Children's Cabinet Announces Winners of Governor's Awards for Excellence in Early Foundations

Monday, February 22, 2016 | 02:52pm

Awards Presentation Scheduled for March 8 in Nashville

NASHVILLE – The Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, co-chaired by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam, today announced the winners of the first Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Early Foundations, a new recognition program highlighting the collaborative and innovative projects that are helping students enter the classroom prepared to learn.

The awards will be presented in March during the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth’s (TCCY) Children’s Advocacy Days in Nashville.

“As I travel across the state, I’m always impressed with the commitment and creativity of so many Tennesseans working tirelessly to help get our children prepared for success in school and in life,” Governor Haslam said. “These awards are a small but important way we can highlight and honor their good work.”  

More than 40 nominations were submitted for the awards, and winners were selected by teams of state employees and community partners based on criteria including family involvement, engagement of community leaders, and collaboration across partners and systems.

“To give our children the best chance for success, families, schools and communities must work together to create a nurturing environment for child development, beginning at birth,” First Lady Haslam said. “These winners are wonderful examples of that collaborative spirit, and they have shown a true passion for serving Tennessee’s children.”

The first recipients of the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Early Foundations include:

·        Community Excellence Award: Shelby County Early Success Coalition, Memphis

·        School Excellence Award: Knox County Schools, Parents as Teachers Program, Knoxville

·        Excellence in Supporting Children and Families Award: Children’s Reading Foundation of the Upper Cumberland, Cookeville

·        Excellence in Promoting Physical Activity Award: John Adams Elementary School, Morning Mile Program, Kingsport

·        Excellence in Building Resiliency Award: Bradley County Family Resource Agency, Cleveland

·        Excellence in Promoting Early Literacy Award: Vaiden Taylor, Knoxville (nominated by Telamon Corporation Tennessee Head Start Programs)

·        Excellence in Keeping Kids Safe, Healthy, and On Track Awards:  

            Organizational winner: BlueCare Tennessee, Healthcare Continuum, Chattanooga

            Individual winner: Jenny Williams, Trenton (nominated by Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee)

·        Excellence in Promoting Wellness Award: East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Obesity Coalition, Knoxville

·        Excellence in Promoting High Quality Early Care and Education Programs Award: Wilson County Schools, Early Childhood and Extended School Programs, Lebanon

These awards will be presented on Tuesday, March 8, at 1:00 p.m. at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville. 

Established in 2012, the mission of the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet is to coordinate, streamline and enhance the state’s efforts to provide needed resources and services to Tennessee’s children. Its members include the commissioners of Children’s Services, Education, Health, Human Services, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and the director of Health Care Finance and Administration/TennCare.