Highlights Magazine Joins Providence Talks Effort

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Angel Taveras today announced that Highlights for Children, Inc, the leading family media brand and publisher of the best-read children’s magazines in North America, will donate 7,500 magazines and books to Providence Talks this year. The materials to be donated include Highlights Hello magazines, designed for children ages 0-2, as well as other baby books and materials to support parents in reading to their babies.

Mayor Taveras said, “I am grateful and excited that Highlights for Children is now partnering with Providence Talks as it works to empower parents to build and expand their child’s vocabulary from day one. The excellent magazines and books to be provided are a big boost to this innovative effort to close the word gap and ensure all of our children start school ready to learn and succeed.”

Kent Johnson, CEO of Highlights for Children, Inc. said, “At Highlights, we know from both research and direct experience that reading to children in infancy and early childhood has a powerful impact on their success later in life – and we are dedicated to helping families get access to reading materials that will support early literacy and build strong family bonds. We are thrilled to partner with the City of Providence on its innovative Providence Talks initiative and hope it will become a model for other communities that are looking to close the word-gap and help children get the best start on life.”

Childhood literacy is at the center of Highlights’ mission is to help children become their best selves—creative, curious, caring, and confident.

Providence Talks combines new technology, –a pedometer– that counts the number of words children hear with existing and well-trained home visitors who use this new technology and give moms and dads practical advice about how to do more talking with their children and have more actual conversations. It is aimed a closing the word gap in which high income children hear many more words in the critical early years than low income children and the result is that a high percentage of low income children start out in kindergarten already behind on literacy benchmarks.

Providence Talks is generously funded by a $5 million investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Providence Talks was the grand prize winner in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2012-2013 Mayors Challenge, a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life.

Devoted to “Fun with a Purpose,” Highlights for Children, Inc. (http://www.highlights.com) has helped children become their best selves for generations. In addition to the flagship magazine, Highlights’ other offerings include a preschool magazine (High Five), an infant magazine (Hello), a children’s book company (Boyds Mills Press), puzzle book clubs and a variety of digital products.

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