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Research suggests 90% of the core brain structure is formed within the first 5 years of life. A child’s speaking and listening skills lead the way for their reading and writing skills, so exposure to words is critical during these formative years. Depending on whether the child is from an affluent family or one suffering from poverty will have a critical impact on the number of words that children hear during this time period.

Great Start…Pathways to Success is an SCPS project designed to reach out to Seminole County parents of babies, birth to three, to provide information and a system of support. Great Start promotes parent education through structured play groups for parents and babies from at-risk families, defined as low-income, parents without a high school diploma and teen parents. The structured play groups focus on child development especially in the areas of vocabulary, oral language and essential early literacy skills necessary for future school success.