Children's Cabinet Seeks Nominations for Governor's Awards for Excellence in Early Foundations

Seeking Nominations for Projects Supporting Tennessee School Readiness Model
Monday, November 13, 2017 | 01:20pm

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam today announced the Tennessee Children’s Cabinet is accepting nominations for the 2018 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Early Foundations. These awards were created to recognize collaborative and innovative projects that are helping Tennessee students enter the classroom prepared to learn.

“In Tennessee, we believe an education is the pathway to a better future, and that begins with our youngest citizens,” Governor Haslam said. “These awards give us the opportunity to honor the many community agencies and partners across the state who help Tennessee children succeed and start school prepared to learn.”

The Tennessee School Readiness Model describes goals to help Tennessee students enter the classroom prepared to be successful.  It provides indicators of what communities, schools and families need to do to promote children’s early learning and development. “Readiness” is not seen solely as a condition within a child but is a condition that exists when communities, schools, and families create a nurturing environment for child development starting at birth.

“Early experiences truly shape how a child’s brain gets built,” Mrs. Haslam said. “These awards allow us to celebrate organizations that strengthen these early foundations to support a lifetime of positive outcomes.”

The Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Early Foundations include three organizational award categories – Community Excellence, School Excellence, and Excellence in Supporting Children and Families – and six innovator award categories, each sponsored by one of the Children’s Cabinet departments:

  • Excellence in Promoting Physical Activity & Healthy Food Choices (Department of Health)
  • Excellence in Building Resiliency (Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services)
  • Excellence in Promoting Early Literacy (Department of Education)
  • Excellence in Promoting Parents as Advocates (Department of Children’s Services)
  • Excellence in Promoting Wellness (Division of TennCare)
  • Excellence in Promoting High Quality Early Care and Education Programs (Department of Human Services)

Nomination materials and instructions can be found here. All nominations must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. CST on January 12, 2018.

The awards will be presented in partnership with the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth’s Children’s Advocacy Days in March 2018. 

The mission of the Children’s Cabinet is to coordinate, streamline and enhance the state’s efforts to provide needed resources and services to Tennessee’s children. 

The Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Early Foundations provide an opportunity for the Children’s Cabinet to raise awareness about the importance of the early childhood years and to lift up shining examples of community leadership and collaboration.

For information on children and family resources and services, visit