Chattanooga Basics helps parents be their children’s best teachers

By Alina Hunter-Grah,, September 15, 2017

Chattanooga 2.0’s Early Childhood Coalition is aiming to help parents be their children’s best teachers through a new campaign called Chattanooga Basics.

“The Chattanooga Basics aren’t just important for parents, but for anyone who has daily interactions with young children,” Chattanooga 2.0 Executive Director Jared Bigham said in an email. “Aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and child care providers can all have a positive impact in a baby’s life.”

Chattanooga Basics uses five core principles developed by the Harvard Young American Leaders Program.

These principles give parents guidelines for raising their children, as well as ways they can abide by these guidelines. They are:

  • Maximizing love and managing stress
  • Talking, singing and pointing
  • Counting, grouping and comparing
  • Exploring through movement and play
  • Reading and discussing stories

Maximizing love and managing stress can be done by hugging children and expressing pride in children’s abilities.

Talking, singing, and pointing can help children learn names of objects.

To use counting, grouping and comparing, Chattanooga Basics suggested using math-related words like “more than,” “less than,” “round” and “square” to help young children learn.

Exploring through movement and play can be done by allowing children to run and climb.

Reading and discussing stories can be achieved by reading with children for 20 minutes every day.

The purpose of these principles is to help increase the number of children in Chattanooga who are ready to learn.

“One of the Chattanooga 2.0 early childhood metrics to be achieved by 2025 is for 100 percent of new parents to have access to tools and information to help them be their children’s first and best teachers,” Bigham said in an email. “The Chattanooga Basics are just one tool to help our community achieve that goal.”

For more information about Chattanooga Basics, click here.

Alina Hunter-Grah is a contributing writer. She currently attends UTC, where she was previously the news editor of the student newspaper, The University Echo. Alina also worked at CNN during the summer of 2017 and is the former Chattanooga correspondent for 2nd & Church, a literary magazine based out of Nashville. 


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