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Akaaka Kōrero

Talking Matters' first community project started in February, with 13 community organisations that connect with families in Māngere-Ōtāhuhu. The collaborative has called itself Akaaka Kōrero. Akaaka represents the root or vine of early language that the collaborative is nurturing so children will thrive. We are delighted to be working and learning with these organisations to enhance early oral language.

Ko Awatea has taught us the basics of quality improvement to help us reach our goal of wrapping rich oral language around babies and young children. We're using the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) methodology of testing new ideas.

Over the next six months all of the organisations will try out ideas and strategies to promote interaction and talk. Our particular focus will be supporting talk in families. Each organisation interacts and connects with families in different situations. Ko Awatea visits regularly and coaches each organisation to help them identify ideas to try according to their context.

This initiative will help us understand what strategies are the most powerful for engaging families, and will give us preliminary data on what works for kiwi children. These insights will shape what we can share with other communities in the future.