LEAP Awarded Federal Grant to Bridge Word Gap in Low-Resource Communities

March 12, 2016

CHICAGO, IL, MARCH 11, 2016 - The Human Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) has announced that LEAP (Language Empowers All People) is a recipient of a grant dedicated to bridging the word gap.
According to HRSA's website, a panel of advisors reviewed over 75 proposals from early childhood development and technology experts across academia and private industry. HRSA awarded the $10,000 prize as part of Phase 1 of its Bridging the Word Gap Challenge. LEAP received the grant - one of only ten awarded nationwide - based on HRSA's evaluation of LEAP's "Beginning With Babble" mobile app concept.
The goal of the app is to increase and improve parent-child communication by reminding caregivers to interact with their child through a variety of developmentally appropriate stimuli. The app uses prompts that are situationally based and scaffolded by prior success, children's interests, and parent engagement.
LEAP Executive Director and Co-Founder Dr. Catherine Gottfred, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, expressed the organization's enthusiasm and excitement for the announcement.
"LEAP is so excited to have been chosen by the HSRA to have our program designed into an app that can help thousands of moms, dads, and caregivers close the word gap."
This award provides exciting new opportunities for LEAP to strengthen its impact on low-resource communities, specifically how caregivers interact and communicate with their children.
"It has been LEAP's mission for nearly 30 years to close the language gap in America," Dr. Gottfred said. "Knowing that children from low-print, low-verbal households start preschool having heard 30 million fewer words means that they have little chance to be readers by 3rd or 4th grade. LEAP's app has the potential to make each caregiver more aware of how and how often to communicate with their child in order to build pre-literacy skills."
About LEAP

Based in Chicago and founded in 1986, LEAP (Language Empowers All People) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to research-based language and literacy development. LEAP's programs are centered on the principles of language wellness, language infusion, and respect for all social dialects. LEAP believes if you can speak, write, and communicate effectively, you command the most important tools to achieve your life goals.

Media Contact:
Ernest Sanders
Director, Client Relations and Development
Phone: (312) 578-1255
Cell: (773) 853-6489