Filming Baby Signing Time is always an interesting process. I often, semi-jokingly state that the whole idea of Baby Signing Time was based on a dare. I mean really! Who in their right minds would take 50+ children ages 2 and under and try to film them signing? Kids that age sign because they need or want something. They sign to communicate. They RARELY do it on cue. So, if your signing toddler refuses to “show off” their mad-signing-skills, no worries, WE believe you! Babies sign to communicate, NOT as a fancy baby trick.
Last March we received an email from a mom in Texas, Katy Barrett, she and her husband are speech pathologists. Their story had been on their local news and now they were writing to share that the Today Show was going to be telling their story!
The Barrett’s daughter Elizabeth was the focus of this national media tale and the phenomenal part is that Elizabeth has incredible reading skills for a toddler. The Barrett’s contacted us because Signing Time was the only show they had ever let their daughter watch and they felt that signing not only fostered early language and early communication, they believe it also impacted her amazing early reading skills.
The Today Show producer contacted us for some clips of Signing Time to use in the piece and the segment aired March 10, 2008. Since I wasn’t sure how much they would say about Signing Time, I didn’t make a big announcement, but anxiously watched. There were three segments with the Barretts and sure enough, one of them showed some clips of Signing Time.
My mom called early that morning and said, “Rachel!!! I JUST saw you on The Today Show again!!!” (She “screamed” it more than “said” it.) She said “again” because in February 2003 The Today Show did a story about my little family! It was called “Against The Odds”
We thanked the Barrett’s by sending them the complete Signing Time Library. I mean really, that’s the least we could do. (And if YOU manage to garner positive national media attention for Signing Time, I’ll send you the whole enchilada as well!)
Around the same time in March, we started the casting process for our new Baby Signing Time shows. I got in touch with the Barrett’s again and invited them out to the shoot, giving Elizabeth the chance to appear in her favorite show!
Elizabeth’s mom, Katy agreed to do an interview with us about the benefits of signing and how she feels it made a difference for her little girl. From that interview, we created the following piece that appears as a special feature that you can see that on Baby Signing Time Volume 3 – A New Day.
Can’t get enough of little Elizabeth reading? Don’t believe it? Well, I sat down with her myself, wrote up some pretty big words and phrases on cards and had “Reading Time with Elizabeth and Rachel!” Take a look. I was shocked. I bet you will be too!
(Included in the following video are some additional behind the scenes shots.)
THIS morning, (Friday November 7th) The Today Show is planning to revisit little Elizabeth and her family and give an update. This time they asked for clips of Baby Signing Time. So, set your DVR or tune in to see more of this incredible little girl. (Barring any breaking news, of course)
Who knows… maybe my mom will call me screaming again.