Thousands participate in Children's Day at the Capitol

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By: Mike Vasilinda
March 28, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Several thousand advocates for children filled the courtyard of the State Capitol on Tuesday in celebration of Children's Day. The event is designed to get lawmakers to pay attention to the needs of children.

Surgeon General Celeste Philip told the crowd the Department of Health would be working to make kids healthier by encouraging changes in lifestyle through better surroundings, such as healthier food options at local stores.

Philip said, “Health care itself accounts for about 20 percent of what makes people healthy. Other factors in our community, where we live, where we live work and play as we say in public health, actually influence our health much more than health care. Sometimes our zip code is the most sensitive indicator of what our overall health is.”

Others urged advocates to push local officials for more parks and zoning that would allow healthier food options in poor neighborhoods.

For more information on Children's Week, visit www.childrensweek.org.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
March 28, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- It's Children's Week at the Capitol and thousands of children will make their voices heard to representatives from across the state.

Roughly 4,000 children and their parents are expected to be in attendance for Children's Day on Tuesday. Children's week kicked off Sunday and lasts through Friday.

The Capitol Rotunda will be decorated with thousands of colorful hands, submitted by children across the state, from Key West to Pensacola.

Organizers say the hands serve as a reminder to legislators and advocates that Florida's children must be taken care of.

Jason Zaborske, the man behind Children's Week, says since they're not old enough to vote, this is their chance to be heard.

"That's really our biggest strength as advocates in the community, is that we can tell the story, and we can show what's working, what's not working, and we can explain those things to policy makers so they understand and streamline and make sure government works better, funding is adequate enough to provide that quality of service that we need to deliver services to children," Zaborske said.

Several events are planned for Tuesday. Here's what Tuesday's schedule includes:

8:30 a.m. - Children's Week Breakfast - Children's Day activities kick off with a breakfast from 8 am. to 10 a.m. Children and families in attendance will receive a "Grab and Go Breakfast."

9 a.m. - Storybook Village - Children's Week partners and volunteers will create a "village" of interactive reading booths for children to explore which will feature stories and characters from their favorite books!

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. - Teen Town Hall Meeting - The Town Hall Meeting will provide students with a forum and voice to work together with Florida's Children and Youth Cabinet to address important issues relating to children's services.

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Children's Week Luncheon - Thousands of attendees will receive a healthy and nutritious lunch. Lunches are provided on a first come, first served basis.

12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Children's Week Press Conference - This year’s theme, “The Health and Well-being of All Children” recognizes every person in this state can play a role in ensuring children are safe, healthy and ready to learn to achieve.

1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. - Young Lives Matter: Exploring the Root Causes of Youth Violence - a dynamic 90-minute workshop that digs into the root causes of youth violence, examining the risk factors that affect both individuals and communities. With first-hand experiences from a service learning project on youth violence in Miami.