States Push for Change with 2019 Strolling Thunder Events
ZERO TO THREE Think Babies™ state partners spread the message to legislators and communities with Strolling Thunder events all across the country. These events bring the Think Babies message to state capitols, allowing families to share their stories and encourage lawmakers to advance policies that ensure babies and families have what they need to thrive.
ZERO TO THREE’s Think Babies™ state partners, families, and babies, have begun a storm of Strolling Thunder™ events across the country. These events bring the Think Babies message to state capitols, allowing families to share their stories and encourage lawmakers to advance policies that ensure babies and families have what they need to thrive. Here are the highlights from recent events:
GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students held the first Strolling Thunder of the year on February 8th in Atlanta. Strolling Thunder GA featured a family breakfast and a presentation on advocacy. Families used what they learned to write letters to their elected officials. After decorating strollers and taking fun photos, the families headed to the capitol where they met with legislators and hand delivered their letters with special Strolling Thunder cookies. The day ended with interactive storytelling with a local theatre group and a special lunch with legislators.
On March 14th, Washington’s Children’s Alliance brought families from across the state to Olympia to meet with policymakers for Strolling Thunder WA. After a brief presentation about current policy goals and storytelling tips, families strolled over to the capitol steps for a high-energy rally featuring legislators and two parent advocates who shared their stories about the challenges and importance of finding quality, affordable child care. After the rally, several families visited their legislators and dropped off notes.
The North Carolina Early Education Coalition brought babies, parents, and early childhood advocates to Raleigh on April 9th for Strolling Thunder NC. The rally included remarks from state and national leaders, parents, and early education providers, as well as family-friendly activities and a special story time with legislators. Following the rally, families walked to the capitol to meet with their legislators and deliver a specially created board book, Can You Imagine?, which encourages readers to imagine a North Carolina where we all Think Babies.
Rhode Island Kids Count organized Strolling Thunder Rhode Island, bringing approximately 40 families with babies and toddlers to the State House on May 1st. Families strolled from the Convention Center to the State House with a Providence police escort. The children enjoyed playing and meeting state legislators in the Bell Room at the State House, which had been transformed into a pop-up early learning classroom. Several legislative leaders made remarks supporting child care, home visiting, Pre-K, and paid family leave at the event. Families finished the day with introductions on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Strolling Thunder New Jersey was held on Thursday, May 30th at the State House Annex in Trenton. Nearly 150 babies and their families along with many advocates joined Advocates for Children in New Jersey to tell Governor Murphy and the Legislature that they want to make babies a state priority. Speakers at the event included a retired general from Ready Nation, legislators, and state and national early childhood leaders, including Myra Jones-Taylor, ZERO TO THREE’s Chief Policy Officer .
GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students was also in North Georgia for Dalton, GA’s Strolling Thunder event on June 1st . Dalton advocates incorporated Strolling Thunder into their day-long Children’s Day, and the Mayor of Dalton led the stroll through the downtown area. Georgia State Senator Chuck Payne attended the event and greeted the crowd, sharing his support for young children and families.
Learn more about Think Babies campaigns in the states.
You might also be interested in