Contact: Mary Graham at 615-495-9970 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NASHVILLE – TENN. – February 25, 2019
Event information: 8:45 -10:15 a.m March 5,
Cordell Hull Building, 425 5th Ave. N., Senate Hearing Room 2, 1st Floor
United Ways of Tennessee (UWTN), the Tennessee Afterschool Network (TAN), and Save the Children will be on the hill March 5 to promote programs that address the impact of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), afterschool programs, and the impact that both can have in preventing, reducing, and helping families heal from opioid addiction, as well as enhancing health and academic success. The event includes an advocacy training session in the Cordell Hull Building, during which Representative Harold Love will share advice about how to communicate effectively with legislators. The event will also include an award ceremony, followed by legislative visits.
“We have so many new legislators this session,” said Mary Graham, president of UWTN and lead staff for TAN. “We want to share with them the resounding support and incredible impact out-of-school-time programming has in our state. These programs help young people succeed in school and gain workforce skills, while giving working parents peace of mind that their kids are safe and productive afterschool and in the summer.”
“A 2016 study on adverse childhood experiences in Tennessee found 61% of participants had at least one ACE and 27% had three or more – more than one in four Tennesseans,” said Linda O’Neal, United Ways of Tennessee’s public policy chair. “Research shows us that ACEs greatly impact disease, disability and social functioning, as well as increasing substance use and negative health outcomes across the lifespan, at great financial impact to our communities and families.”
Beginning in 2019, Governor Haslam recommended appropriation of $2.45 million in recurring funding to address ACEs. These funds support ACEs Innovation Grants across our state in a wide range of sectors, including academia, medical, education, mental health, justice/courts, public awareness, and community and early childhood programs, such as childcare and afterschool programs. “This is a good start for Tennessee,” said O’Neal, “and we hope to see legislators continue to support this important work in the coming years. It is even helping our children heal from the opioid crisis in Tennessee.”
“Afterschool programming is also a powerful tool in addressing our state’s opioid crisis,” noted Patrick Iannone, TN state director of programs for Save the Children. “In addition to providing drug-use prevention education, afterschool programming builds social-emotional skills, including character development, self-awareness, and responsible decision-making. Students participating in afterschool programs are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol.”
“We are pleased to present Legislative Champions awards to Senator Bo Watson and to my own Representative David Hawk,” said Wendy Peay, UWTN Board Chair. “They sponsored the amendment that ensured we can provide breakfast before and during school in our state. Helping Tennessee’s students start their school day with a healthy breakfast will improve attendance and increase their focus on school work. We are grateful for our legislative champions!”
Those who are unable to attend in Nashville can participate in the Digital Day on the Hill by following @TNAfterschool and @UnitedWaysTN on Facebook and Twitter on March 5. Share and like the posts on these accounts while using the hashtags #UWTNHillDay and #TANHillDay. Remember to tag your state elected officials too. For more information, go to the website at www.tnafterschool.org.