Celebrating Vroom pioneer families at Selby Gardens

Celebrating Vroom pioneer families at Selby Gardens

Posted on February 18, 2016 by Beth Duda, director of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading recently wrapped up an early-learning and parent-engagement pilot project in our region featuring the Vroom app and will celebrate area families who participated in the project during an event this Saturday at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

The project, which was funded by The Patterson Foundation, engaged 300 parents from Manatee and Sarasota counties as they used the Vroom app. Developed by the Bezos Family Foundation, the app is part of a movement to pair the science of early brain development with actionable tips for parents and caregivers. The app encourages daily interactions that turn everyday moments -- such as meal time and bath time -- into brain-building moments for children ages 0-5.

These "Vroom pioneers" in our region will have an opportunity to share their experiences on video and complete comment cards. In addition to the chance to explore the gardens and Children's Rainforest with their families, the pioneers can take advantage of information and resources shared at the event by area organizations, such as the health departments from both counties, All Faiths Food Bank, our region's early learning coalitions and other service providers.

Special gifts will be provided for Vroom pioneers who completed all six pilot program surveys and attendees will learn about how they can get involved in the upcoming expansion of the project.

Using the Vroom app encourages school readiness, one of the three solution areas of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

As early as 18 months old, children begin to fall behind in vocabulary development and other skills critical for school success. Parents play an enormous role in closing this gap, as do daycare providers, pediatricians, preschools programs and the broader community.

Research shows that learning begins long before a child enters kindergarten. Children – even infants – soak up words, rhymes, songs and images. Vocabulary development is particularly important. A child’s health, and the timely recognition of developmental delays, is another critical aspect of school readiness. Doctors, care providers and preschool teachers play a key role.

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