This class will examine current research and practice in encouraging early literacy by talking to, and reading to, children. The field is now dominated by research findings suggesting that social class differences in the amount of language children hear accounts for differences in early literacy, school readiness and school performance. We will examine that evidence in detail, and then move into the community to observe literacy programs in action. The course will focus on how intervention programs are done and how or if their results are evaluated. Students will be expected to observe and write about existing social programs from a theoretical and program evaluation point of view.