Saturday, December 9, 2023

Virginia Beach is launching more LENA Start classes this spring

Virginia Beach GrowSmart is set to launch more LENA Start classes this spring.

The innovative program is for families with children ages 0 – 3 years and helps to support interactive talk during this important brain development stage, according to a news release from the city.

Classes are offered in collaboration with various city partners. Clases begin this month.

LENA Start classes will be offered at:

  • Bow Creek Recreation Center, 3427 Club House Road: Wednesdays, 6-7:30 p.m., Feb. 13 – May 22
  • Ocean Lakes Elementary School, 1616 Upton Drive: Thursdays, 6-7:30 p.m., Feb. 21 – May 22
  • TCC/City of Virginia Beach Joint-Use Library, TCC Campus, 1700 College Crescent, Building L: Wednesdays, 8:45 – 10 a.m., Feb. 27 – May 22

LENA Start takes a cost-effective and scalable approach by delivering LENA feedback and strategies to increase talk to groups of parents, according to the city.

A sequence of 13 weekly one-hour sessions builds family engagement and social capital as well as strengthens engagement between families and the community.

The goal is to increase communication between parents and young children to bridge achievement and word gaps and increase children’s school readiness, according to the city.

The program is a new offering from GrowSmart, a division of Virginia Beach Economic Development.

The program is a cost-share model with United Way of South Hampton Roads, LENA Research and the city.

The program will be launched with GrowSmart collaborative partners such as Virginia Beach Public Libraries, Parks and Recreation, Early Intervention, Head Start, Square One and other community-based organizations.

For more information or to register call Barb Lito at Virginia Beach GrowSmart, 757-385-6464.

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