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Celebrate Children's Week January 24-29

21st Annual Children's WeekChildren's Week is still the only true broad-based promotion of children's and family issues in Florida, offering hundreds of community events and activities statewide. The event brings thousands of parents, children, elected officials, professionals, community leaders and concerned citizens together to share valuable knowledge and information about children's issues across the state and culminating at the State Capitol. A true grassroots event since its inception, Children's Week is now supported by more than 100 different corporate, non-profit, philanthropic, and faith-based organizations.

Children's Forum's History with Children's Week

The precursor for Children's Week was "Children's Day," spearheaded by the Children's Forum that became a law in 1983. We invited the State Coordinating Council for Early Childhood Services to join in coordinating the statewide activities in 1996. Other organizations that held activities recognizing children's issues also agreed to collaborate and schedule activities during the same week to strengthen the focus and impact for children. Later, however, a Children's Week committee was formed to plan and coordinate activities. In 2002, "Children's Day" was changed in statute to "Parents and Children's Day," recognizing the contributions of families in supporting their healthy growth and development.

The Forum initiated the signature "Hanging of the Hands" tradition at the Capitol beginning in 1986, thanks to the efforts of the child care central agencies. "Hanging of the Hands" provides a visual and powerful statement that every set of hands represents a child who is impacted by the legislature's decisions. Currently, we support broader Children's Week efforts.

Events and Activities

The events and activities at this year's Children's Week include:

Children's Week Awards Dinner & Reception
Monday, January 25, 2016 • 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. FSU Civic Center

This event brings together more than 400 advocates, elected officials and organizations that dedicate their lives to children's issues. Enjoy live entertainment, a decadent dinner, and the presentation of the Chiles Advocacy Award. The dinner is a wonderful opportunity to network with advocates, policy makers, and business leaders. Early bird tickets are available for $50 each through November 20.  Tickets purchased after November 20 are $75. Please register online.

Children's Week Breakfast
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 • 8:30- 10:00 a.m State Capitol Courtyard

Join us as we kick off the "Children's Capitol for a Day" activities with a free "Grab and Go Breakfast" for a healthy and nutritious way to start your day. The breakfast will be served on a first come, first serve basis to the first 1,000 attendees.

"Teens Only" Town Hall Meeting
Tuesday, January 26 2016 • 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tallahassee City Hall

The Town Hall Meeting hosted by Florida YMCA Youth In Government will provide a forum and voice for students to work together with Florida's Children and Youth Cabinet to address important issues relating to children's services.

Children's Week Press Conference and Hanging of the Hands Dedication Ceremony
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 • 12:00- to 12:30 p.m. State Capitol Courtyard
Thousands of non-profit partners, policy makers, faith-based leaders, and advocates join together to dedicate the children's art displays to the Florida Legislature.
Submit hands to be hung at the Capitol Rotunda

Guided Tours of the Capitol
Monday - Tuesday, January 25-26, 2016 New and Old Capitol Buildings
Bring your family, class or organization to the Capitol during Children's Week and enjoy guided tours of the old and new Capitol buildings. Groups will tour the Capitol buildings and learn more about Florida government, civics, and state history.

Storybook Village
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 • 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. State Capitol Courtyard
A "village" of interactive reading booths for children to explore stories and characters from their favorite books!

Children's Week Luncheon
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 • 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. State Capitol Courtyard
Thousands of attendees will receive a healthy and nutritious lunch from Newk's Eatery! Lunches are provided on a first come, first served basis. Advanced lunch reservations are accepted for large classes or groups traveling to Tallahassee.

Today's Youth: Tomorrow's Leaders
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 • 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tallahassee City Hall
This dynamic session explores why many youth are disenchanted by the political process, and what needs to happen to spark their civic engagement. The Children’s Trust/Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) moderates this workshop geared to generate honest exchange and authentic conversation. If you are in middle or high school or an advocate for "Tomorrow’s Leaders," please join this open discussion on youth and politics.

This workshop is open to youth in middle school or high school students who want to learn how to turn their passion into action and make a difference in the community.

Please register now to reserve your spot the Today's Youth: Tomorrow's Leaders Workshop.

It is not too late to become a Children's Week partner or volunteer at Children's Week events. Contact Jason Zaborske, Children's Week Statewide Coordinator, at 850-251-7274 or for more information.

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