Human beings learn language at a very early age by listening to others speak and then practicing these words themselves.   This "give and take" is fundamental to early literacy development and, specifically, learning to read.  More children in Mississippi need to receive this oral stimulation early.  TALK from the START! is a statewide campaign to raise awareness and boost the early language development of our youngest Mississippians.

A campaign to boost language for early literacy. 
A partnership between the Mississippi Children's Museum and The Barksdale Reading Institute.

TALK from the START

to raise awareness that talking to and with children from birth is essential to learning to read.

The mission of MCM is to create unparalleled experiences to inspire excellence and a lifelong joy of learning.

The museum accomplishes this mission through hands-on and engaging exhibits and programs focusing on literacy, the arts, science, health and nutrition–the keys to helping our children mature into healthy and productive adult learners.

The Barksdale Reading Institute works to improve the overall quality of public education in Mississippi through strategic literacy initiatives and providing professional development to teachers and administrators.

BRI was founded in 2000 by Jim and Sally Barksdale, who, after researching the state of education in America, became convinced that reading is the most fundamental skill that every child must master in order to become successful.

Mississipppi Children's Museum

Barksdale Reading Institute

Founding Partners



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