• We understand the lifelong consequences of inadequate exposure to talk and language experiences
  • We have established evidence-based interventions for addressing the gap but we need to bring them to scale
  • But many children and families from low-income backgrounds are still not reaping the benefits from this research


  • Research has provided an understanding of the Word Gap and its consequences
  • Communities have begun area-wide campaigns to spread the word
  • Public officials are speaking out
  • Interventions aimed at families and caregivers have been demonstrated


BWG Network LeadershipThe Bridging the Word Gap Research Network is made up of more than 100 nationally recognized researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and funders working together to develop and push forward a coordinated national research agenda to develop individual, community and population-based interventions that address the word gap experienced by young children in poverty. We are happy to announce we have received funding for an additional 5 years!


Central Coordination, consisting of the PI, Co-PIs, Project Coordinator, and administrative team at the University of Kansas, is charged with planning, managing, and evaluating the work and progress of the BWG Research Network.  This also includes the day-to-day organization and communication within the network. Judith Carta, PhD (center), is the PI, Charles R. Greenwood, PhD (right) and Dale Walker, PhD (left) are Co-PIs.

Leadership Team

The leadership team is comprised of the Coordinating Core and Work Group Leads. This interdisciplinary group is made up of distinguished scientists selected for their roles because of their expertise in carrying out intervention research that has made a difference in the lives of young children and their families in poverty.

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board was constructed to represent diverse stakeholders and social cultural groups, and disciplines. They represent some of the major organizations providing funding for community-wide initiatives to bridge the word gap, national educational programs focused on improving the outcomes of young children growing up in poverty, and organizations focused on engaging parents in promoting children’s early development.

Work Groups

Each of the six work groups has been constructed to include some of the most prominent researchers who have conducted studies germane to the work group topic.

Emerging Research Scholars

The Bridging the Word Gap Research Network has established an Early Research Scholars program identifying six promising scholars and providing them with training, mentorship, and practice-based research and publication opportunities. Read more about our scholars and their research by clicking the link above.

Practice-based Research Collaborative

The Practice-based Research Collaborative is made up of approximately 50 people working on 12 different word gap interventions and initiatives across the United States. The group gathers monthly to share practical information and new knowledge gained from their projects and research.