Newsletter, July 2021
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Project Adds 2 Students
CCF's new REU site, Culturally Responsive Research in Developmental Science, will add 2 additional students, for a total of 12 students, thanks to support from CCF donors and the UTD School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the REU site was chosen to provide a 42-week paid internship for 10 students from historically underrepresented groups with the tools and connections to combine high-quality, developmental research with CCF's empirically driven, community-based outreach program Play With Me. The addition of 2 students will expand this work and allow for greater impacts on the students and the families we serve. We look forward to introducing the 12 students to you in August!
Helping Families Navigate Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a common reading disorder affecting as many as 1 in 5 children. Despite the vast progress made in recent decades, understanding and effectively navigating a dyslexia diagnosis and treatment continues to be a great challenge for families of affected children. UTD master's student and mother of a dyslexic child, Melissa Krauth, recently prepared a pragmatic guide for parents on dyslexia (full version here).

Tips from the parent guide include:
1.     You’re not alone – dyslexia is quite common, and many children struggle with dyslexia as well as other challenges. Families in similar situations can be a great source of knowledge and support.
2.     It’s not your fault – dyslexia is now understood to have a neurobiological basis – in other words, it’s related to how your child’s brain is structured/wired.
3.     It’s about sounds – the disrupted wiring seems to be in how the brain processes sounds. Dyslexic children may have oral communication challenges, specifically word retrieval, as well as difficulties in how they match symbols to sounds.
4.     It’s not going to go away – dyslexia isn’t something children outgrow, although with treatment they can make tremendous progress in their reading.
5.     Successful treatments are available – there are proven approaches to address the underlying deficits in dyslexia and help dyslexic children read and write successfully.
6.     You’re going to need to navigate and advocate – parents of dyslexic children need to be actively involved to ensure their child gets the resources they need and is in a school environment where they will thrive both academically and emotionally.
7.     It will be okay – some dyslexic children will fully conquer their reading challenges and go on to college and challenging careers that require significant reading; others will follow a different path but will do so armed with the determination and perseverance skills they can develop by addressing their challenges.  
Mothers and Adolescent Daughters Needed for Research Project
The UT Dallas Healthy Development Project is recruiting mothers and their 14- to 18-year-old daughters for a study about conversations about clothing advertisements and wellness. The study will take place via video conference and will take less than one hour. For each mother-daughter pair who participates, the lab will donate $2 to the North Texas Food Bank! Please contact healthydevelopment@utdallas.edu for more information and to sign up.
DPREP Longitudinal Study Ending After 12 Years
After 12 years, the Dallas Preschool Readiness Project (DPREP), now known as the Dallas Project on Education Pathways, is coming to a close. The longitudinal study, co-directed by Drs. Margaret Owen and Margaret Caughy, has been studying children's social, cognitive, and language development in the contexts of their family relationships and culture spanning the years from early preschool through middle school. The project is one of the longest longitudinal projects on African American and Latino children’s development of self-regulation, school readiness, and achievement in the United States. A copy of the project's final newsletter sent to the participating families, with information and resources for Dallas-area parents, is located here. "We want to express our immense gratitude to these families for welcoming us to their homes and to the children for allowing us to observe them many times as they grew across early childhood into middle childhood," Owen said. "Our scientific understanding of child development and families’ lives has grown and will continue to grow as a result." 
Recruiting Children Ages 4 - 7 for Fun Research Project on Food
The UT Dallas Healthy Development Project is recruiting children ages 4-7 for a study to gain insight into children's eating behaviors. During the study, children will do some fun activities with a researcher and answer questions about foods they may like to eat. The study will take place virtually and will take less than 30 minutes to complete. Children will receive an activity page for participating! Please contact healthydevelopment@utdallas.edu for more information and to sign up.
From the Director
It's hard to believe we are over halfway through Summer and looking toward the start of Fall. I'm particularly excited about two new research projects that will be working with families served by CCF. Funded by UT Dallas, a social sciences grant (PI Mandy Maguire) will look at young children who are at high risk for developmental delays compared with those who aren’t, to better understand patterns of delays and root causes of some of these disparities. Another grant, for interdisciplinary research at UTD (PI Heidi Kane), will look at neighborhood features and individual and family predictors of sleep health in parents of young children. Both of these projects will provide preliminary data designed to improve the success of attaining external funding. We're looking forward to working with our faculty on these projects and integrating our outreach work with this important research on children and families.