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Advocate, Reporters and Youth Honored by TCCY

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Linda O'Neal
March 6, 2002 Phone (615) 741-2633

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth honored people who are making life better for Tennessee's children at its 14th Annual Children's Advocacy Days.

Three annual awards, the Jim Pryor Child Advocacy Award, the Youth Excellence Award and the Making KIDS COUNT Media Award, were presented Wednesday, March 5. A mental health professional whose career has spanned 40 years of innovation, six reporters who have focused attention on the needs and problems of Tennessee's children, a young man who overcame significant life problems and a life-long public servant were honored.

George Spain, chief executive officer of Centerstone Mental Health Centers Inc., which serves Middle Tennessee, received the Jim Pryor Child Advocacy Award for his 40 years of caring for the mental health needs of the state's children.

Youth Excellence Award winner Reginald Dewayne Taylor, 27, of Memphis credits prayer along with the help of his teachers, counselors, officers and work supervisors at Wilder Youth Development Center with changing his future from one measured in time served to one measured in people served. In addition to serving as minister with Cummings Street Missionary Baptist Church, he now volunteers for Shelby Training Center and Melrose High School.

David Carroll of the WRCB Television, Channel 3 in Chattanooga, earned the Making KIDS COUNT Broadcast Media Award for keeping the families of his city up to date on education issues.

Richard Locker and Paula Wade, Nashville-based reporters for the Memphis Commercial Appeal, received the Making KIDS COUNT Media Large Market Print Award for their work in helping Tennesseans understand legislative issues critical to the well-being of its children.

Penny Bandy, Laura Long Martin and Anna Garber, reporters for the The (Sevierville) Mountain Press shared the Making KIDS COUNT Small Market Print Media Award for their consistent and comprehensive coverage of local and state issues related to children.

George Hattaway, who is leaving the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, was recognized for 36 years of state service.

Other highlights of the two-day event included a forum of gubernatorial candidates on Wednesday and presentations on children's issues. Participants, including child advocates from across the state, also visited with their legislators.

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is an independent agency created by the Tennessee General Assembly. Its primary mission is to advocate for improvements in the quality of life for Tennessee children and families.