The Basics Chattahoochee Valley campaign is inspired by the fact that 80% of brain growth happens in the first three years of life. During this period, skill gaps between socio-economic, racial, and ethnic groups become clearly apparent. Simple interactions can help. In fact, everyday interactions between children, their parents, and other caregivers provide abundant opportunities to give every child a more equal start in life.
The Basics are five evidence-based parenting and caregiving principles that can benefit children from all backgrounds. Therefore, the Basics Chattahoochee Valley campaign is working through a broad range of institutions to ensure that every parent and caregiver is fully supported by family and friends to use the Basics practices in everyday life.
The Basics Chattahoochee Valley campaign was launched by volunteers within the Chattahoochee Valley region, 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 to close skill gaps between racial, ethnic, and income groups, and to raise achievement levels for all children.
The Boston Basics Campaign has six founding organizations that collaborate to help develop the Campaign’s goals and objectives, program design, delivery strategies, and operations. Trustees of the Black Philanthropy Fund (BPF)—a leadership and philanthropic organization of senior African Americans—have invested personal time and financial resources to organize, launch, and lead the Campaign. The Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI) at Harvard University developed the content and is deeply engaged in the implementation, documentation, and evaluation of the Campaign. The Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center is developing additional media material with a special focus on critical moments in parent-child interaction and linked specifically to the original AGI content. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and the City’s Education Chief oversee participation by City departments, making this a genuine public-private partnership. WGBH Public Broadcasting has led video production, with funding from the BPF and content from the AGI. The Boston Children’s Museum has provided vital role as a convener of leaders in the early childhood sector and host of Basics training sessions.