New Program To Help Parents Monitor How Much They Talk To Infants, Young Children

Orange City, Iowa — It sounds like the name of a new talk show, but it’s really something quite different, and quite unusual. We talked to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Experts recently about “Small Talk.”

Lori Korthals with the Sioux County Extension office says it actually includes a device that you let your baby wear — and it helps you to know how much you’re talking to your baby. She says she’s been trying to get the program to this corner of the state for two to three years.

Korthals explains.

She tells us that you can then see the data.

Korthals says the device is called the LENA┬« System. She says it’s important to talk to babies and young children, as 80 percent of brain growth happens in the first three years of life.

There will be two virtual sessions per week, starting in January. The program is through the LENA Foundation and is 100 percent free.

Parents can choose either session, and it’s a 10-week program. For more information, you can call the Sioux County Extension office at 712-737-4230.

To reserve your spot in the 1:00-1:30 p.m. online session, register online at or for the 8:00-8:30 p.m., register at