Language first

Conversation is a constant in the VOCEL classroom. By the age of five, nearly 90% of the brain is fully developed, making it critical to engage kids in language acquisition and verbal expression as early as possible.

We emphasize language above all else—it’s what connects children to each other, to their teachers and to the world around them. The way we help our children develop these skills is creative, proven and ever-evolving, informed by current research and shaped by our daily experience in the classroom.

By age 3, nearly 80% of the brain is fully developed.

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Actionable insights

An example of our cutting-edge approach includes our use of the LENA System™, a patented “talk pedometer” that records language throughout a child’s day, then translates the recording into data about talk, provided in easy-to-read reports. This allows us to measure the amount of talk going on in a classroom, providing personalized, actionable insights for teachers.

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VOCEL by the numbers
Children Impacted
Caregivers Supported
By age four, a child in poverty hears 30 million fewer words than their higher-income peers

Our impact

VOCEL’s innovative education programs prepare young children for lifelong success, while also helping their caregivers embrace their role as their child’s first and best teacher. Children leave VOCEL as emerging leaders, poised for success in kindergarten and far beyond.

In the years ahead, we’ll expand VOCEL’s presence across Chicago to bring our innovative focus on language development to both new sites and existing community programs.

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Together, we can empower our children to succeed. By donating to VOCEL, you’re contributing to your city’s future—because every dollar invested in early education yields a $13 return to society.

Donate today
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We’re always looking for volunteers who share our passion for unlocking a child’s potential. Whether you have a few hours or want to make a regular commitment, we’d love your help.

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Our leaders are driven, dedicated and devoted to our children. Interested in working with us? We’re always looking for qualified applicants to help us realize our vision for early education in our city.

Work with VOCEL

Say hello

Interested in enrolling your child? Looking to get involved? Start a conversation.