The Basics are five fun, simple, and powerful ways that every family can use to help every child have a great start in life.

Why Use The Basics?

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 every child a more equal start in life.

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

Chesterfield County was instrumental in bringing The Basics to Richmond from Boston where it originated through a public private partnership that grew out of work by the Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI) at Harvard University. Chesterfield County has served as the pilot community for socio-ecological saturation. A steering committee was formed with representatives from Chesterfield County, Children’s Museum, Community Idea Stations, Family Lifeline, NDP Marketing, Reach Out and Read VA, VCU Health and Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond.

It is our intention to have a collective impact to reduce the ever-widening achievement gap in our area between racial, ethnic, and income groups, and to raise achievement levels for all children by bringing together expertise and leveraging resources to expand the program and create opportunities for engagement across our region.

Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.
-Nelson Mandela