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CHATTANOOGA BASICS


Five fun, simple, and powerful ways that every family can give every child a great start in life.

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CHATTANOOGA BASICS


Five fun, simple, and powerful ways that every family can give every child a great start in life.

 

80% OF BRAIN DEVELOPMENT HAPPENS IN THE FIRST THREE YEARS OF LIFE.

 

 

Research shows that in the first three years of life, skill gaps emerge between socio-economic, racial, and ethnic groups. Simple interactions can help. In fact, everyday interactions between children, their parents, and other caregivers provide abundant opportunities to give children from every background a more equal start in life.

The Chattanooga Basics are five evidence-based parenting and caregiving principles that can benefit children from all backgrounds. A broad range of Chattanooga organizations and community members will soon be helping to ensure that every parent and caregiver is fully supported in using the Chattanooga Basics practices in everyday life.

Chattanooga Basics was launched by volunteers within the Chattanooga community, in association with the Boston Basics organization, a public-private partnership that grew out of work by the Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI) at Harvard University. AGI is a university-wide effort based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Kennedy School, supporting governmental, civic, and private sector mechanisms, like the Chattanooga Basics, to close skill gaps between racial, ethnic, and income groups, and to raise achievement levels for all children.

 

 

THE BASICS

 
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1. Maximize Love, Manage Stress


1. Maximize Love, Manage Stress


WHY?

Infants thrive when their world seems loving, safe, and predictable. When you express love and respond to their needs, you teach them that they can count on you. Over time, showing love and responding helps them learn to manage their feelings and behavior. As they grow, feeling secure in their relationships gives them the confidence they need to explore, learn, and take on life’s challenges.

Young children are affected by your emotions, both good and bad. So, it is important to find strategies that help you cope with stress. Caring for yourself benefits your child.

Watch the video to see the everyday ways that families can maximize love and manage stress.

 
 
 
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2. Talk, Sing & Point


2. Talk, Sing & Point


WHY?

Babies are learning language from the moment they are born. At first, to a newborn baby, speech is just sound. Then, day by day, they learn that the sounds have meaning. This process depends on how much people talk to them. Every time you talk, sing, or point to what you are talking about, your provide clues to the meaning of what you are saying. You are providing important information to their brains about how language works.

As your child develops, talking with them and answering their questions is a way to teach them about the world. By talking with them, you will also get to know the fascinating person they are becoming!

Watch the video to see the everyday ways that families talk, sing and point.

 
 
 
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3. Count, Group & Compare


3. Count, Group & Compare


WHY?

 Becoming good at math begins long before a child enters school. Even infants are wired to learn simple math ideas, including small numbers, patterns, and making comparisons. You don’t need to be a math teacher to start preparing your child to be a problem solver. There are fun and simple activities that you can do now to build math and thinking skills. 

Watch the video to see the everyday ways that families count, group and compare.

 
 
 
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4. Explore through Movement & Play


4. Explore through Movement & Play


WHY?

Movement and play are good for children’s bodies—their coordination, strength, and overall health. They are also ways that children explore and learn about the world. Newborns don’t have much control over their bodies. Each stage of development comes with new opportunities for learning. For example, an infant might explore by touching, grasping, chewing, or crawling. A toddler might explore by walking or climbing.

Young children are like scientists—curious and excited to explore their surroundings. See where your child’s curiosity takes them. The more you pay attention, the more you will learn about the person they are becoming.

Watch the video to see the everyday ways that families explore through movement and play.

 
 
 
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5. Read and Discuss Stories


5. Read and Discuss Stories


WHY?

The more we read with young children, the more prepared they become to enjoy reading and to do well in school. It is never too early to begin reading! Stories expose children to words and ideas that they would not otherwise experience. Books teach children to use their imaginations. What they learn about people, places, and things can be important building blocks to later life success. For both parents and children, time together with books forms fond and lasting memories.

Watch the video to see the everyday ways that families read and discuss stories.