The Steve Nash Foundation is teaming up with the Thirty Million Words Initiative at University of Chicago Medicine on a new NBA Player Development initiative, the Starting Five. Aimed at developing understanding of the science of child development, the program empowers NBA players to harness the power of their words and actions to build childrenâ€™s brains, providing hands-on guidance and learning opportunities to leverage that training and influence how dads worldwide foster brain development in their kids.
Dads play an important role in their children’s development, right from the start: studies have found that, even at two months old, babies whose dads played bigger roles in changing, bathing, feeding, and other day-to-day activities related to their children’s care, were more socially responsive than babies whose dads didn’t participate as much.Â And at six months old, higher levels of involvement with dads correlated to higher developmental scores.Â By two years old, these babies also showed more resiliency when confronted by stressors.Â Premature babies have also been shown to benefit greatly from their dads’ involvement, with positive effects on weight gain and other risk factors.
And the best part?Â It’s easy.Â Dr. Dana Suskind, Founder and Director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative, calls her method for stimulating neurodevelopment by enhancing a child’s home language environment “the 3Ts:“ your tools for building your child’s brain.
Weâ€™re excited at the enormous potential to change the way children experience their first years of life and learning through the enhanced level of dads fostered by this new, innovative platform.Â And, while weâ€™re starting with basketball dads and fans, the Starting Five curriculum will be applied to other sports realms.Â Follow along with us as we grow, and look for opportunities to connect with the Starting Five in your community: taking time to put the 3Ts in action in your own life will make a world of difference!
Learn more about the 3Ts by reading Dr. Dana Suskind’s award-winning book, Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain.