New Statewide Parent Campaign Kicks Off in Spokane Valley with Free Family Rock Concert


“Tiny Tot Rock…and More” event launches new “Love. Talk. Play.” campaign for parents of children birth to three years old.


Spokane, WA — Parenting is a tough job that comes with no manual. But a new statewide education and awareness campaign aims to help make parenting a little easier by encouraging parents to focus on three actions that will give their child a great start in life: Love. Talk. Play.

Targeting parents with children age 3 and younger, the “Love. Talk. Play.” campaign kicks off with “Tiny Tot Rock … and More” on Saturday, April 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at CenterPlace in Spokane Valley. This event includes a free 45-minute concert with The Not-Its, Washington’s most rockin’ kid band, followed by a series of activities sponsored by local organizations for parents and their children from birth to three years old to learn how to bring more love, talk and play into their daily routine. The concert is one of many Our Kids: Our Business events happening in the Spokane area throughout April.

“Parents agree that they are their child’s first and most important teacher,” says Nina Auerbach, president and CEO of Thrive by Five Washington, the state’s public-private partnership for early learning and one of the key sponsors of the campaign. “But they’re quick to add that they’re not always sure what to do to make the most of this role. They are sometimes overwhelmed by advice and ads. This campaign helps parents focus on love, talk and play — three actions that will really make a difference — and gives them ideas for how to make them part of everyday activities from diaper changes, to trips to the grocery store to meal time.”

Right now, Washington state is home to more than 348,000 children age 3 and younger, which means there are a lot of parents who could use a little help. Parent awareness and outreach are priorities for the state’s Early Learning Plan that was released last fall.

“Our state has made great strides over the past few years to provide more support to young children and their families,” said Bette Hyde, director of the state Department of Early Learning, another campaign sponsor. “But parents are the key to giving kids a great start in life. This campaign provides information and support to parents about how very important they are in their children’s development.”

The “Love. Talk. Play.” campaign was shaped by input from national early learning experts and conversations with lower-income parents, who don’t often have access to parenting information and are the primary target of the campaign’s messages and materials. The state’s 10 regional early learning coalitions will help get the campaign into communities through people parents already trust and places they already go.

Supporting the launch of the campaign in Spokane is the Inland Northwest Early Learning Alliance, a coalition of organizations that reach out to families in Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane and Stevens counties.

“For the past 5 years, the coalition has been raising the community’s awareness about the importance of the first five years of a child’s life and have been highly successful in doing so,” said Kathy Thamm, director of the Family Resources Initiative at Community-Minded Enterprises and coalition member. “This campaign is a great extension of that work with a specific message just for parents.”

Partners that will provide activities at the launch event for parents and children include Spokane County Library District, Spokane Public Library, Community-Minded Enterprises, Kool Smiles of Spokane, Children’s Home Society of Washington and Educational Service District 101.
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