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Meredith Rowe (HDQM) at White House workshop

Meredith Rowe

On October 4th, 2013 Meredith Rowe was a featured speaker at a White House workshop on “Bridging the Thirty-Million-Word Gap,” The purpose of the workshop was to explore the disparities in early language and vocabulary skills between children from high and low socio-economic backgrounds from infancy through the early years of life. The event was organized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the University of Chicago.

Studies show that by the time children from low-income households reach the age of three, they will have heard 30 million fewer total words and engaged in fewer back-and-forth conversations than their more affluent peers – a gap that is later associated with disparities in language development, school readiness, and long-term educational outcomes of students. This meeting brought together leaders from academia, non-profit organizations, philanthropy, Federal agencies, foundations, and the private sector to explore the evidence behind caregiver-directed interventions and other solutions designed to bridge the early language gap.

You can read Meredith’s white paper “Early Language Gaps: Sources and Solutions” at: http://education.umd.edu/HDQM/labs/Rowe/LDPL/Publications.html. Rowe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, where she studies the role of parents and family factors in children’s language development.