Social Efforts

Our goal is to start a revolution in mindset when it comes to early education. We aim to convince every parent how important their voice is to their child’s future.

Social Efforts

A Word About Education

Our vision is to reimagine education. In the 2+ years of research leading up to the initial idea for the Starling, we realized that many people narrowly define education as…

What happens in the school system (which most kids start at age 5) between a child and teacher (even though kids spend 80% of their time outside class) that can also be measured (despite inherent limits of some standardized tests).

VersaMe wants to reshape the perception of education and to focus on the “whole child” in order to develop happy and successful kids. That’s why we’re focused on the parent-child relationship from birth, long before schools and teachers are on parents’ radar. Of course, measurement is still important to us, and we believe it is a key piece of positive behavior change. One of the most impressive features of the Starling is that it measures a vital, but previously immeasurable, dimension of a child’s life.

The Starling Can Help Every Family, Rich or Poor

Over the past 30 years, researchers have shown the overwhelming importance of language exposure early in life. They’ve also shown that poverty is a key influencer on parents and how much they talk to their kids. If you simplified the entire newborn population in the US to two babies, a rich one and a poor one, the rich baby would absolutely hear more words than his less fortunate counterpart.

Of course, far more than two babies are born each year. In the United States alone, over 4 million babies are born annually. The research is also more complex. The same study showing the connection to poverty also shows that there’s a significant overlap between rich and poor kids. Some poor kids live in incredibly enriching verbal environments while some well-off babies have parents who work 80 hours per week and spend much of their time at home looking at a screen of some sort.

Aspiration

The Starling presents a great opportunity to help low income parents talk more to their little ones. We hope to make the Starling a badge of honor for parents of every background and income who want to show the world that they believe in the power of talking. In fact, we chose the star shape for the Starling because of its aspirational symbolism so every child can become a star student, get a gold star on homework assignments, and wish on a star that their dreams will come true. As the winners of the “Bridging the Word Gap Challenge” our efforts in this mission were recognized in 2016 by the Health Resources & Services Administration within the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Organizational Partners

We are very excited to work with non-profits, government entities, daycares, foundations, researchers, libraries, and schools. We’re in daily contact with organizations who are as excited as we are about what the Starling can do and the impact it can have on learning.

If you are interested in using the Starling with your organization, please reach out to us via our Contact page or at partnerships@versame.com. We want to speak with you, and we’re excited to learn about what you’re doing and how we can help.

Early Pilot – Literacy Lab

Our very first partnership to put the Starling in the hands of families in need is with Literacy Lab, based in Oakland, CA. Together we’re creating a Starling program for their community, conducting various testing iterations in pursuit of success and true impact. Once we have a program we’re proud to show off to the world, we intend to roll it out to our organizational partners along with the best practices we’ve learned from the experience.