New Grant to Give Babies Foundation of Learning

Staff Report by The Dahlonega Nugget

Lumpkin Literacy was recently awarded a $25,000 collective impact grant to be used for Bringing The Basics to Georgia as part of the collaboration of Get Georgia Reading and the Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy.

About 80 percent of brain growth happens by age 3, and that’s what The Basics for babies is all about.

Lumpkin Literacy Co-Chair Karen Shepherd said research shows that children who start kindergarten behind their peers usually stay behind in school and may give up and not graduate, and that 65 percent of Lumpkin County’s kids are not ready for kindergarten.

“We hope this program sets them up for success in kindergarten,” Shepherd added.

Because early brain development as young as two years old can determine future success in school, The Basics is a valuable program.

The Basics principles are five simple, powerful, and fun ways to increase brain growth and learning for babies ages 0-3 and keep them on track.

Lumpkin Literacy will be offering information, classes and books for parents and caregivers on how to use the five Basics principles every day for brain development.

This collective impact grant is designed for multiple local agencies to cooperate by using their own existing networks for a common message to tell parents about the importance of early learning.

The initial grant partners are the Community Helping Place, Lumpkin County Family Connection, and the Lumpkin County Library. All of these locations will have information on the program.

The Basics Insights offers free tips customized to each baby’s birth date and are texted to parents twice a week. Users can sign up for the Basics Insights with the QR code on the posters and postcards or go to You can also go directly to the library and sign up for free text tips there.

Anyone who signs up for the Basics Insights can get a free board book for their baby. Just show the Basics Insights text on your phone at the library and get a free Welcome to the Basics info bag.

In addition, parents can sign up for free books mailed to their baby every month from Lumpkin Literacy’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

“We have been doing the Imagination Library for 17 years,” said Lumpkin Literacy Co-Chair Geoffrey Kridel. “Now we are seeing the results. With this new program they will be hyper-ready.”

The Basics isn’t just a program for parents. Anyone who works with children or their parents can help too. Other local businesses and agencies need to sign up as new partners to help distribute information. It can be as simple as hanging a poster or handing out postcards at your location.

Visit to sign up to volunteer or make a donation. Anyone can be part of this collective impact by joining friends and neighbors in Bringing the Basics to Lumpkin County to help give babies the basics today and build their future for tomorrow.