“Language is what causes brains to grow. Language is what causes neurons to develop. If you hear more words, you develop more neurons and you have more vocabulary. If you have more vocabulary at 18 months, you will be able to read by third grade. You graduate from high school, and you’re more likely to go on to college. One thing depends on another. If you don’t have language, you can’t progress. Language is the key.”

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, Commissioner

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is committed to addressing the Language Nutrition pillar through their work with the Brain Trust for Babies and their work on Talk With Me Baby. The DPH is also focused on training public health nurses, WIC nutritionists and staff, and early intervention specialists to support expectant and new families in Georgia.

The DPH works with partners across the state to establish early brain development and Language Nutrition as a statewide priority by redefining the concept of prenatal, infant, and toddler wellness to include neurodevelopmental and social-emotional health and developing strategies to support optimal brain development and school readiness.

Reaching the goal set by Governor Nathan Deal—that, by 2020, all children in Georgia will be on a path to reading proficiency by the end of third grade—will require a comprehensive approach that addresses all four pillars of the Campaign. When sharing their work centered on Language Nutrition, the DPH also communicates how this work fits into the broader Campaign and how the other three pillars must be addressed in order to realize the common agenda.

Listen to Dr. Fitzgerald explain why we must pay attention to early brain development and commit that every child in Georgia will have the Language Nutrition they need—in the form they can receive it.

To learn more about DPH, visit their website.