Empowering Communities Through Collective Impact Grant Initiative

Bringing The Basics to Communities in Georgia

The Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy and Get Georgia Reading Campaign are pleased to announce the grant awardees for the 2021 Empowering Communities through Collective Impact Grant Initiative: Bringing The Basics to Communities in Georgia.

The purpose of this initiative is to improve the early language and literacy skills of Georgia’s children by creating community coalitions to increase early language and literacy access, professional learning, awareness, and education. The Deal Center is investing in communities that use the collective impact framework to address at least three of the four pillars of the Get Georgia Reading Campaign—Language Nutrition, Access, Positive Learning Climate, and Teacher Preparation and Effectiveness—by implementing The Basics principles and strategies to support social, emotional, and cognitive development of children from birth to age 3.

The Basics was founded in 2016 by Dr. Ronald Ferguson, director of the Harvard Achievement Gap Institute (AGI). Originally called The Boston Basics, it has expanded from a citywide effort to an international coalition of more than three-dozen communities, now called The Basics Learning Network (BLN). Dr. Ferguson’s approach, grounded in the latest research in early childhood learning, brain development, behavioral science, and community change, represents a strategy for whole communities to support vibrant learning and brain development among infants and toddlers.

The Basics principles and strategies are simple, powerful, and highly accessible, equipped with a Community Toolkit that provides a rich constellation of implementation guides, videos, and written resources for organizations and staff members to inform and support parents and caregivers around their use. Additionally, collaboration between members of the BLN engages partners with an ongoing research agenda, promoting documentation, evaluation, and ongoing communication for continuous learning and improvement.

Through a partnership between The Deal Center and the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley under the 2019 Collective Impact Grant Initiative, Columbus became the first community in Georgia to adopt The Basics in May 2019. Under the vision of Columbus 2025, the regional strategic plan, these efforts were expanded in 2020 with operating support provided by the Community Endowment Funds of the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley and backbone support by the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley.

The partnership with and funding from The Deal Center has propelled growth and cross-sector collaboration and implementation of The Basics Chattahoochee Valley. The Basics Chattahoochee Valley will again be partnering with The Deal Center during the 2021 Collective Impact Grant to provide technical support and thought partnership as we expand The Basics across Georgia.

The recipients of the 2021 Empowering Communities through Collective Impact Grant Initiative: Bringing The Basics to Communities in Georgia will receive up to $25,000 to support implementation of The Basics principles and strategies and engage with the BLN.

The 10 awardees are as follows:

• Advocates for Children, Bartow County
• Cobb Collaborative
• Cook County Family Connection
• Early County Family Connection
• Glynn County Family Connection
• Lumpkin Literacy
• Quitman County Family Connection
• Troup County Family Connection
• The University of West Georgia COE Early Learning Center
• United Way of Central Georgia