Movement Talks - May 5, 2017

The Children's Movement Board of Advisors for Central Florida held its inaugural meeting during a Movement Talks dinner last Friday in Orlando. The board, made up of community leaders from several nearby counties, agreed to reach out to local legislators and business executives to address early childhood issues.

Thanks to our hosts, GrayRobinson, P.A., and the generosity of AT&T, we were able to hold this first-of-its kind gathering of the area's most committed advocates for children.

Board chair Glen Gilzean Jr., president and CEO of the Central Florida Urban League, asked members about what is needed to achieve The Movement 2020 Goals, which focus on school readiness, parent skill-building and improved children's healthcare.

Member Joe Durso, vice president at Community Based Care of Central Florida, mentioned one hurdle to overcome: "We don't have a lobby. When times get tough, we are low on the totem pole."

Board chair emeritus Karen Willis, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County, talked about the state of early childhood in her county. She said that about 80,000 children age 5 and under live there, and nearly 70 percent of them qualify for the free-and-reduced-lunch program based on family income. She also said children birth to 3 are victims of the most incidents of abuse.

"As the Orlando Economic Partnership has started to share, this is about the cradle to career," said board member Nancy Robbinson, an Orange County School Board member.

Next steps for the board include identifying local and legislative champions for children as they gear up for its second meeting in July.

Anything you think we should discuss? Let us know!

Ashley Ferreira
Outreach and Engagement Coordinator
(c) 407-486-5628