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Event Calls On Lawmakers to “Step Up For Kids”

September 15, 2008

Nashville, TN - Advocates in Tennessee say it's time for lawmakers to "Step Up For Kids." Events taking place statewide Tuesday are part of a national non-partisan campaign to focus attention on child welfare, health and education.

April Swoner, with the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, says the goal is to get these issues onto legislative agendas and to urge candidates to make them part of their platforms.

"We want the public to be aware of the issues and where candidates stand, so that they may vote for the legislators who say they're going to make children a priority."

Also high on the list of issues is child health and safety. Swoner says more than three million children nationwide were reported abused or neglected during the past three years.

"One of our questions to candidates would be, 'What are your plans to keep all children safe in their homes, their schools, and their communities?'"

Swoner says pending Federal legislation to expand preschool options and school readiness is one example. It's called the "Education Begins At Home Act," and it's co-sponsored by Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper.

Additional information on the statewide effort is available on the Web at
www.everychildmatters.org.

Barbara Dab/Steve Powers, Public News Service - TN