The Basics Movement

The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC) launched a grant initiative entitled The Basics Movement in June 2023. 

By using sociological saturation within TFEC’s service area, families and communities can learn these techniques from trusted providers. In turn, children can then experience the crucial development they need from birth to age 5 in order to be ready to succeed in school and in life. Achievement disparities between children from different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds will shrink as children from all backgrounds start school better prepared.


Implement The Basics principles within TFEC’s service area, with five selected partners set to receive $50,000 each over the next four years (2023-2026) in two phases. The funds are intended to bolster existing programs or seamlessly integrate The Basics strategy into their programs.  

Phase 1

Started in June 2023 with three organizations in Cumberland, Franklin, and Lebanon Counties. 

TFEC selected the United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County, First Start Partnerships for Children and Families (Franklin County), and Lebanon Family Health Services as the inaugural recipients of this funding. Each will receive $50,000 over the next three years to support their programs. 

Phase 2

Will kick off in 2024 and include two additional organizations serving Dauphin and Perry Counties.   

About The Basics

The Basics, initially developed by Dr. Ron Ferguson at Harvard in 2016, is a scientifically proven strategy focused on five key principles for early learning and brain development. The ultimate mission of The Basics is to foster social, emotional, and cognitive skill-building among children from birth to age 5, creating a solid foundation for school readiness across entire communities.  

The five Basic Principles are as follows:  

  1. Maximize Love, Manage Stress  
  2. Talk, Sing, and Point 
  3. Count, Group, and Compare 
  4. Explore Through Movement and Play 
  5. Read and Discuss Stories  
Zachary Moore Music Memorial Fund

"TFEC is family to us. It means a lot to have the fund at a place where people cared about Zachary when he was alive, and care about this memorial fund that we’ve established in his honor."

Pillars with Purpose

"TFEC has a can-do attitude. They're invested not just in getting the job done, but also emotionally invested—which makes for a great partner."

Owen's Fund

"I think it's really important that we have a structure and an entity like TFEC to help the community thrive."