Children and Boomers Plant the Seeds for a Better Future as Coloradans 50 and older commit to advocate on behalf of children
Colorado’s children gained a new ally today when Generations United launched Colorado Seniors4Kids in partnership with the Colorado Children’s Campaign at a colorful event on the West Steps of the State Capitol Building.
Colorado Seniors4Kids is a grassroots initiative that will raise the voices of Coloradans age 50 and older in support of policies and programs that help children thrive. A statewide network of grassroots volunteers, called Captains4Kids, will work to increase investments in quality early care, education, and health care. The initiative will expand awareness about the need to protect vulnerable children in a fragile economy and educate Coloradans about the powerful role older adults can play in advocating for youth. A national initiative, Generations United’s Seniors4Kids also has statewide networks in Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Christine O’ Connor, State Coordinator for Colorado Seniors4Kids, welcomed the crowd and introduced honored guests including: State Senators Jeanne Nicholson (D-District 16) and Suzanne Williams (D-28) and State Representatives Randy Baumgardner (R-District 57), Randy Fischer (D-District 53), John Kefalas (D-District 52), Cherylin Peniston (D-District 35), and Ken Summers (R-District 32).
Chris Watney, president and CEO of Colorado Children’s Campaign, spoke next. “We are delighted to welcome Colorado Seniors4Kids as a partner in our ongoing efforts to ensure stronger, healthier futures for our children,” Watney remarked. “By mobilizing older Coloradans to serve as advocates, Colorado Seniors4Kids will add a powerful voice and a new dimension to our work. This kick-off is the beginning of what we all know will be a very fruitful partnership.”
Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United, talked about how intergenerational advocacy can cultivate the seeds of change and thanked Coloradans already involved in intergenerational work around the state. “May is Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate the wonderful contributions of older adults. It is also a great time to celebrate their growing activism. Older adults care deeply about children and support investments in future generations. That’s why they have come here today—and why they will be such a potent ally for children.”
Doug Price served as the event’s keynote speaker. Price, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain PBS, noted the timing of the kick-off event. “Older adults want the best for their children and grandchildren. In committing to use their time and energy to speak out on our young people’s behalf, they can help secure the investments in children that we need to grow a brighter future for kids and a stronger economy for Coloradans of all ages.”
Following Price’s address, the preschoolers and grandparents from Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers’ Northeast Center joined with older adults to plant roots and shoots, symbolizing the need to grow more investments for children. The legislators in attendance then helped the children water the new plantings.
“As a grandparent, I was really shocked to learn today that Colorado ranks 36th out of the 40 ￼states that fund state preschool. I think it’s very important for us to ask our elected officials to
￼make the investments that set children on the path to school and lifetime success” observed Gloria Jackson of Denver.
Generations United’s Colorado Seniors4Kids (http://www.seniors4kids.org) raises the voices of adults age 50 and older in Colorado in support of policies that benefit children. Currently, they work with community leaders and grassroots volunteers to increase the availability of high- quality early care and education and expand awareness about the need to protect children in a vulnerable economy.
The Colorado Children’s Campaign (http://www.coloradokids.org) is the leading voice for Colorado's 1.2 million children. Through a combination of research and advocacy, we work to improve the lives of Colorado’ s kids in the areas of child health, early childhood learning and development, and K-12 education. Since our founding in 1985, the Children’ s Campaign has established a successful track record of identifying policy impediments to child success, building public and legislative support for the most effective solutions and effectively advocating for policies to improve the lives of Colorado children.
Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers has been providing quality early childhood education to Denver’ s most vulnerable children to prepare them for school for more than 40 years. Serving over 425 low income children ages 6 weeks to 5 years and their families residing in Denver’ s poorest neighborhoods daily, Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers ensures that children ready for school by supporting their cognitive, emotional, physical and social development.
￼olorado ranks 36th out of the 40
CONTACT: Colleen Appleby-Carroll, Generations United 202-777-0116 or visit http://www.seniors4kids.org for more information or to volunteer.