Aug 11, 2016 • 15M

#453: Emmy Winner Works to Close ‘Word Gap’ Among Disadvantaged Children

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Some of the world's great changemakers join host Devin Thorpe to share leadership lessons you can use to increase your impact.
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Never miss another interview! Join Devin here: Read the full Your Mark on the World article and watch the interview here: Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes by clicking here: or on Stitcher by clicking here: ----------------------- Emmy Award winner Shane DeRolf has launched an effort he calls the Big Word Club to help disadvantaged children catch up with their more affluent peers. Shane says, “A child’s vocabulary at age 5 is the single best predictor of his or her success in school and in life yet by the time they enter kindergarten, children from lower to middle socioeconomic families will know 400-700 fewer words than their wealthier classmates. This is called the ‘word gap’ and without effective intervention (i.e. improving their vocabularies at a young age), the word gap only gets wider as the child gets older.” The real problem, he says, comes later. “Left unchecked, the word gap evolves into the ‘achievement gap,’ impacting the child’s academic and earning potential for the rest of his or her life.” Until now, there hasn’t been an efficient way to address the problem, he says. “Though much research has been done about the causes of the Word Gap, until Big Word Club, no low-cost and scalable intervention existed. If we are going to improve the vocabularies of millions of children in America–and we need to–we need to provide busy parents and teachers with better tools to teach vocabulary to media-savvy kids in fast, fun and effective ways.” “Big Word Club uses books, songs, animation and dance to help preschool and elementary school kids learn one new ‘big‘ word every day of the school year–in less than one minute a day! Big Word Club makes it easy for parents and teachers to improve their kids’ vocabularies and because Big Word Club is fun and entertaining, kids love learning,” Shane says. ----------------------- Read the full Forbes article and watch the interview here: Need a corporate social responsibility speaker? Learn more about Devin Thorpe at