Houston Health Department

The Basics Houston provides tools to support brain development


February 1, 2021

HOUSTON -  The Houston Health Department is pleased to announce the launch of www.thebasicshouston.org. The Basics Houston teaches parents and caregivers how to help children, ages 0-3, reach their full potential. The Five Basics include: Maximize Love, Manage Stress; Talk, Sing, and Point; Count, Group, and Compare; Explore Through Movement and Play; and Read and Discuss Stories.

The Basics Houston is an affiliate of the Basics Learning Network, a nationally recognized, scientifically proven initiative, was founded by Dr. Ron Ferguson to address cognitive skill gaps between children of different races, ethnicities, and parental education levels.

“The Basics Houston is a critical part of not only increasing awareness, but also giving parents tools they can leverage to improve their children’s readiness,” said Stephen Williams, director of the Houston Health Department. “This program is another example of the Houston Health Department’s commitment to equipping Houston families with the resources and skills needed for success.”

“Early brain development has a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. With 80% of brain growth happening within the first three years of life, we must empower families and communities with The Basics Houston. Their success is important to the vitality of our city,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.

To develop the new site, Houston Health Department engaged Poetic Digital — a nationally recognized technology and creative firm specializing in engagement and user experience. Poetic employed a combination of market research, competitor analysis, and stakeholder interviews to effectively create a modern website tailored to the needs of parents, caregivers, and the community at large. The new and robust digital presence educates users and provides free resources to bolster brain development and skill-building for young children in the first three years of life. The intuitive layout features videos, activities, tip sheets, and an extensive resource library of presentations, research, and promotional materials. The site prioritizes accessibility by offering all resources in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Haitian-Creole with additional languages to be launched in 2021.

“It was an honor to work collaboratively with The Houston Health Department and The Basics Houston.  We took a strategic, data-driven approach, which resulted in a design that successfully furthers the impact and empowers users to improve the number of children in Houston who have a healthy start to life,” said Poetic’s President, Sean Haynes.

The Basics Houston has partnered with the experts throughout Houston to ensure the Five Basics connect directly with local parents and caregivers. The Children’s Museum Houston, a nationally recognized leader in early childhood education, produced local videos and developed a series of free in person “fun-shops” hosted in neighborhoods around Houston  (Note, due to the pandemic, fun shops are currently on hold.) Dr. Quianta Moore, a Fellow in Child Health Policy at Rice University, provides ongoing research to advance stakeholder interests.

Funding for The Basics Houston website is provided by the Episcopal Health Foundation through a grant to the Houston Health Foundation.

For more information on The Basics Houston visit www.thebasicshouston.org.


About The Basics Houston
The Basics Houston is a public health awareness initiative dedicated to empowering parents and caregivers of children birth to age three. Through the incorporation of five, fun, powerful principles known as The Basics into day-to-day routines, the Houston community can work collectively to help every family help every child reach their full potential. Led by Dr. Ron Ferguson, The Basics, Inc. grew out of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University in partnership with the Black Philanthropy Fund in Boston, Massachusetts. A sturdy foundation for school readiness is built around social, emotional, and cognitive skills among children birth to age three to bolster brain development across whole communities. TripSaavy’s 2018 Editor’s Choice Award “Best Family Attraction and Experience,” AAA 2018 Editor’s “Best Of Things To Do,” listed among Forbes, LA Times and USA Today’s “Best Children’s Museums in the U.S.,” TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence “Hall of Fame,” Kids Out and About “Top 20 Places to Take Kids in Houston,” The Culture Trip’s “Top Museum and Landmark to Visit in Houston” and one of “Houston’s Must See Museums” by Travel Channel, the Children’s Museum of Houston is a Playground for Your Mind™.  The Basics Houston is dedicated to transforming communities through innovative, scientifically proven principles centered around educating with an intent to ignite passion for building the brains of Houston children during their early stages of life. Founded in 2016 through the support of community partners such as The Episcopal Health Foundation, The Rupani Foundation, The Houston Health Foundation, The Children’s Museum Houston, and the Houston Health Department, The Basics Houston offers vibrant learning that raises awareness for building the capacity to support and encourage early childhood brain development around the city of Houston. For more information, please visit www.thebasicshouston.org.

About Poetic
Poetic is a leading technology and creative services company based in Houston, Texas. The company leverages deep expertise in application development, design, digital marketing, and project management to build strategies and technologies that allow their partners to be competitive today and define tomorrow. Poetic believes fearless innovation guided by integrity yields tangible results for its partners, employees, and communities. For more information, please visit poetic.io.