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LENA in Tennessee

Making every interaction count and transforming children's futures

LENA (Language ENvironment Analysis) is a national nonprofit on a mission to transform children's futures through early talk technology and data-driven programs. LENA works with a wide range of partner organizations to boost early brain development and improve school readiness for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

LENA Grow offers evidence-based professional development for infant, toddler, and preschool teachers.
LENA Start builds school readiness and strengthens families with parent-group classes.
LENA SP offers reliable, detailed language environment data in research and clinical applications.

In the BrightStartTN Clearinghouse, LENA Grow is an evidence-based and informed model for technical assistance and training and is an approved strategy for ECE Workforce Development, aligned with high quality care and education ages 0-5, positive early care and education climate, and social emotional health. The BrightStart TN Clearinghouse also lists LENA Start as an approved Family/Teacher Engagement Strategy, aligned with positive parent/child interaction, reading with children, and supports for families.

LENA Grow professional development hours count toward the required annual training hours for Tennessee child care licensing when documented in the TNPAL system. LENA Grow satisfies the 3-hour Pre-Literacy and Literacy Skills and Education Implementation requirement.

LENA also has crosswalks with Head Start, CLASS, The Pyramid Model, ZERO TO THREE, and more!

Explore our national crosswalks and partnerships!

 Staff Member
"The TN CCR&R sees the LENA Grow program as an important piece of the puzzle in proper language and socio-emotional development for children in Tennessee. The specialization training will not only better equip educators to deal with challenges in the classroom, but these educators will also be eligible for the AIMHiTN Endorsement upon completion.”
Heather Hicks
Director of the TN Child Care Resource & Referral Network

Interested in bringing LENA to your community?

Whether you're with a library, school district, CCR&R, state agency, university-community partnership, public health initiative, or any other organization dedicated to improving early childhood outcomes, we invite you to learn more about bringing LENA to your community.

 Staff Member

Connect with Amy Marciniak,
Senior Regional Partnerships Director, Tennessee

 Staff Member
"Using LENA helps us to meet our school readiness goals, and it helps teachers engage in conversations with parents on what the data is saying, make suggestions, and provide resources to extend the learning at home."
TaWanda Payton
Early Head Start Instructional Coach at Porter-Leath in Memphis

Blog Posts

Read these and other stories about partner success stories and research findings in Tennessee and beyond.


LENA Grow goes statewide in Tennessee

“The TN CCR&R sees the LENA Grow program as an important piece of the puzzle in proper language and socio-emotional development for children in Tennessee,” said Heather Hicks, Director of the TN CCR&R.

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Early Head Start centers in Tennessee use LENA programs to improve early literacy

Porter-Leath uses LENA programs to boost early literacy and connect teachers and families.

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Q&A with Dr. Loretta Rudd: How University of Memphis is broadening their collective impact approach to scale early childhood programming

Through a collective impact model, the University of Memphis is implementing LENA programs to build stronger families, increase teachers’ skills, and support students’ learning.

Read more ...

On-Demand Webinars


Setbacks and Solutions: Helping early educators navigate language and social-emotional delays 

It’s more important than ever to equip early childhood educators to address children’s unique needs and help get their language and social-emotional development on track. There’s strong new evidence to suggest that LENA Grow, a language-focused professional development program for early educators, is effective at doing just that.

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What role may a child’s earliest interactions play in laying the foundation for learning to read? In this webinar, we take an expert deep dive into how conversational turns from ages birth to five fit into the ongoing discussions around the “science of reading.”

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Sustainable, scalable initiatives in early childhood: What’s next for funding and quality improvement?

It’s no easy task for early childhood leaders to strategically disburse funds from PDG B-5, CCDBG, CLSD, and ARPA grants into the hands of LEAs and CCR&Rs. In fact, the alphabet soup of early childhood education funding streams can be a bit hard to digest, so to speak. In this webinar, state leaders will tell the stories of how and why they invested in initiatives for statewide implementation, as well as their visions for further expansion and impact.

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