Talk from the Start

The Barksdale Reading Institute and The Mississippi Children’s Museum have partnered  to develop a state-wide early literacy initiative: TALK From the START: Growing Mississippi Readers. This engaging literacy campaign is designed to raise awareness that talking with and to children from birth is essential to learning to read.

A custom mascot, Rocky the Reader, is the ambassador for the campaign. Rocky will travel the state to share the campaign’s message with parents, caregivers, and educators. “Our goal is to provide examples of ways to incorporate talking with babies and children in everyday situations, which over time will strengthen their experiences with words and eventually with reading. Studies have shown time and again that strong oral language and listening comprehension are critical to learning to read. This is a simple and no-cost way to boost literacy in our state,” says BRI CEO, Kelly Butler.

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