Say & Play With Words

Industry Bilingual Early Childhood Development
Communities Engaged Parents, Caregivers, Businesses, Funders, and Community Organizations
Collaborator(s) Christina Guzman, Good Done Daily, Hay There Social Media

Closing the word gap ensures all children have the vocabulary skills they need for school success, particularly in reading readiness and social development.

And that’s a big challenge, one that cities across the country are grappling with.



In Detroit, Say & Play with Words (Hablen y Jueguen con Palabras) brings together trusted funders and community organizations to find solutions for two Detroit neighborhoods. We had the opportunity to brand this bilingual, multimedia community effort.

We began by making these parents the ambassadors of what we together named Say & Play with Words (Hablen y Jueguen con Palabras). We compiled a list of key businesses where parents and children are exposed to language: medical facilities, early childhood learning centers, grocery markets, ice cream shops, barber shops and more. Nearly 100 businesses sported signage that encouraged young children and families to explore new words.

More than 3,000 caregivers receive vocabulary-building tips and activities three times a week in English and Spanish on Facebook. Through an online survey, 100 percent of followers said they would recommend Say & Play with Words tips to a friend and 56 percent said they use the tips frequently to talk more with their children.



2017 IABC Renaissance Award Winner: Communication Management - Community Relations


Say & Play with Words is supported by the PNC, Skillman and Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundations. The National Center for Families Learning is leading the effort in partnership with Southwest Solutions, Development Centers, Congress of Communities and Brightmoor Alliance.