MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Education pioneer VersaMe today announced a partnership with the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) that will help to move their aligned mission of supporting families to help all children reach their full potential forward. VersaMe's flagship product, the Starling, is the world's first wearable word counter for children 0-4 years. VersaMe will partner with NCFL to make the Starling available to advance the NCFL's literacy and education programs that focus on supporting impoverished families.
The Starling counts the words exchanged between parents and young children. Through real-time feedback, parents are given the information they need to understand the importance and impact associated with the number of words their baby hears . Through this partnership, NCFL has provided Starlings to Detroit families participating in a nationwide vocabulary initiative. VersaMe will help support NCFL's efforts by tracking the families' progress over time. "Studies show children from low-income families are hearing 30 million fewer words by age 4 than those from higher-income families. Quality conversations shared between parent and child will increase a child's vocabulary and better prepare them for academic success," said Sharon Darling, NCFL President and Founder. "We want to empower parents to view themselves as teachers, and the Starling supports our efforts. We are encouraged by this partnership and the opportunity it provides the families with whom we work." Worn by infants and toddlers, the Starling is focused on the most formative stages of development, the first four years of life when 83 percent of brain growth occurs. All parents need to do is talk, sing and read with their babies. The Starling processes the audio signals from the verbal engagements, turning them into data that tells parents just how many words to which their baby is exposed. The Starling allows parents to set daily goals, and to complete weekly challenges with fun, verbal activity prompts and helpful tips.