Photo: Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Text message reminders for parents have led to an increase in reading to toddlers and a rise in Head Start enrollment and school attendance, new research shows.

Why it matters: Despite emerging technologies in early childhood education from Big Tech, researchers say that behavioral targeting via text is the most affordable option for parents — especially low-income ones — to help their children stay on track, USA Today reports.

The big picture: Several studies show that text programs have a "big impact on parental decision-making."

  • A study from a Head Start center in Chicago showed parents were more likely to read to their children if they received text alerts that encouraged them to follow through, per USA Today.
  • In 2018, the Bezos Family Foundation created a weekly text program that gives parents ideas for free, on-the-spot activities to engage the minds of their children.
  • One study from the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans sent personalized texts to parents on how they could enroll their children in Head Start, which led to more sign-ups compared to families who did not receive the reminders.
  • At the high school level, text reminders to parents led to teens skipping fewer classes, completing more homework and earning higher grades, per a study from Columbia University.

Go deeper: The digital babysitter generation

Go deeper

Americans reflect on Independence Day amid racism reckoning

A Black Lives Matter banner and a United States flag on the facade of the U.S. embassy building in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

America's leaders are rethinking how they view Independence Day, as the country reckons with the historic, unequal treatment of people of color during a pandemic which has disproportionately affected nonwhite Americans.

Why it matters: The country’s legacy of racism has come into sharp focus in the weeks of protests following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. From Confederate statues to Mount Rushmore, Americans are reexamining the symbols and traditions they elevate and the history behind them.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 11,031,905 — Total deaths: 523,777 — Total recoveries — 5,834,337Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 2,788,395 — Total deaths: 129,306 — Total recoveries: 790,404 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  5. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
12 hours ago - Sports

Washington Redskins to review team name amid public pressure

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins have announced they will be conducting a review of the team's name after mounting pressure from the public and corporate sponsors.

Why it matters: This review is the first formal step the Redskins are taking since the debate surrounding the name first began. It comes after weeks of discussions between the team and the NFL, the team said.