Dr. Judith Carta, Associate Director of the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, Senior Scientist in the Institute for Life Span Studies, and Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas, spoke to Step Forward’s Building Foundations NEtwork Team about language development and ways that communities can have an impact.
Dr. Carta’s talk included:
1. Word Gap-What it is and why it’s important
2. How it can be prevented
3. What communities can do
4. Suggestions from the Bridging the Word Gap Research Network
Dr. Carta is a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Life Span Studies and Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas and the Associate Director of the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project. Her science focuses on developing strategies to minimize the effects of poverty on children’s language and social outcomes and developing practices that teachers and parents can use to promote children’s early learning particularly in vulnerable populations. Her current research and policy interests include creating multi-sector community-wide interventions for advancing the quality of children’s caregiving environments, and scaling up tiered approaches for enhancing all children’s learning and development such as Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. She has been the Principal Investigator of several multi-site research projects and centers funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Educational Sciences, and the Administration on Children and Families. She currently directs the Bridging the Word Gap Research Network, a collaborative of 200 researchers, practitioners, civic leaders and policymakers seeking to enrich young children’s language learning environments. She serves on many federal advisory panels, commissions and the editorial boards of numerous scientific journals. She was the recipient of the 2016 Youngberg Research Award given each year to recognize an individual whose applied research has had significant impact and relevance to the state of Kansas.