Marathon County Public Library

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LENA Start Marathon County

child wearing LENA device

The first three years of a child's life are vital to brain development. Children from birth onward learn through talking, singing, reading and playing. During these interactions, children learn how the world works, acquire vocabulary, stimulate different parts of their brain, as well as many other benefits. While this may seem easy enough, some caregivers may simply not be talking enough or using a wide variety of words. This is where LENA Start can benefit many children in our community.

LENA stands for Learning ENvironment Analysis. The LENA system measures the early language environment of children ages birth to 32 months. Using a “talk pedometer” that children wear in a comfortable, child-safe vest, LENA technology tracks conversations with children and the amount of words they are exposed to. Conversations and words are not recorded, just the data. With a week’s worth of data from the device, parents and caregivers will receive weekly reports in the form of easily decipherable graphs and tables. In addition to seeing the data, caregivers partake in parent education classes led by trained LENA staff that will help improve interactions with the child.

To register, call Children's Hospital of Wisconsin at 715-845-6747.

Project partners:

logos: Marathon County Public Library, Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service, MCW Central Wisconsin, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Support for this project was provided through the Caroline S. Mark Legacy Fund of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation, Dudley Foundation, CoVantage Cares Foundation, Marathon County Public Library Foundation, Northcentral Technical College, Marathon County, and generous anonymous donors.

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First LENA Start families graduate at MCPL Wausau!

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...

Children LENA Early Literacy Newsletter


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