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Alaska Promotes Early Learning with "Babies on Track"
Family Support, Public Engagement & Political Will Building
Source Of Information:
ZERO TO THREE Policy Center state updates
Parents of children under age two in Alaska obtained vital information about how they can support their children’s healthy development and early learning at "Babies on Track" premiere events that took place across the state in early 2012. "Babies on Track" is a 14-minute DVD that depicts Alaskan families interacting with babies in ways that help them learn language, sounds, and social skills.
The video introduces a simple model to guide interactions with young children: • T: Talk • R: Respond • A: Ask questions • C: Connect • K: Keep at it • S: Sing and tell stories
The main message of the DVD is that the more parents talk and interact with their infants and toddlers, the easier it is for young children to learn language and build strong vocabularies as they grow. The interactions that occur in the first years of life are critical for school readiness and later success.
There were 160 DVD premieres held in 80 communities across Alaska. Parents who attended received a copy of the DVD and two companion board books depicting scenes from Alaska to help them start implementing the TRACKS model. Hosts of the premiere events also modeled fun, brain-building activities for children and engaged parents in an advocacy activity. Parents were invited to thank state policymakers and encourage their continued support for early learning by writing a postcard to members of the state legislature and/or the governor.
The "Babies on Track" DVD was produced by Best Beginnings, a public-private partnership focused on early childhood. Funding from the Alaska Children’s Trust, The CIRI Foundation, and ConocoPhillips Alaska was used to produce the board books. The DVD was supported by contributions from the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.