed to help parents, caregivers, and educators support their children’s early development. The texting program breaks down the complexity of parenting and caregiving into small, achievable steps, and provides continuous support and reinforcement. The program is designed for parents of preschool-age children to help them prepare children for kindergarten by focusing on early literacy, math and social-emotional development.

Until recently, Tips by Text has not been tested in a clinic setting. Drs. Lisa Chamberlain and Janine Bruce recently conducted a RCT in a local federally qualified health center to examine the impact of Tips by Text early literacy text messages on preschool-aged children not enrolled in preschool.


How we implemented the program in a clinical setting

Parents of 3 and 4-year-olds at SCVMC were enrolled in a randomized-control trial with a 9-month SR texting intervention that included 3 texts per week (Ex. texts below). Parents were randomized into intervention (received texts) or control groups (no texts).

Examples of some of the messages sent through text:


Measuring outcomes post-intervention

To measure outcomes of the implementation of the intervention methods, we conducted surveys (Parent child interaction inventory -- PCI ) and literacy screenings (Phonological awareness and literacy screening for preschoolers -- PALS-PreK ). These methods were supplemented with Parent Focus groups that intended to gauge parent experience with the program.

Preliminary Findings

What changes did the program influence?

Early finding suggest that this clinic-based text messaging intervention can increase child literacy among 4-year-olds and promote greater parent engagement in early learning activities at home.

Judy Koch: Bringing Books to Children with Love and Joy

May 18, 1943 - February 21, 2023

“Live life with purpose!” Judy Koch was fond of saying—and that she did, most notably with the founding of nonprofit Bring Me a Book in 1997. Judy’s mission was to help all children grow a joyful and sustainable reading habit.

Judy’s life of purpose was driven by her unique kindness, generosity of spirit, and joie de vivre. She made every day an adventure, shaped by her desire to live life to the fullest and her commitment to make life better for others.

Judy’s life mission was to spread joyful literacy. It emerged during her first career as a junior high school English teacher and deepened in her second career as the owner and CEO of RSP Manufacturing, a precision sheet metal fabrication company that served Silicon Valley tech companies.

In the RSP factory, she created a model of “workplace literacy” by building a library of exquisite children’s books for her employees, primarily recent immigrants from Mexico, to bring home to their children. After she sold the business, this model expanded to become Bring Me a Book.

Inspired by the words of poet and author Walter de la Mare: “I know well that only the rarest kind of best in anything can be good enough for the young,” Judy curated an exemplary book collection for young children from birth to age five.

Judy understood—through her close observations of children over the years—which books they loved best and wanted to hear read aloud again and again. The Bring Me Book legacy collections are known as “Read It Again!” books. They never fail to delight those fortunate children who, with their families, read the books again and again.

Judy never tired of seeing a child’s face light up with the joy of reading. She gave her heart to the literacy lives of children, lighting their lives and ours with her enthusiasm.

While Bring Me a Book will no longer exist as a nonprofit, Judy's legacy of work and impact in the community will live on through new and deepening efforts from the Stanford Center on Early Childhood (SCEC). Knowing the critical importance of sharing books with children from the moment of birth, Judy promoted the idea of a collaboration with the SCEC as a way to extend and deepen the work she had initiated three decades earlier. 

Now, thanks to generous support from BMAB and the Koch family, SCEC faculty in the School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics will apply learnings from BMAB to enrich SCEC's community-based programs and create a model system of support for families with young children, from infancy through the transition to primary school in San Mateo County. Through this program, children and their families will receive books throughout early childhood, along with guidance on how to encourage young children’s engagement with books and skills in reading.

Donations in Judy’s honor can be made to the Stanford Center on Early Childhood Literacy Program