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Mayor Coleman Launches Early Learning Text Message Program for Saint Paul Parents

Date: Jun 9th, 2017

 Mayor Coleman Launches Early Learning Text Message Program for Saint Paul Parents 

Saint Paul Public Library partners with local nonprofit ThinkSmall to provide literacy tips to parents via free text messages to help prepare kids for school 

Mayor Chris Coleman today kicked off summer at Sun Ray Library's Storytime, where he read to kids and announced the City's new free early learning text program. In partnership with local nonprofit ThinkSmall, the City is offering 'Think Small ParentPowered Texts' - a free program where parents receive three free texts a week with tips on how to develop their child's social skills, increase motor and language ability and prepare their child for Kindergarten.

"Ninety percent of brain development happens before a child turns five," said Mayor Coleman. "This program helps families take advantage of this incredibly important time. When parents and family members nurture a child's creativity, language ability and social skills before kindergarten, that child has an increased opportunity to succeed in school and beyond."

Parents can sign up for the free text program at any of Saint Paul's public libraries, where staff are trained to help parents through the process. Texts can be sent in English and Spanish and has a track record of success. Stanford University trial studies found that texting programs increased parental involvement at home and school and led to nearly three months of learning gains.

"Saint Paul Public Library strives to provide programs and services that are both impactful and convenient," said Jane Eastwood, Director of Saint Paul Public Library. "We are thrilled to partner with ThinkSmall Parent Powered Texts, which can have a profound, positive effect on a child's early learning, while easily fitting into family life."

"There is a strong link between a child's early experiences and their development of motor, social-emotional, literacy and math skills," said Barbara Yates, President, and CEO of Think Small.  "Think Small ParentPowered Texts breaks down the complexity of engaged parenting into small steps that are easy to achieve."

The program is an initiative of ThinkSmall and Generation Next.  Founded in 1971, Think Small is a local nonprofit that works to advance the quality care and education of children in their crucial early years. 

For more information about the program, go to sppl.org/texting. Parents can sign up at any Saint Paul library or by texting SPPL to 70138.

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