The University’s Department of Speech-Language Pathology was awarded a one-time grant from the LENA Foundation to launch LENA Start, a parent program that uses regular feedback from LENA's "talk pedometer" technology to help increase interactive communication in order to close the early talk gap, improve school readiness, and build stronger families.dad playing with daughter
 
This grant will enable the faculty and students of the SLP Department to work with 100 families over the next two years to help parents and caregivers learn about the importance of interactive talk along with ways to incorporate more conversation into their daily routines.
 
Through the generosity of the LENA Foundation, Beth E. Davidoff, PhD, CCC-SLP, clinical educator, and Robert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP, chair and SLP program director, obtained the training, technology, and materials to bring this important program to Philadelphia-area families and caregivers of young children from birth to 33 months of age. 
 
The free ten week program combines the use of LENA technology to measure the homeMom playing with son language environment with parent group meetings that teach simple techniques to improve the quantity and quality of adult-child talk. Additional one-time grant funds were awarded from the Make-A-Smile Foundation based out of Cranbury, New Jersey, for the purchase of books to give to families each week who are enrolled in the program.

The first LENA Start program will launch soon. Weekly sessions will take place virtually from the comfort of one’s home. Families who are interested in finding out more about the LENA Start can contact Beth Davidoff at bdavidoff@salus.edu.