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Week of September 7th Round-Up

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Billie Osborne-Fears

This week we join our early childhood advocacy colleagues across the state in celebrating the life and legacy of Billie Osborne-Fears. Billie was a fearless advocate for children and families, a strong community leader, and an exemplary agent for change in Ohio’s early childhood systems. As we mourn Billie’s loss this week, we are also committed to continuing her work to ensure high-quality, equitable early learning opportunities for Ohio’s youngest children.


Kelsey Hopkins Joins Groundwork Ohio Team

This week, Kelsey Hopkins joined the Groundwork Ohio team as its newest policy associate. Prior to joining Groundwork, Kelsey served as an after-school program coordinator for various organizations, as well as a program assistant for the I Am My Brother’s Keeper program operated by Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Most recently, Kelsey served as the Legislative Aide to Ohio State Representative Erica C. Crawley, supporting legislative efforts and constituents. 

As early childhood education and development is rapidly growing across the state, the addition of Kelsey as a policy associate comes at a crucial time. Please join us in welcoming Kelsey to the Groundwork team! 


Help Encourage Your Network to Get Out the Vote for Young Children

The policymakers we elect in November will be making critical decisions over the next several years about how we invest in and support pregnant moms, young children, and their families. Every vote matters. We are 53 days out from the November 3rd election and we need your help in getting out the word that voting matters, especially for infants and toddlers, as the policymakers we vote for will have the responsibility to create policies that will impact the daily lives of our most vulnerable. 

In this toolkit, you will find information on why voting for children matters, how to vote, and key election dates, as well as sample social media and blog posts, graphics, and more to help amplify this message to your families, colleagues, and stakeholders. 

Recovery from the pandemic will not be easy, but if we work together, we can build a brighter, more sustainable, and more equitable future for Ohio's children and families.


REGISTER TODAY: Ready, Set, Soar Ohio Relaunch

Together, we can make Ohio the best place to be a young child!  Only weeks before the pandemic hit, Ready, Set, Soar Ohio launched its initial campaign with nearly 100 coalition members from across the state. During the pandemic we worked closely with coalition members to realign the campaign’s priorities in light of the challenges families with infants and toddlers continue to face throughout the pandemic. Join us on September 23rd at 10:00 AM for this virtual relaunch to learn more about how we can all work together to ensure that more pregnant women, infants, toddlers and their families have access to the support they need to soar to their full potential.  You’ll be joined by partners in the work including:

  • Director LeeAnne Cornyn, Governor's Office of Children's Initiatives

  • Rozlyn Grant, The Centers

  • Commissioner Carolyn Rice, Montgomery County

The discussion will be facilitated by Lynanne Gutierrez, Policy Director and Legal Counsel of Groundwork Ohio. We hope you will join us in this important conversation to learn more about Ready, Set, Soar Ohio's prenatal to age three agenda and how you can engage in this statewide effort.


Children of working poor hit harder by pandemic. We must invest in them and their families

This week, Groundwork Ohio Executive Director Shannon Jones published an op-ed in the Capital Journal. In this op-ed, Jones discusses the current struggles and barriers families are facing and how this reinforces the importance behind investing early in our most vulnerable children and their families. Below is an excerpt from the op-ed

While doctors and researchers haven’t unraveled all of the mysteries of the new coronavirus, there are some things we do know with certainty. 

The economic and social fallout from the pandemic have hit those who are experiencing poverty the hardest. In part because so many working poor individuals don’t have the privilege of working from home and because their jobs often put them at high risk of exposure, they’ve experienced higher infection rates. They’re more likely to lack access to health care. They’re also more likely to have lost their jobs.

These haunting and tragic realities also are true for children experiencing poverty. When parents are out of work, evicted from their homes or can’t afford to put food on the table, their children also suffer — in the short and the long term. They don’t just go to bed hungry, scared and anxious on particular nights. Those experiences can be prolonged, stunting their physical growth and the very development of their little brains... 


Moms2B Dayton - Enrolling Soon!

Moms2B announced that they will begin enrolling Dayton moms into their Moms2B virtual program on September 28th. Pregnant women in the greater Dayton area are eligible for Moms2B. Moms2B offers fun weekly education sessions and individual support from our interdisciplinary team as well as connection to other pregnant women. To learn more about Moms2B, you can join their a virtual open house on Tuesday, September 22nd from 2-2:30 PM by clicking here.

Moms2B needs your help in referring pregnant moms! Referrals can be made directly to Moms2B using this form or moms can call Moms2B directly to enroll. You can also access a PDF flyer by clicking here or if you would like physical flyers please contact


Want to increase your impact? Share this message with family, friends, and colleagues now!


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