On Tuesday April 2nd, over 500 people gathered in Jefferson City at the capitol building in support of Child Advocacy Day. Advocates come from across the state for the annual event in order to urge legislators to support policies and programs that support and uplift children.

The day started off at a kick-off rally where everyone gathered to show their support for Children’s issues. At the rally, Dr. John Jungmann, Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools was the keynote speaker.  Also at the rally, the 2019 Champions of Children were awarded for their work on legislative and administrative work that impacts children. Awardees’ legislative work varied from early learning, child care, and increasing access to health care. The four legislative champions were Rep. Kip Kendrick, Rep. Donna Pfautsch, Sen. Wayne Wallingford, and Sen. Jill Schupp. The administrative champion for 2019 was Cindy Burks, with the Dept. of Social Services. Champions.

After the rally, attendees were encouraged to explore the exhibits of multiple organizations that support children and families. During this time, legislators from across the state were invited to meet with attendees and hear what children’s issue brought them to the capitol.

Lastly, Sen. Justin Brown and Rep. Brenda Shields presented courtesy resolutions recognizing April 2, 2019 as Child Advocacy Day.

Child Advocacy Day Workshops

After lunch, attendees were also given the chance to visit different workshops in order to better educate themselves about different issues and what we can do as advocates to solve these issues. Photos of the workshops are below.

Emily Van Schenkhof of Children’s Trust Fund moderated a panel discussion on home visiting programs. Panelists include Jim Anderst from Promise 1000, Sister Anne from Whole Kids Outreach, Lauren Stone from Nurse-Family Partnership, Alison Gee from Parents as Teachers National Office and an individual who has been directly impacted by home visiting services.
Ruth Ehresman from Vision for Children at Risk and Garrett Webb from COE Strategies presented and took questions on how Child Advocacy Day participants can continue their advocacy when they return home.
Sergeant Shawn Griggs from the Missouri State Highway Patrol presented on the opioid epidemic affecting families across the nation and in Missouri.
Lindsey Baker from Missouri Budget Project gave an overview of Missouri’s budget and how it impacts children’s issues and took questions from the audience.
JoAnne Ralston from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provided an update and took questions on the implementation of the Quality Assurance Report pilot program and the new Preschool Development Grant recently awarded to the state. Cindy Burks from the Department of Social Services provided an update and took questions on new CCDBG initiatives and plans for the new federal CCDBG funding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *