Connecting the Dots

Connecting The Dots

A Community-Engaged Project to Develop a Sustainable Approach to Improve Childhood Literacy and Family Economic Mobility in Fulton County.  


Connecting the Dots (CTD) is a family-centered approach that uses home visiting and coaching to connect families with resources to improve overall family well-being. In CTD, families are engaged during the mother’s prenatal period and continue through the child’s first two years of life. CTD navigators (Social Workers) will work with community partners to support families in overcoming barriers to obtain livable wage employment and ensure babies are prepared to succeed in future schooling.  

How it Works  

The CTD Navigators will coach families residing in Fulton County who receive prenatal care at Grady Memorial Hospital and its community health centers. Navigators will work alongside families for up to two years coaching them through early childhood language and brain development strategies along with providing support for their education or training needs to gain employment that allows them to achieve self-sufficiency. Throughout the program, families will be connected to community resources to ensure that they have opportunities for educational advancement and increased economic mobility.  

Connecting the Dots

The CTD project will partner with select community organizations.

Georgia is plagued with stark economic mobility and educational achievement disparities that disproportionately impact certain racial and socioeconomic groups. A 2018 Bloomberg report ranked Atlanta, Georgia, as the worst city in the United States for economic mobility. Third grade reading achievement, a significant predictor of high school graduation, is one of the lowest for children from economically challenged households. Together, these obstacles create considerable opportunity costs for Atlanta’s children, parents, and families.

2Gen approaches building family well-being by intentionally and simultaneously working with children and the adults in their lives together. The 6 Key Components of a 2Gen Approach include:

  • Postsecondary Education and Employment Pathways
  • K-12
  • Early Childhood Education and Development
  • Economic Assets
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Social Capital

  • Making families aware of the vital role they play in building their baby’s brain, language and school readiness
  • Empowering families to practice language nutrition by building their skills and coaching them to use these with their babies

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Talk With Me Baby

TWMB is a public health initiative committed to improving reading and literacy in Georgia. TWMB engages parents and caregivers in coaching:

  • On the importance of language in the earliest stages of their child’s brain and social development; and
  • To strengthen the frequency of positive, language-rich social interactions with their babies to help prepare them for a lifetime of learning and school success.

Conversing with babies in the earliest ages stimulates brain development and builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills. Children who do not read on grade level by the third grade are four to six times more likely to drop out of school eventually. The Talk with Me Baby (TWMB) program aims to ensure that children in Georgia read on grade level by the end of third grade by increasing their vocabulary and conversation beginning in the womb.

Project Summary

Leading this 2Gen initiative, Emory University Schools of Nursing and Medicine, as well as the Marcus Autism Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, have partnered with community-based organizations in and around Fulton County to help ensure families are afforded every opportunity to meet their goals. CTD Navigators, a multidisciplinary team of community health workers, social workers and nurses, will work alongside families beginning in the prenatal phase through the first two years of life. Using multiple means of connecting with families, including home visitations, the CTD Navigators work in partnership with parents to identify goals and strategies to connect them with the supplemental resources, services, and social capital to achieve their family’s financial, language and literacy goals.

Frequently Asked Questions