Research has shown that by the age of four, lower-income children hear 30 million fewer words than affluent children do.
The “word gap” leads to lower brain capacity and higher dropout rates, and even affects long-term happiness. Parents don’t need another public-service announcement; they need help. So we created a clothing line and an outdoor campaign that prompt parents to talk and sing to their children.
“What makes this campaign different is that it’s not just another brochure,” said Jim Wunderman, CEO of the Bay Area Council. “We are bringing learning opportunities to Oakland by giving parents actual tools—a onesie, a blanket and a bath towel—that will spark conversation.”
More than 50,000 of the behavior-changing garments were distributed free to new parents at hospitals and during pediatric checkups. The program is now a model for a national initiative.
“‘Free with every baby’ are the simple instructions,” said GS&P co-chairman Jeff Goodby. “And frankly, it’s just as much fun for parents as it is for the baby.”
The idea caught the attention of Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of Next Generation and the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. They are sponsoring the campaign as well, with plans to make it the model for a national initiative. Other partners include UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and Kaiser Permanente. Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce.com, has donated $3.5 million to develop the campaign in the Oakland community. Hillary Clinton spoke about her support for the program during a July 23 visit to Oakland hospitals.
Released: August 2014
San Francisco, Integrated, Outdoor, Design