Call for applications! 

2020 LENA Start Launch Funds

At LENA, we know that the COVID-19 crisis has left program resources and budgets more constrained than ever. At the same time, the need to support caregivers and families is dramatically increasing. In response, our funding partners have stepped up to fully offset the one-time start-up fee and minimum participant fees (up to 100 families total) for the first two years of LENA Start, an in-kind value of more than $30,000.

Our funding partners support our belief that interactions with children matter now more than ever and supporting those caring for children is essential. Not only does LENA Start have proven outcomes in increasing school readiness, but LENA’s indirect benefits include increasing parent and caregiver capacity, decreasing parental and caregiver stress, and increasing parents' sense of self-efficacy, among others. 

  • Learn more about what it looks like to implement LENA Start by reading through the detailed LENA Start Proposal.
  • You can also learn more about our new curriculum updates and guidance for virtual delivery on this recorded webinar.

Applications for LENA Start Launch Funds will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. 


Let us help you through the process!

We are excited about this opportunity to bring LENA Start to YOUR community. Our team is standing by to walk through the step-by-step details of implementation and answer any questions you may have about the process. Just fill out the form below and a member of our Partnerships Team will be in touch.  

LENA Start Best Practices
We've had more than 30 partners (and counting!) successfully implement LENA Start and see the children and families in their community make measurable gains in language, interaction, and kindergarten readiness. Here are a few helpful hints we've learned along the way:  
  • Use a tiered approach to scaling: LENA Start is a parent group model and typically operates with 8-12 families in each group. To serve a minimum of 100 families in the first 24 months, consider having 1-2 groups in your first sessions, 2-3 groups in your second sessions, and 3-5 groups in ongoing sessions. With each wave being 10 weekly sessions, we recommend two to three sessions per year (Spring, Summer, and Fall). We also understand that all of this may look different for your organization right now, and that's okay, too. 
  • We are here to help you! From initial training and implementation, to ongoing support, to data summaries and site visits, we are here to help you be successful. The more you engage with us, the more we will engage with you!
  • Community partners strengthen applications. Some partners might be financial supporters or recruiting partners, while others might donate time, resources, volunteers, or supplies (books, food, child care).
  • Engagement with families doesn't have to begin and end with LENA Start. LENA Start is a great catalyst for connecting families to each other, community resources, and opportunities. Many successful sites have opportunities for families to participate in additional activities or classes after the program is over.
  • There is a learning curve. Some aspects of the program will always take time and energy, but in LENA Start many things get easier with time and benefit from economies of scale. 

Ready to apply? Proceed to the full LENA Start Launch Funds application (or download an editable version of the application).