LENA Start Fall sessions are now enrolling, click here.

  • Tuesdays | September 15 – November 17 | 10:00 am – 11:30 am
  • Wednesdays | September 16 – November 18 | 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Fridays | September 18 – November 20 | 1:00 pm -2:30 pm


LENA participating families will receive:

  • 10 FREE children's books
  • $15 e-gift card weekly for participating
  • Formula/snack item supplement when needed for the enrolled child
  • Month supply of diapers from Shelby County Diaper Bank
  • M.B.A. Certificate at Graduation!



Language Environment Analysis

Through language enhanced parent education we hope to enhance the knowledge you already have of child development particularly in language and social-emotional development through LENA Research coupled with Nurturing Parenting and Adverse Childhood Experiences Awareness group sessions.  Parent/caregiver groups are conducted once per week at a community location near you. This is a program that helps parents/caregivers understand the importance of talking with their children, early brain development, and literacy for early care through back and forth conversational turns.  Participants are provided childcare, refreshments, 10 books for the child, and a weekly gift card for participating. 

Click here to find LENA in our community.

Click here to read more about LENA in a Q&A with Dr. Loretta Rudd.

Here is a video of what participants had to say about their UofM LENA experience.


Why is talking with children so important?

More than 20 years of research show a relationship between the amount of language children experience and their brain development. Recent brain imaging studies indicate that conversational turns in particular — back and forth alternations between a child and an adult — have unique brain building power. During the first three years of a child's life, these back and forth conversations are a significant factor driving brain growth and school readiness.

Why does LENA focus specifically on early talk, rather than other factors that may affect children's development?

When adults engage in high-quality "serve and return" interactions with children, they build a healthy foundation of brain architecture and neural connections that will last a lifetime. LENA Start is designed to help caregivers boost interactive talk with children in anticipation of many cascading benefits for the child — like better social-emotional health and school readiness — that will lay the groundwork for future success.

Is there variability in how much different families talk with children?

Yes. Studies that used LENA technology to understand the home language environment found
significant differences in how much families talk with their children. Even in the same household,
talk levels vary significantly during the course of the day and from week to week. That's where LENA
comes in — our language-measurement technology is an objective tool to help parents understand,
measure, and increase conversations with children.

Click on a logo below to learn more about each program.


LENA Start - Pha'Meshia Calico, Coordinator

LENA Start is a program for parents that uses regular feedback from LENA's "talk pedometer" technology to help increase interactive talk in order to close the early talk gap, improve school readiness, and build stronger families. Over the course of 10 weekly sessions, parents and caregivers learn about the importance of interactive talk along with ways to incorporate more conversation into their daily routines. The program combines the use of LENA technology to measure the home language environment with parent group meetings that teach simple techniques to improve the quantity and quality of adult-child talk.


LENA Grow - Ashley Foster, Coordinator

LENA Grow is a professional development program for early childhood educators in family day homes or child care programs that uses regular feedback from LENA technology to improve the talk environment in the classroom. Educators meet with a coach one-on-one or in group sessions, weekly or every other week, with flexibility to fit their schedules. The coaching sessions provide time to review the data on the interactive talk environment in each classroom, and use the data to set goals to talk more.  

LENA Home- Alexzander Price, Coordinator 

LENA Home is ideal for coaching and home visitation programs that would like to supplement their curriculum with objective feedback from LENA technology.  Home visitors using LENA technology to measure language gain objective insights on home talk that can be used to inform and motivate parents and track progress toward increasing quality interactions. Productivity is increased through clear reports that provide insights on how much adults spoke to their child, back and forth exchanges between parents and child, and TV and electronic sound throughout the day. The feedback is designed to show progress over time. You can also receive scheduling and text reminders that simplify logistics and ease the burden on home visitors, implementation support, one year of technical assistance, and two validated measures of child language behavior. LENA Home is best suited for families with young child that have an IFSP or suspected disability.


Click on a logo below to learn more about each program.

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