Text to Talk is a research project focused on home-school engagement and young children’s vocabulary.

Funded by the William Penn Foundation and sponsored by the School District of Philadelphia, Text to Talk is a three-year project focused on improving our understanding of how early childhood educators communicate with families, and how modern forms of communications such as apps, texting, and email might foster home-school connection, and ultimately children’s kindergarten readiness.

During the pilot years of this project, the Text to Talk team worked with SDP teachers, parents, and administrators to develop and test intervention materials. During the 2017-18 school year, the program was evaluated with a classroom-level RCT.

Our findings suggest that many teachers and families are enthusiastic about using texting and view texting as a tool to further family-school engagement and communication and to enhance child outcomes. The RCT found significant effects of the program on vocabulary knowledge. Read here for an interview by Ed Week about the project.

Papers about Text to Talk:

Snell, E.K., Wasik, B. A., Hindman, A. H. (2022). Text to talk: Effects of a home-school vocabulary texting intervention on prekindergarten vocabulary. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 60, 67-79.

Snell et al. 2020 The Reading Teacher

Snell et al. 2020 Early Childhood Development and Care

For more information, please contact Emily Snell or Barbara Wasik .