Children in Wisconsin’s first-ever LENA Start program will don their caps and graduate during two ceremonies, to be held May 21 from 10:30 a.m. until noon and on May 24 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Marathon County Public Library’s Wausau Headquarters, 300 N. First St., Wausau.
Wausau Mayor Robert Mielke will give a commencement speech at the May 21 ceremony. Infants and toddlers graduating from the 13-week LENA Start program will then “walk” into the ceremony in their graduation caps and receive a certificate of completion. Nearly 20 families took part in these first two LENA Start sessions, which began in February.
The two graduating classes are the product of the first LENA Start program to ever be held in Wisconsin. The program measures parents’ verbal interactions with their children ages birth to 32 months via a “talk pedometer,” which tracks the number of words the child is exposed to. Each week, data from the device is analyzed and parents and caregivers receive weekly reports in the form of 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.
The LENA Start program is made possible through a partnership between the Marathon County Public Library, the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS,) Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin. All LENA Start program sessions are held at the Marathon County Public Library’s Wausau Headquarters.
This event is free and open to the public with no registration required. For more information, call 715-261-7220 or visit www.mcpl.us/lena.