Blog Meet Erika: Starling User and Starling Academy Guide

Meet Erika: Starling User and Starling Academy Guide

by Marissa Mirbach

Meet Erika Cardamome, one of our fun, expert Starling Academy Guides! Erika is a speech-language pathologist, mom of two, and founder of Baby School, a course that teaches parents how to play with their babies.

Erika has an MS in Speech-Language Pathology from Columbia University, and a BS from Syracuse University. She has taught at Columbia and supervised graduate students abroad in South America and Africa, providing speech and feeding therapy to children in need.

She can’t wait to launch the Starling Academy to share her experiences and build community.

Erika first discovered the Starling while teaching a parenting class at Day One Baby in California. Nicki Boyd, VersaMe co-founder, had visited the center, and the director introduced them. They met for coffee, and hit it off immediately.

Erika says, “As a speech-language pathologist, I am usually skeptical of any baby development products. But when I looked at the Starling website for the first time, I was blown away. These people know their stuff, did their research, and I knew then that I wanted to be a part of whatever they were doing.”

About the Starling Academy

Teaching the first Starling Academy cohort is the perfect opportunity for Erika to channel her love for the Starling while using her expertise in parent coaching and language development. “I’m going to be focusing on language development primarily,” she explains, “but research has shown that language development impacts everything. It’s linked to social-emotional development, self regulation, motor skills, sight… you name it.” Each week, Erika will be introducing new activities that promote these critical skills, and she’ll be doing them in her own home as well.

Her second child is a Starling user, so she will be sharing her own experiences throughout the class as well. “I want to share my data with the parents – show them what my word count looks like at different times of the day and during activities. I’m excited to share my own challenges and successes, and hopefully provide insight.”

In her family’s experience, the Starling has been a total game-changer. It has made Erika and her husband more aware of all the times throughout the day they are not talking to their little ones as much as they think they are: during dinner, in the car or while they do chores or errands. She notes, “The Starling has really held us accountable. And it’s made a permanent change in my behavior. It has made me so much better about filling those quiet moments with engagement, that on one day we forgot to put the Starling on, I still noticed I was talking more than ever before.”

Erika is most excited about creating a community of like-minded parents in the Starling Academy, who are motivated by research-backed ways of raising smart, well-rounded and compassionate little ones.

She says, “This parenting game is HARD. It constantly humbles me day after day after day. I want to bring my bit of language expertise to the table… I’m excited to share this, and learn from other parents.”

Learn more about the Starling Academy by clicking here!

About the Author

Marissa Mirbach

Marissa is part of the Starling Research Team, a Claremont McKenna College graduate and a proud California native. Her job is to provide VersaMe followers with useful, and sometimes surprising, information about early childhood education. You can follow her work on all our social media profiles, and here on the blog! In her free time she loves to cook and ride her bike.

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