Babies on Track Teams put the action in interaction

babies-on-track-eventAt its core, the Babies on Track video is about parents talking, connecting, and sharing while doing everyday things with their babies.They put TRACKS in action: they Talk, Respond, Ask questions, Connect, Keep at it, and Sing and tell stories. There’s no requirement to buy special materials or to set aside special “educational” time with our children. We can do the same things – but this time, we talk about it with our children.

Sometimes, learning how to do that – how to add communicating to our routines – takes practice.

Here at Best Beginnings, we’re adding a new team approach to Babies on Track, inviting early childhood organizations to use Babies on Track to promote family engagement in a very hands-on way.

Our intent is to encourage parents, grandparents, and extended family to actively participate and engage after seeing the movie. We’re asking team organizations to work with parents through modeling, role-playing, and practice. Not just show, not just tell, but rather include the parents in actually practicing. When you pour your cup of coffee, talk about it. When you tie your shoelaces, talk about it. When you open Let’s Talk Alaska!, talk about it.

T-R-A-C-K-S can happen anytime, anywhere, so let’s start right now.

Organizations that join the Babies on Track Team commit to learn about Babies on Track, to include active parent participation in their video presentations, and to survey their client families before and after. In exchange, Best Beginnings will provide complimentary copies of the DVD-and-book sets for the participating families, curriculum materials for family engagement, and the survey forms. Already, Tanana Chiefs Conference Early Head Start is on board.

All of us engaged in this work are always eager to see if it’s working, are we making a difference in a child’s early development? The surveys the teams will be using were created by the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and participating organizations will follow-up with their client families six months after the presentations.

If you’d like to join the Babies on Track Team, email Best Beginnings

This original article appeared in the Best Beginnings September 2012 E-newsletter. Subscribe today! Please review our content reproduction policy if you are interested in reproducing this article.