During the week of April 6-11, Florida’s annual Children’s Week will take over the state.
From the State Capitol to cities and towns, at advocacy workshops, press conferences and other events, organizers will highlight the need to improve the well-being of and educational opportunities for Florida’s youngest and most vulnerable. Children’s Week also will have a celebratory air, with awards events and the popular Hanging of the Hands dedication ceremony reminding attendees of the spirit of children.
The Sunshine State has much to be excited about when it comes to the way it has rallied to stand up for children’s issues, and Preschool Nation is proud to count some of its organizations as partners in a nationally-shared mission and vision of quality early education for all children.
Staff from LAUP, the nonprofit agency that created Preschool Nation and funds and coaches quality preschool in Los Angeles County, traveled to Miami last year to attend the National Summit on Hispanic Early Learning, entertained by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
During that visit, we interviewed several leaders on the early education scene in Florida, and have conducted Tweet chats and engaged in other social media relations with Florida agencies since then. As the state gears up for Children’s Week and awaits the outcomes of its legislative session, we checked in again with The Children’s Movement of Florida, a non-partisan grassroots movement that advocates increased investment in the earliest years of children’s lives.
The Children’s Movement is also a premier Children’s Week partner.
“We are a strong supporter of Children’s Week,” says Vance Aloupis, statewide director of the Children’s Movement of Florida. “This year, our role will be far more focused on engaging the business community in early learning.”
Aloupis says that people from across previously divisive lines are coming together to improve children’s issues.
“You have Republicans, Democrats, business leadership, educational leadership all of whom bring an important aspect to this conversation,” he says. “There is vast support on both sides. None of us should be okay with the American dream being somehow elusive to some. That’s a result of children not having the resources and strong early support that they need. We truly believe that of all the issues, this is an issue that should not and cannot be political.”