Hollie, a Save the Children program coordinator, shows 2-year-old Dante how to use the Vroom app, as part of the Early Steps to School Success program in Queets, Washington. Photo credit: Susan Warner/Save the Children, March 2016.

Hollie, a Save the Children program coordinator, shows 2-year-old Dante how to use the Vroom app, as part of the Early Steps to School Success program in Queets, Washington.

Any Moment Can Be a Brain Building Moment

Our children’s first five years are when they develop the foundation for all future learning. Every time we connect with a child, it’s not just their eyes that light up – it’s their brain, too. In these moments, half a million neurons fire at once, taking in all the things we say and do. We can’t see it happening, but it’s all there, at work.

That’s why Save the Children is teaming up with Vroom, an initiative of the Bezos Family Foundation, to help turn shared moments into brain building ones. Whether it’s mealtime or bath time, or anytime in between, there are many ways to nurture a child’s growing mind.

Early Steps to School Success Save the Children home-visit coordinator helps mother and baby with Vroom resources

Every Parent Has What It Takes to Be a Brain Builder

Save the Children’s evidence-based, cost-effective and highly respected home visiting model, called Early Steps to School Success, is for parents and children birth to five years of age. The program builds strong foundations for parenting and school readiness, and is a powerful catalyst in helping children achieve a lifetime of learning.

An Early Steps to School Success coordinator meets regularly with parents or caregivers of young children. The coordinator uses the Early Steps curriculum to provide parents with information on child development and plans activities with families around everyday interactions and activities to help them use their own skills and resources to support their children’s development. In addition to home visits, the program offers parent/child groups, book bag exchanges, and community connections. By offering tools and strategies for brain building, the Early Steps coordinator helps every parent and caregiver become their child’s first and best teachers.

Vroom is one of the newest innovations to be incorporated into the Early Steps to School Success Program. Early Steps Coordinator Victoria shares, “All of the parents I work with love Vroom. The five principles – look, chat, follow, stretch, take turns – that Vroom teaches parents helps them understand the science behind their child’s learning. When I visit, parents are always eager to get a new Vroom learning card, and those who have smart phones are so proud to show me the progress they’ve made on the Vroom app.”

One of the moms Victoria works with – Kristy, from Alpaugh, California – has two sons, 18-month-old Preston and Parker, 11. She’s been using Vroom with Preston since he was born and tries to do a Vroom activity every single day, whether it’s identifying colors while folding laundry or counting dishes as they clean up after meals. Kristy even submitted her own Vroom activity on the app.

“Vroom helps me really understand child development. I’m so glad I can help him in his learning. I grew up in foster care, so when I became a parent, I wasn’t sure of what to do. I am so grateful for the gift of Vroom because it has helped my family tremendously. I wish that it was around when Parker was Preston’s age,” said Kristy.


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