Arizona families make their voices heard at Strolling Thunder

Annual advocacy day encourages policymakers to Think Babies™

Southwest Human Development joined the Arizona Early Childhood Alliance (AZECA) for the annual Early Childhood Day on Thursday, Feb. 24. The day of advocacy brings together families and early childhood champions to raise awareness of the importance of a child’s earliest years.

The event featured Strolling Thunder™, an advocacy event of ZERO TO THREE’s national Think Babies™ campaign to bring attention to the many issues that affect what babies and families need to thrive. Key priorities include quality and affordable child care, time for parents to bond with their babies, nurturing healthy emotional development and promoting strong physical health and nutrition.

Throughout the morning, Arizona families and early childhood advocates met virtually with Arizona policymakers to bring attention to these vital programs and services.

“Strolling Thunder is so incredibly important because it connects our policymakers with families who are facing real problems,” says Destiney Armstead, who helped Southwest Human Development bring Strolling Thunder to Arizona in 2019. “The families that joined us are so diverse and face diverse challenges. Foster-to-adopt families, single moms, a grandmother who serves as her grandchild’s primary caregiver—all of these Arizona families had the chance to make their voices heard by people who can effect change across our state and country.”

In addition to calling attention to what babies and families need, Strolling Thunder is a chance for policymakers to see the positive impact that existing programs and services have. Families expressed appreciation for and asked their representatives to continue supporting programs like Early Head Start and the Child Tax Credit.

Take action and tell Congress why it’s time to #ThinkBabies!