student tech 071520PARK FOREST – The Illinois State Board of Education has launched a new text program to help parents prepare young learners for school, and State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging parents to enroll.

“There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused parents pandemic stress, as they are balancing working from home and homeschooling their children,” Joyce said. “To help working parents cope, this program will encourage learning and ensure well-being for children during this crisis and beyond.”

The Chat2Learn program — spearheaded by ISBE and the Behavioral Insights and Parenting (BIP) Lab — will engage up to 50,000 parents and caregivers of preschool-aged children in Illinois Preschool for All and Preschool for All Expansion programs. Program administrators are encouraged to sign parents up on their behalf. However, parent enrollment will open at a later date.

The program provides parents with conversation prompts to help future students build literacy, mathematics and social-emotional skills for kindergarten readiness. The messages are based on research evidence collected by the BIP Lab.

For example, parents may receive prompts like: "Part of being a parent is getting to know your child better every day. Ask your child, 'If you had a day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?'"

Text messages begin on Dec. 6 and will continue through June 30, 2021.

For more information, visit https://biplab.uchicago.edu/.

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