Harvard professor talks about Early Childhood Success

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – A Harvard professor taught some Chattanoogans Friday about how to prepare children for school.

Ronald Ferguson’s research shows 80% of brain development happens in the first three years of a child’s life.

He developed a five point plan to use that time to help prepare children for school.

It centers on five evidence-based parenting and care-giving principles to help parents engage with their young children and reduce the skill gaps that become apparent between children from different socioeconomic backgrounds by age 3.

These are the five core principles:

1. Maximize love, manage stress;

2. Talk, sing and point;

3. Count, group, and compare;

4. Explore through movement and play; and

5. Read and discuss stories.

In June of 2016, a group of Chattanoogans attended the Young American Leaders Program at Harvard University, which featured a presentation about the Basics program.

The group took on the challenge of bringing the program to Chattanooga.

They chose to combine forces with existing nonprofits like the Benwood Foundation, the United Way, the Community Foundation, and Chattanooga 2.0, as well as new business and faith community partners to create Chattanooga Basics.

Members say Chattanooga Basics has the potential to complement other successful early childhood education programs in Chattanooga and dramatically increase the number of kids who enter Kindergarten ready to learn.

Categories: Business, Chattanooga, Consumer News, Education, Hamilton County, Local News

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