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Follow the Data Podcast Episode 11: Closing the Word Gap in Providence, RI

The eleventh episode of Follow the Data features the winner of the 2013 Mayors Challenge: Providence, Rhode Island. A component of Mike Bloomberg’s recently announced American Cities Initiative, and now  in its fourth round, the Mayors Challenge empowers city leaders to think big, be bold, and uncover inventive ideas that have the power to spread.

Given the opportunity to tackle a local issue with the $5 million grand-prize grant, Providence decided to focus on closing the word gap, in which children in low-income households hear far fewer words than their more affluent peers, challenging healthy brain development.

Pairing cutting edge technology with the latest coaching methods, the Providence Talks program empowers parents to change their children’s life trajectory with a simple change in behavior: talking and interacting more with their child.

Mayor Jorge Elorza, of Providence, Rhode Island speaks to former Bloomberg Philanthropies Government Innovation team member Garnesha Crawford about launching Providence Talks and its success. In this episode we also hear from the former Executive Director of the Providence Talks program, Courtney Hawkins, and Jennifer Calderon, whose daughter participated in the program.

You can listen to the podcast and past episodes in the following ways:

We hope you enjoy this episode. Follow us on Twitter @BloombergDotOrg for information about our next episode. Until then, keep following the data!