Numerous factors affect a child’s growth and development, ranging from genes and biology to family, school, neighborhood and sociopolitical contexts. All Babies and Children Thrive (ABC Thrive) leverages the innovative research, education, clinical care and outreach capabilities of Duke University and Duke Health to promote optimal development in children from prenatal to age five.
Through seed grants, year-long Bass Connections project teams and courses, ABC Thrive supports interdisciplinary teams of experts who identify, validate and disseminate best practices for use by parents, educators, health care providers and community stakeholders to ensure that every child has the best possible start in life, with a particular emphasis on three goal areas:
- Prenatal and early childhood health and wellness
- Community outreach
- Applied technology to achieve scale
ABC Thrive is affiliated with Bass Connections, and housed in the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies. ABC Thrive is directed by Katie Rosanbalm, Senior Research Scientist, Duke Center for Child and Family Policy.
In 2021-2022, ABC Thrive is supporting:
- An innovative undergraduate capstone course in which students are conducting research in support of early childhood community partner organizations
- Four research projects through the seed grant program
- Two Bass Connections project teams: North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan: Evidence-based Policy Solutions and Social Network Dynamics and Social Development among Preschoolers
This initiative was established by a generous gift from Duke alumna and trustee Laurene Meir Sperling and her husband, Scott M. Sperling, through the Sperling Family Charitable Foundation.