After 10 years of teaching (and loving) Signing Smart, Tracey Kretzer, founder of Parent Child University, was offered the opportunity to purchase Signing Smart from its founders. We have a small team of 3 moms here in the DC-region dedicated to take Signign Smart into the future and dozens of instructors worldwide! Come learn more about how it all began and come expereince where we are going!
About the Founders: Michelle Anthony, M.A., Ph.D., and Reyna Lindert, Ph.D.
We met while pursuing our doctorates in Developmental Psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. When our first children were babies, we searched the available infant / toddler sign language resources to find one that we wanted to use with our own families. However, we realized that none of the books or materials gave parents - including us - the tools we needed to easily integrate signing into our hectic and varied life with our babies.
And so, Signing Smart was born! Backed up by more than 25 combined years of expertise in early language development, and building from our experiences as early childhood teachers, parent educators, Ph.D.s in Developmental Psychology, certified ASL users, and - most importantly - mothers, we developed the Signing Smart program and co-founded Wide-Eyed Learning, LLC. Wide-Eyed Learning's mission is to help parents and professionals facilitate development in young hearing children and to promote healthy families from the very start. Signing Smart is but one component of this endeavor - one that blends our passion for young children and our expertise in children's linguistic and cognitive development.
Our goal in creating Signing Smart has been to do more than simply teach parents and caregivers a handful of useful signs. Rather, we have sought to help enrich what parents are already doing with their babies, using signing as the medium. Signing Smart meets the needs of parents and other caregivers who are looking for ways not only to stimulate development and learning in young children, but also to help foster communication and intimacy between parents/caregivers and children. All of our Signing Smart materials are developed with real-time parenting in mind, and they are designed to allow Signing Smart to be something that enriches what parents and caregivers are already doing, as opposed to something that takes over family life. Our research-proven programming has been used to facilitate early communication and long-term learning in thousands of typical and developmentally-delayed children.
As mothers who continue to use Signing Smart methods with our own young children, our goal continues to be to help other families, as well as educators in childcare or preschool settings, experience the magic of enhanced communication and facilitated learning.