NY Mayor Bloomberg praises $5M ‘Providence Talks’ proposal

The Associate Press

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called Providence's plan to boost the language skills of low-income children 'revolutionary'' and says it could one day be replicated in cities across the country.

Bloomberg and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras discussed the idea Wednesday in New York.

Providence won the $5 million grand prize in a contest created by Bloomberg Philanthropies with its plan to equip low-income children with recording devices that count the words they hear throughout the day.

Parents enrolled in the voluntary program will learn ways to build their child's language skills. Studies show poor children enter school having heard millions of fewer words than more affluent children.

More than 300 cities entered Bloomberg's contest. Houston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Santa Monica, Calif., will receive $1 million as runners-up.