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First LENA Start families graduate at MCPL Wausau!

:ENA Start Marathon County logo

July 3, 2018

Wisconsin’s first ever LENA Start sessions are complete!

A wide range of Marathon County families participated in LENA Start, a program designed to measure how much verbal interaction a child hears in the first three years of his or her life. A total of 18 families graduated from the program this past May, making the first sessions of the program a success! 

In order to graduate, parents had to attend nine parenting sessions where they learned how to talk with their child (as opposed to talking at them). The classes taught parents how to use more adult words, conversational turns, and less TV and electronic noise. In addition to attending classes, families also had to turn in eight audio recordings that measured how many adult words the child heard, how many conversational turns between the parent and child occurred, and how much electronic noise was around the child. From these recordings, parents received data in the form of a report. Every family made great progress week-to-week and met their group goals.

Two graduation ceremonies were held to recognize parents for their investment in their child’s brain development and future. We celebrated with pizza, cupcakes and balloons. The first ceremony’s commencement speech and presentation of diplomas was by Wausau Mayor Robert Mielke, while the second ceremony’s commencement speech and presentation of diplomas was by Lori Weyers, president of Northcentral Technical College. Congratulations to all of the graduating families, and thank you for making a great investment in your baby’s future!

If you would like to participate in the LENA Start program, we will be having more sessions this fall. Sessions are 13 weeks long and will begin in mid-September and run through mid-December.

For more information about the program or how you can sign up, visit or call the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin at 715-845-6747.

Children LENA Early Literacy Newsletter

image credit: Provided for library use by LENA Start.