Page 1


The Basics initiative was initially created in Boston. The Boston Basics campaign is a joint initiative of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University, the Black Philanthropy Fund, the Boston Mayor’s Education Cabinet, the Pediatrics Department at Boston Medical Center, and WGBH Public Broadcasting. The Palmetto Basics Campaign is a member organization of the Basics National Network. Locally, the Palmetto Basics were designed with input from:

Greenville County First Steps - Pickens County First Steps - Spartanburg County First Steps Greenville County Childcare Association Greenville County Library System Greenville County School District Greenville Literacy Association Greenville Technical College CDC Help Me Grow Institute for Child Success

Pickens County School District SHARE Head Start South Carolina First Steps United Way of Greenville County United Way of Pickens County USC Upstate YMCA Judson Community Center


During these early years of brain growth, infants and toddlers absorb massive amounts of information from interacting with other people. This early learning becomes the foundation for all future learning. The Basics are five fun, simple, and powerful ways to help all our children become the happiest and most successful they can be! Let’s seize the opportunity!


Located in Easley, The Parenting Place provides services and support that prevent all forms of child abuse and neglect in upstate South Carolina. Parenting is hard enough without the added crises and chronic instability that plague many upstate families. Too much stress can result in child abuse and neglect when parents are not equipped with the resources they need. The Parenting Place offers parenting classes, financial stability plans, counseling, and more so that parents can learn how to maximize love and manage stress. Family Support Specialists provide parental education and positive parenting information using “Growing Great Kids” and “Growing Great Families,” both research-based curricula. A home visitation program provides comprehensive support services, including prenatal care and education for new mothers and fathers, and child development screenings. “Family Check Up” is available for caregivers of children who are experiencing behavioral challenges. Each visit of the program is individually tailored to meet the strengths, challenges and goals of the family. Lessons are based on the research proven curriculum “Everyday Parenting.” The program helps all adults in the child’s life provide the same strategies and support. In order to promote long-term family stability, The Parenting Place provides financial stability plans including family budgeting, GED attainment, higher education and employment goals. Counseling services are available for victims of domestic violence and abuse. All services are confidential and include safety planning, education and emotional support. The goal is to give parents the tools they need to raise a safe, healthy, thriving child ready to learn and succeed in school. To learn more about how The Parenting Place can help you maximize love and minimize stress, visit their website at www.tppupstate.org or call (864) 898-5583.

ManUPstate is a collaborative, community awareness initiative to engage men in efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls. ManUPstate seeks to give men a mindset and vocabulary to take responsibility for ending violence against women and to model healthy attitudes about what it means to ‘be a man’. ManUPstate is led by Safe Harbor in collaboration with many nonprofit partners, including Greenville First Steps, Julie Valentine Center, Compass of Carolina, the Phoenix Center, Pendleton Place and others. Tony Porter, Co-Founder & Co-Director of a national organization called A Call To Men, shares: “As long as we’re not abusing our wives or children, we’ve been taught as men that it’s none of our business. But, we know that, if women could end the violence on their own, they would have. That’s why it is time to bring men to the table in the discussion of ending domestic violence and sexual assault.” Men can play a unique role in helping maximize love and manage stress. Fathers and male caregivers can help ensure a child’s home is filled with love, show affection, encourage routines, and model appropriate behavior. Healthy relationships ease the stress a family can be experiencing. To learn more about what men can do in their daily lives to promote healthy masculinity and end violence, visit www.manupstate.org.


Places! Places everybody! The show’s about to begin. Going to the theatre is about so much more than just watching a play. Taking in a play or a musical opens the eyes of children to new ideas, sounds, sights, and people. The theatre can expose children to creativity, new vocabulary, life lessons, and even a possible career choice! Since 1987, South Carolina Children’s Theatre has impacted the lives of children and families in our community through theatre, educational classes and workshops, and accessible outreach initiatives. Each year, they produce and perform five high quality, live theatre performances featuring children and adults at the Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre. They also produce 4 additional shows and other special events at our 2nd Stage at SCCT headquarters. Throughout the year, they offer professional year-round education in the dramatic arts for children ages 3 to 18, and provide educational outreach to at-risk, disadvantaged, hospitalized and special needs children. Families with young children should check out the South Carolina Children’s Theatre’s Tell Me A Story Theatre where wee ones (Pre-K) get a chance to hear a favorite story read and acted out! These audience participation shows allow children to sing songs and be a part of the story. To learn more about their services and shows, visit www.scchildrenstheatre.org.

Babies begin learning language from the moment they are born. At first, speech is just sound but over time, babies begin to learn that the sounds have meaning. Every time you talk, sing, or point to what you are talking about, you are providing important information to their brains about how language works. The Pickens County Library System isn’t just about books. They provide enrichment programming for young children every single weekday throughout Pickens County. Wiggles and Giggles and Mother Goose on the Loose are both for children birth through age three with a caregiver. During these programs, children and their caregivers experience read aloud time, rhyming songs, and movement, all of which work together in powerful ways to build healthy brains. Preschool Storytime is for children ages 2-5 with a caregiver. These story times engage preschoolers with quality read aloud experiences that include storytelling, movement, and crafts. Regular visits to the library can go such a long way in developing a language-rich world for young children. When children regularly experience activities that incorporate talking, singing, and pointing, their brains make important connections as they learn in a way that’s fun and engaging, all while bonding with parents and caregivers in a supportive environment. To learn more about their services and events, visit them at www.pickens.lib.sc.us or call (864) 850-7077.


Did you know there is no such thing as a “math person”? Many people believe they are “Just not a math person.” Research shows us that babies come into the world already wired to learn math concepts. The Children’s Museum of the Upstate is a wonderful place in our community to help foster a child’s love of math and science. Their mission is to spark a lifelong passion for curiosity and learning through play. Conveniently located in downtown Greenville on the cultural campus of Heritage Green, visitors experience 19 exhibit galleries with more than 100 individual exhibit components that offer a continuum of programming in the areas of arts, humanities, sciences, health, nutrition and the environment. The next time you visit the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, be sure to download the ionGreenville app to receive early learning activity push notifications while you are inside the museum. You’ll get great ideas of how to encourage your child to count, group, and compare. Need an example? While in Grandma Betty’s Farm, find and count all of her carrots. In the BiLo Market, compare the different types of fruits and group vegetables together by color. Or how about when you are downstairs at the Toddler Lily Pond, see if your child can identify the different objects floating in the water. To learn more about the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, visit www.tcmupstate.org.

Laying a ready foundation for math begins long before a child enters school. Even infants are wired to learn simple math ideas, including small numbers, patterns, and making comparisons. You don’t need to be a math teacher. There are fun and simple activities that all parents and caregivers can use early on to build math and thinking skills. Ready Rosie is an early education tool designed to help parents, caregivers, schools and communities across the nation. Using technology, it meets parents and caregivers right where they are by providing tools through a mobile device. Ready Rosie delivers brief videos that model everyday parent / child interactions in familiar environments with real parents. Kids can develop math skills while shopping with parents at the grocery store or skipping and counting the tiles in the laundromat. Ready Rosie shows you how. With videos designed for interactions with babies, preschoolers, and early elementary kids, Ready Rosie teaches parents how to turn everyday activities into teachable moments at each stage of child development. Pickens County First Steps has provided Ready Rosie for all Pickens County families and it’s absolutely free! All parents or caregivers need to do is sign up at www.readyrosie.com/register. All videos are delivered in English or Spanish to a mobile device and are less than two minutes each, perfect for today’s busy families. The cumulative effect of regular readiness activities over weeks, months, and years means that kids start school ready to learn. To learn more about Ready Rosie, visit their website at www.readyrosie.com.


Why are movement and play such important parts of school readiness? Because healthy brains and healthy bodies go hand in hand. Research shows that children need stimulation in the form of movement and sensory experiences for mature brains to develop. This is why early experiences matter so much. We live in a day when many young children spend more time in front of screens than playing outside. The early years are an important window as the architecture of the brain is being constructed at a rapid pace. As with most readiness skills, building healthy brains and bodies doesn’t require an education degree or special tools. A trip to the playground or an hour spent playing outside is all it takes. Born Learning Trails, sponsored by your local United Way and other community partners, support school readiness in a way that’s fun and active for children and caregivers. Colorful signs and sidewalk games help parents and caregivers create learning opportunities for young children through physical activity (like skipping while counting) and sensory experiences (like touching the bark on the tree and listening for birds.) Pickens County currently has Born Learning Trails at the following locations: Ashley Dearing Park in Clemson, Freedom Park in Liberty, Jaycee Park in Pickens, J.B. “Red” Owens Recreation Complex in Easley, and Ponderosa Park in Six Mile. Pickens County First Steps will open a new Born Learning Trail at Cannon Park in Central on April 24, 2017 during Week of the Young Child. Greenville County currently has Born Learning Trails at the following locations: Butler Springs Park in Greenville, Cleveland Park in Greenville, Herdklotz Park in Greenville, The Pavilion Recreation Complex in Taylors, the Ramsey Library in Greenville, and the Rocky Creek Spur of the Swamp Rabbit Trail in the Nicholtown Community. To learn more about Born Learning Trails, visit www. bornlearningupstatesc.org.

What do mice have to do with exploring through movement and play? Scurry down to Main Street in downtown Greenville to find out. Starting at the Hyatt Regency Greenville and ending near the Westin Poinsett Hotel, families with young children can enjoy searching for the hidden mice. Use the search as an opportunity to explore downtown through your child’s eyes. Ask them to point out shapes in local business’ signs. See how many red cars are parked along your path. Have a silly moment and encourage your child to skip to the next mouse, and be sure to join them. Don’t forget to count the mice (there are nine of them). Another way to experience the Mice on Man is, together with your child, to make up your own story about the mice. Give them funny names. Act out the story along the walk. Encourage them to touch and feel the mice to explore different textures. Created for a senior project, Jim Ryan proposed the idea of installing a family of unique mice sculptures in surprising places along Greenville’s Main Street. The original idea spun from the book Goodnight Moon which he and his mother read every night when he was small. Learn more about Mice on Main at www.MiceOnMain.com.


Have you ever had to read a book to your child over and over and over again? Did you know that there is an incredible benefit to re-reading the same book every night? Repetition allows a child to practice a word, concept or skill which strengthens the brain. Read Greenville is a community wide awareness program designed to help spread the word about the importance of reading and writing daily. Through a collaborative partnership with local organizations, Read Greenville educates the community about the importance of literacy, provides strategies and ideas for engaging children and adults in literacy, and gives the tools necessary to create a literacy filled world for our residents. This year, Read Greenville is excited to partner with Christ Church Episcopal to create a book warehouse as an avenue to increase access to books. The Christ Church Episcopal volunteers have spent countless hours stocking, sorting and distributing books into the community. Over the last year, the book warehouse partnership has distributed over 100,000 books to children in our community. In addition to increasing access to books, one of the most important aspects of Read Greenville is helping parents and caregivers understand how to support their child in reading. Read Greenville provides free resources for local organizations to educate their families on the HOW and WHY to read to their child. To learn more about the importance of reading daily and how you can get involved, visit www.ReadGreenville.com

Simple practices create lasting foundations. Did you know that children benefit from books and stories from the time they’re born? It’s never too early to begin reading and storytelling. Every time a grown-up reads to a child, they deposit words into a child’s “word bank.” Children who are read to and talked to from their earliest days begin school with millions of words in their word bank. Books and stories are powerful tools for building healthy brains, developing strong prereading skills, cultivating a child’s imagination, making word-bank deposits, and forging strong relational bonds between children and caregivers. The power of books and stories is one of the reasons Pickens County First Steps is passionate about installing Little Free Libraries in our communities. Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that “inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.” (littlefreelibrary. org) According to the U.S. Department of Education, up to 61% of low-income families do not have any books for their kids at home. By providing 24/7 access to books and encouraging a love of reading, Little Free Libraries can be an important resource in areas where books are scarce. With the help of community partners, Pickens County First Steps has installed Little Free Libraries at the following locations: Ashley Dearing Park, Clemson; Ashley Estates, Clemson; Creekwood Apartments, Clemson; Hunter’s Glen Apartments, Central; Freedom Park, Liberty; Hagood Park, Easley; Jaycee Park, Pickens; J.B. “Red” Owens Park, Easley; Ponderosa Park, Six Mile. (With more libraries to come!) To learn more about Little Free Libraries, visit: www.littlefreelibrary.org.


Palmetto Basics  
Palmetto Basics  

80% of brain development happens during the first three years of life. During these early years of brain growth, infants and toddlers absor...