About

Let’s Talk! is a free early literacy program of the Agenda for Children Literacy Initiative that helps children enter school ready to learn how to read and write. The program supports moms, dads, and caregivers of children birth to age 7 in Cambridge, MA.

Services

The Let’s Talk! program is free and offers services to moms, dads, and caregivers in Cambridge, MA.

Many services are provided by Literacy Ambassadors – multilingual, multicultural parents who serve as a link between the Agenda for Children Literacy Initiative and families and caregivers in the community.

For Parents:

  • Maternity ward visits – Staff visit new moms and dads on the Cambridge Hospital maternity ward and give out books for newborns and educational materials for parents.
  • Literacy home visits – Staff visit moms and dads at home (or another convenient location) to share information about literacy, child development, and community resources. Cambridge families with children age 4 and under are eligible. To learn more or schedule a home visit, contact Priscila de Calvache at 617-665-3825 or email pdecalvache@challiance.org. Visits are available in many languages.
  • Parent workshops – Workshops are held around the community to talk with parents about why talking, reading, storytelling, and early math with children is important, and how they can support their children’s early literacy development. To find out about upcoming workshops, contact Priscila de Calvache at 617-665-3825 or email pdecalvache@challiance.org.
  • Weekly literacy text tips – Sign up to get a free tip each week! Learn about activities and events around Cambridge as well as tips for supporting your child’s literacy development. Text “LetsTalk” to 313131. (Standard text messaging rates apply).

For Parents and Children:

  • “Born to Read” packets – Children’s books and educational information is delivered to every family of a Cambridge newborn. This program is a partnership of the Agenda for Children Literacy Initiative and the Cambridge Public Library.
  • Community playgroups – Families with children age 2 to 5 years are invited to join parent-child playgroups. Playgroups are held in locations throughout Cambridge. There are three sessions a year (fall, winter, spring). Each session is eight weeks long. This program is a partnership of the AFC Literacy Initiative and the Center for Families. To receive a registration form, contact the Center for Families at 617-349-6385.

Especially for Dads:

  • Luis Vasquez, Father Outreach Worker (lvasquez@cambridgema.gov) – The Agenda for Children Literacy Initiative and the Center for Families are very excited to introduce Luis Vasquez, our new Father Outreach Worker. Both agencies have jointly hired him part-time to serve our Cambridge dads! You will receive updates from him about dads’ events, workshops, resources, playgroups and activities for dads, as well as events for the whole family.
  • Stay Connected to Luis and other dads:
    • Follow @CambDads on Twitter
    • ‘Like’ Cambridge Dads on Facebook
    • Join the Center for Families fatherhood text campaign and get weekly tips for fathers. Just text “father” to 95577. (Standard text messaging rates apply.)

For the Community: (see News and Events for upcoming dates)

  • StoryWalk – a popular family activity that promotes reading and walking. Pages from a children’s book are posted throughout a neighborhood or park, and families walk from one posted page to the next to finish the story.
  • Family Literacy Fun Day – held the first Saturday in November at City Hall to celebrate National Family Literacy Month.
  • Book distribution at fairs and festivals – over 7,000 books are distributed each year to Cambridge children to help build their home libraries.
  • Book Bike – the Book Bike provides free books to children under 18 each summer as part of the city’s “Let’s Move, Let’s Eat, Let’s Read!” campaign, in conjunction with DHSP’s Summer Food Program. The Book Bike travels to three parks each week.

For Family Child Care Providers:

  • Story Kits – Staff deliver themed “Story Kits” every other week to family child care providers to use with the children in their care. This is a partnership with the Cambridge Public Library.
  • Early literacy workshop series – Staff deliver professional development workshop series about language and literacy development each spring. This is a partnership with the Center for Families.
  • Family child care support group – Support group meetings are held monthly on Monday nights at 119 Windsor Street, Cambridge. For more information and specific dates, contact Kathy Modigliani at kathy.modigliani@gmail.com.