‘Vroom’ initiative revs up for North Tahoe-Truckee children
Special to the Sun
TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — Vroom is an exciting new school readiness project being launched by Tahoe Truckee Reads and Tahoe Truckee Unified School District that will provide parents and caregivers of children birth to 5 years old access to tools and resources that utilize the science behind early brain development to turn everyday activities like bath time, mealtime or grocery shopping into brain building moments for children.
Tahoe Truckee has joined the Vroom national initiative, funded by the Bezos Family Foundation, which has created the Daily Vroom Mobile App and companion materials that deliver fun, interactive tips parents can use to support early brain building.
All of the activities are easy to fit into daily routines and are right at parents’ fingertips.
Just as the sound “Vroom” is commonly used by small children to represent the sound of an engine and its circuits revving up, the initiative Vroom is designed to empower parents to rev up and accelerate the brain circuitry in their babies, toddlers and pre-Ks.
Through research we know that it is in the first years that children develop the foundation for all future learning. Every time we connect with them, it’s not just their eyes that light up; it is their brains, as well.
In these moments, half a million neurons fire at once, taking in all the things we say and do. Vroom takes these shared moments and turns them into brain-building opportunities.
Whether it is riding in the car, visiting the doctor or taking a walk outside, Vroom helps parents intentionally engage with their children to nurture their growing minds.
THE FIVE BASICS
Vroom parent-child activities are based on 5 brain-building basics:
1. Look: Even before babies can talk, they’re showing you what they’re interested in. Look into their eyes, or at what catches their eye, and begin brain building!
2. Follow: Powerful brain building moments are created when you let children lead the way, and you follow by responding to their words, sounds, actions, and ideas.
3. Chat: It may not seem like it, but the sounds and gestures young children make are their way of communicating with you! So talk out loud together and keep chatting as your children grow to engage them in learning about the world around them.
4. Take Turns: Back and forth interactions between you and your children are one of the most important ways to help their brains develop. So be sure to take turns while you’re talking, playing, or exploring with your children.
5. Stretch: Make the moment last longer by building on what your child says, or asking follow-up questions that expand your child’s thinking and learning. When you stretch the conversation with questions like, “What do you think about that?” or “How does that make you feel?” you’re stretching the brain building moment too!
Ruth Jackson Hall is Early Learning Coordinator for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Visit ttusd.org to learn more.