State Support Team Region 9 Serving Schools in Holmes, Stark, and Wayne Counties

Stark State Advanced Technology Center ~ 6057 Strip Ave. N.W., North Canton, OH 44720  
Telephone: 330-492-8136  ~  Toll Free: 1-800-733-7732

Literacy | Talk First Stark | Literacy Contact Information

Sharing Books Building Brains

4 min. 17 sec. video from Cincinnati Children's Hospital titled "Sharing Books Building Brains"

This even is not sponsored by State Suppport Team 9, but are provided for your information.

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Families are a child’s first and most important teacher!  SST9 recently partnered with a local school to engage with families of preschool children.  The focus was early literacy and all of the things children know about reading and writing before they actually begin to read and write.

An invitation was extended to families to be a part of the classroom breakfast routine with their child once a month for thirty minutes. During this time, families experienced many ways they can build their child’s brains as they interact every day.  Brain research on early literacy and practical ideas centered on oral language and vocabulary were shared during this time of modeling, connection and fun!

Jen Griffing
Jen Griffing, M.Ed.

Email Address:

Telephone and Extension Numbers:
800-733-7732 or
330-492-8136 Ext. 1475

Jen Picture 1

Associating new words to words we already know not only builds vocabulary, but leads to more powerful brain connections.

Jen Picture 2
Rhyming is one of the many phonological awareness skills that prepares children to be proficient readers.

Jen Picture 3

We are better together! 

Community partnerships make all of us stronger.

Jen Picture 4

Talking about and giving names to what we see is an important part of reading readiness.  We must see, hear and use words to be able to read, write and spell words!

Jen Picture 5

Opportunities to engage in both listening and speaking are critical components to early literacy development.

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Talk First Stark Logo


Talk First Stark is a new initiative under GSGF geared toward families with children from Prenatal to age 3. The premise is designed to promote and showcase the importance of language nutrition as the foundation for healthy growth and brain development.

Talk First Stark Flyer

Read more about Talk First Stark.


Want to discuss Talk First Stark and Language Nutrition? Please complete the following form and we will contact you! <<CLICK HERE>>

Check out Talk First Stark's public service announcements (PSA):
PSA #1) "It Starts With You...It Continues With Us"
PSA #2) "Words About Your Day"

Health Matters Radio Show and Blog
Talk First Stark teams up with the Medicine Center Pharmacy to discuss language nutrition (4 part series):
Part 1) "It Starts with You"
Part 2) "Brainology with Great Start for Great Futures"
Part 3) "Helping Children Realize Their Potential for a Great Future"
Part 4) "From Surviving to Thriving: We ALL Have a Role"


Designed to develop, promote and actualize a yearly professional development conference for Stark early childhood providers and the community. The symposium also provides an annual “state of the county” update on early childhood efforts.


Designed to ensure equity and access and to raise the capacity for currently employed early childcare employees through supporting continued education and strengthening the career pathway for high school students who wish to pursue a career in early childhood education.


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Early Literacy Contact Information

Jen Griffing, M.Ed.
Regional Early Literacy Specialist
800-733-7732 or 330-492-8136 Ext. 1475

Debbie Hartwig, MA, NBCT
State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) Literacy Lead
Acadience Reading Mentor (Trainer)
Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) Regional Facilitator
800-733-7732 or 330-492-8136 Ext. 1456

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