March 27, 2023

SPOTLIGHT: GrowSmart Early Childhood Innovation

Virginia Beach Talks Model Featured in Results for America Economic Mobility Catalog

Families celebrate graduation

Virginia Beach TALKS, an early language innovation program launched by Virginia Beach GrowSmart, was featured in a recent case study in the Results for America Economic Mobility Catalog. The Economic Mobility Catalog provides resources derived from evidence-based practices, programs and policies designed to improve outcomes that drive upward economic mobility.

These types of early childhood strategies focus on family health and stability and preparing children for kindergarten, including academic development, social-emotional growth and health and wellbeing of children ages 0-5. Young students who enter kindergarten ready to learn are more likely to achieve positive academic outcomes through elementary and middle school, avoid risky behaviors in adolescence, graduate from high school and continue to post-secondary education.

In 2019, Virginia Beach was one of five cities awarded funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities for an early childhood innovation grant. Virginia Beach received $448,000 over three years to support the city’s replication of the Providence Talks model using LENA early talk innovation. “Promoting early childhood language development: Virginia Beach, VA” provides an overview of the Virginia Beach Talks program with breakdowns for results, challenges, solutions, factors that drove success, and our implementation process.


  • Reach – 1,128 families participated in the Virginia Beach TALKS program
  • Major increases in talking among children with “low talk” rates
  • Survey results indicating improved self-efficacy for early educators
  • Winning national reading program awards
  • Dramatic improvements to parent’s daily routines

About Virginia Beach GrowSmart

GrowSmart is operated through the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development. GrowSmart exists to promote and improve the healthy development, school readiness and reading proficiency of young children ages 0 – 8 and to promote the City’s economic vitality for tomorrow. A world-class workforce begins with a world-class education system and the path to a strong education begins at birth. Visit for more information.

About Results for America

Results for America is helping decision-makers at all levels of government harness the power of evidence and data to solve our world’s greatest challenges. Our mission is to make investing in what works the “new normal” so that when policy makers make decisions, they start by seeking the best evidence and data available, then use what they find to get better results. Learn more at

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Virginia Beach GrowSmart

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Virginia Beach Economic Development

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