“It’s a Lame, Lame Duck Session”
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022
Noon – 1 pm

Register here

You never know what can happen in the Legislature’s Lame Duck session, those weeks that follow Election Day and the start of a new Legislative session with new players. So far, word is that this year’s Lame Duck could be a real snoozer, or maybe not. Join Michigan’s Children’s staff and guests to hear what happened. Register today.


“What Just Happened? Lansing Insiders Share Insights on Election Results and What They Mean for Moving Kids & Family Issues in 2023
Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

In this post-election Lunch and Learn program – What Just Happened? Lansing Insiders Share Insights on Election Results and What they Mean for Moving Kids & Family Issues in 2023 – we welcome a four-star panel of Lansing lobbyists. Hear their tips and advice for working with the new incoming Legislators and what issues might emerge as key topics in the 2023-2024 session. Thank you to our panelists for lending their expertise: Andrea Cascarilla, Dykema; Jean Doss, Capitol Services; Matt Kurta, Karoub and Associates; and Christin Nohner, McCall Hamilton Advocacy & Public Affairs. Watch the program for the first time or again here:

“What Just Happened? Lansing Insiders Share Insights on Election Results and What They Mean for Moving Kids & Family Issues in 2023 (recording)

“What Just Happened? Lansing Insiders Share Insights on Election Results and What They Mean for Moving Kids & Family Issues in 2023 (PowerPoint)


KidSpeak, ParentSpeak, Candidates Listen
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022

It’s Election Season with hundreds of candidates across Michigan aiming to win your vote. Listen in to his special Lunch and Learn program about the work we’re doing to bring youth and family voices before candidates, with sponsored community candidate forums Traverse City to Detroit, Muskegon to Bay City. You’ll also hear from a panel of advocates working to elevate issues of value to children, youth, and families. With 11 scheduled forums this year, Michigan’s Children is working with 17 local partner groups to address ways to build greater awareness for our issues among potential policy-makers. This year, at least four forums are led with Think Babies Michigan specifically around early childhood interests.

Thank you to our panelists: Aubrey Gilliland, Project Coordinator, The Children’s Center; Laura Lefever, Director-Community Projects, The Children’s Center; Sarah Britton, Director of Prevention & ReEntry Services, Peckham Inc.; Kathy Szenda Wilson, Co-Executive Director, Pulse @ the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

KidSpeak, ParentSpeak, Candidates Listen (recording)

KidSpeak, ParentSpeak, Candidates Listen (PowerPoint)


Get Involved: Time to Speak up for Home Visiting and MIECHV
Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Thank you for attending our special program on voluntary Home Visiting with our guest host, Amy Zaagman, Executive Director, of the Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health, and our partners at Think Babies Michigan. We’re grateful to panelists Katherine Logan-Dinco, Joann Hoganson, and Becca King for sharing their first-person experiences with home visiting – Katherine and Becca as parents, and Joann as a nurse heading up home visiting services in Kent County. We also heard a timely and important update on the status of MIECHV federal funding from two Washington, D.C. insiders – Kali Fox, Regional Manager for the Office of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Suzi Plasencia, Policy Advisor, for Linchpin Strategies in D.C. If you missed it the first time, you can watch a recording of the program and access other resources including the PowerPoint with important links. Read upcoming Speaking for Kids Friday bulletin for updates on MIECHV and how you can advocate for federally funded programs.

Get Involved: Time to Speak up for Home Visiting and MIECHV (recording)

Get Involved: Time to Speak up for Home Visiting and MIECHV (PowerPoint)

Bi-partisan letter of support for a five-year reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), sent to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee from committee members including Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow. (PDF)

Michigan Home Visiting Initiative Parent Testimonials for Early Head Start, Healthy Families America, Maternal Infant Health Program, Nurse Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, Play and Learn Strategies – Infant (Videos)

Other Resources:


Get the Latest on the 2023 State Budget Deal: What Michigan’s Children’s Pundits Know so Far
Wednesday, June 29, 2022

With the July recess looming, where are state legislative negotiations on the state budget now? Hear Matt Gillard and the policy pundits at Michigan’s Children tell us what there is to know so far. Where are top negotiators on a tax cut this year? How will it affect revenues, and spending for programs and services needed by our state’s children and families? Is a settlement on the state budget starting Oct. 1, 2022 upon us, or still a long way’s off? So many questions! Drop in and ask your questions.

Resources:

Get the Latest on the 2023 State Budget Deal (Program recording)
Get the Latest on the 2023 State Budget Deal (PowerPoint)


Will Election-Year Tax Cut Fever Derail Needed Investments in State’s Kids?
Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Thank you for attending our Lunch & Learn program, “Will Election-Year Tax Cut Fever Derail Needed Investments in State’s Kids?’’ with special guests, Rachel Richards, fiscal policy director for the Michigan League for Public Policy, and Mitch Bean, former director of the Michigan House Fiscal Agency. We hope you found the information and discussion enlightening. Please take a look at our program resources below, and come back next month for another program related to advocacy for Michigan’s children, youth and families.

Resources:

Where are we now? Budget Negotiations Get Serious (PowerPoint)
Where are we now? Budget Negotiations Get Serious (Program recording)
Key Take-Away Points, Lunch & Learn Program, May 2022 (PDF)


‘Are the Kids Alright?’ Exploring Children’s Mental Health in Michigan
Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Thank you for attending our April Lunch and Learn program, “Are the Kids Alright?’’ Exploring Children’s Mental Health in Michigan. We are sincerely grateful to our guest panelists who represented a diverse and accomplished panel of mental health professionals, advocates and practitioners from the field of children’s mental health from infancy to school-age. We appreciate their work and commitment to children. They included:

  • Kae Dubay, Parent Representative, Early On Michigan Interagency Coordinating Council;
  • Mary Mackrain, Consultant, MDHHS Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation program;
  • Renee Topolski, Deputy Director, School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan;
  • Danielle Rice, Workforce Development Specialist, Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health;
  • Rylee Tuggle, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Author of “The Trusted Trio” on childhood trauma.

Resources:

‘Are the Kids Alright?’ Exploring Children’s Mental Health in Michigan (PowerPoint)
‘Are the Kids Alright?’ Exploring Children’s Mental Health in Michigan (Program recording)
42nd Biennial Virtual Conference/Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (PDF)


What Advocates Need to Know about this Year’s Tax Plans and the State Budget
Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Thank you for attending our March Lunch & Learn program on the various tax reform proposals in debate in Lansing and how they (and affected revenues) could impact your advocacy opportunities for advancing issues for children, youth and families. We’re are especially grateful to our guest presenters for making this an informative program: Jametta Lilly, CEO, Detroit Parent Network; Molly Trueblood, Associate Director of Community Impact, the United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo; and Lou Glazer, President & Founder of Future Michigan, Inc., which leading a statewide advocacy campaign to expand the EITC.

Resources:

What Advocates Need to Know: Tax Plans and the State Budget (PowerPoint)
What Advocates Need to Know: Tax Plans and the State Budget (Program recording)
Navigating Tax Reform in Michigan: How Current Proposals Would Affect Working Families (PDF)
Sign On: Oppose Misguided State Tax Cuts (PDF)
EITC Fact Sheet (Michigan Future, Inc.) (PDF)
Sample Taxpayer Impacts, Changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit (PDF)


The FY23 State Budget Process: What You Need to Know
Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Thank you for attending our February Lunch & Learn when we took a deep dive into Governor Whitmer’s $74.1 billion budget proposal, examining the wins and missed opportunities for children, youth and families. We particularly appreciate the great conversation prompted by audience questions, and are grateful to our presenters, Matt Gillard, Bobby Dorigo Jones and Madeline Elliott. If you weren’t able to attend, find a recording and shared resources below.

Resources:

We welcome feedback or suggestions for future Lunch & Learn programs. Contact teri@michiganschildren.org.


Michigan’s Early Childhood Workforce Crisis:
The Way Forward
Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Thank you for attending our January Lunch & Learn program presented with Think Babies Michigan. A recording of the one-hour program, Michigan’s Early Childhood Workforce Crisis: The Way Forward is also available in the resources area.

We’re thankful for our dynamic panelists:

  • Dr. Ericka Taylor, Executive Director of Early Childhood, Saginaw Intermediate School District; Co-Chair, Think Babies Michigan Cross-Sector Workforce Strategies Workgroup.
  • Tricia Grifka, Director of Early Childhood Services, Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency, (Head Start, Early Head Start, Great Start Readiness Program).
  • Susan Clark, Supervisor of Early Childhood, Calhoun ISD; Member, Think Babies Michigan Home Visiting Workgroup;
  • Cara Sutliffe, Parent leader/Co-Chair, Think Babies Michigan Home Visiting Workgroup.
  • Michael Evans, Director of the Kalamazoo Literacy Council, working with Edison Neighborhood Career Pathway in Kalamazoo; ECIC Child Care Innovation Fund Grantee.

Resources:

Please contact teri@michiganschildren.org with any questions or additional comments.


Join Fellow Statewide Advocates for a Michigan’s Children
Lunch & Learn Program:

Looking Back at 2021
Policy Highlights and Investment Wins for Children & Families
Wednesday, December 15, 2021

2021 has been one of the most consequential years in recent history with historic investments in children, youth and families and public policy accomplishments. Join the staff of Michigan’s Children – and key partners working on behalf of the state’s children, youth and families – as we recap the year in policy wins around early childhood, youth transitions, and adult skill building.

We’ll highlight notable funding areas and underscore where advocates and providers can be engaged in their spheres of influence. We will also highlight what we’re watching for as we turn the page into a new year. Questions/comments from participants are encouraged!

The following resources might be helpful:

  • A link to the recording of Lunch and Learn can be found here.
  • A copy of the PPT can be found here.

The State of Afterschool in Michigan: Critical Programming for Children and Families
Nov. 17, 2021

 

Thank you for attending the November 2021 Lunch and Learn: The State of Afterschool in Michigan. We appreciated the dialogue on current challenges and opportunities facing providers. It was also important to focus on emerging trends as we turn the corner into a new year and key statewide and federal investments around after-school programming.

Thank you to our expert panel for sharing their professional experiences on what are the most pressing issues facing out of school time providers:

  • Brian Puffer, Director of Community Education, Saline Area Schools
  • Erin Skene-Pratt, Executive Director, Michigan Afterschool Partnership
  • Rebecca Idzikowski, Projet Director, 21st CCLC SPARKS

The following resources might be helpful:

A link to the recording of Lunch and Learn can be found here.
A copy of the PPT can be found here.
What Michiganders Want – Advocacy Packet

Have a question about this month’s Lunch and Learn? Please email Patrick Brown at patrick@michiganschildren.org.


Lunch and Learn: What Michiganders Want: Investments in Children & Youth
Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021

Thank you for attending our October program, “What Michiganders Want: Investments in Children & Youth.” We’re grateful to our special guests, Sheryl Goldberg, Executive Director for the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health, and Meg Blinkiewicz, Executive Director of the Kalamazoo Youth Development Network, for joining us and offering their expertise on advocating for children. And thank you to our moderator and panelist, Patrick Brown, executive director of the Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education. If you missed the program or would like to revisit it, here’s a link to a recording of the conversation!


Budget Basics: Next Steps for Investment in Michigan
Sept. 29, 2021

Thank you for attending the September 2021 Lunch and Learn: Budget Basics. Our team stands ready to assist you with any additional questions you may have around the State Budget.

Please see our full Budget Basics Debrief found here.

  • A link to the recording of Lunch and Learn can be found here.
  • A copy of the PPT can be found here.

Have a question about a priority area in the budget? Please email Patrick Brown at patrick@michiganschildren.org.


In the Know: Parsing Advocacy vs. Lobbying
August 18, 2021

Thank you for attending our August Lunch and Learn! With our guest panel of leading nonprofit advocates working for children, youth and families, we had a rich discussion on how to approach advocating for the issues and people you care about without fear of crossing over into lobbying.

We greatly appreciate the panel of experts who joined us to share their experiences and insights:

  • Judy Reidt-Parker, Director of the National Policy Team at Start Early (formerly the Ounce).
  • Karie Ward, Executive Director, Fostering Success Michigan.
  • Regina Suitt, President-Elect and Public Policy Chair, Coalition on Adult Basic Education.

In case you missed it, you can view the recording of the program here. View the meeting’s slide deck here.


Elevate your Advocacy by Expanding your Social Media Reach
June 16, 2021

Thank you for attending our May Lunch and Learn. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn for experts on how to maximize your social media platforms to reach diverse audiences and policymakers.

A special “thank you” to our esteemed panelists of moderators:

  • Elishia “Jayye” Johnson, Director of Communications for Mothering Justice;
  • John Karasinski, Director of Communications for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association;
  • Elle Meyers, Michigan Capitol Neighborhood Reporter, Fox 47-TV News in Lansing, and
  • Ty Forquer, Strategy Assistant in Strategic Engagement, Michigan College Access Network.

Resources:
Click here to access a recording of the session!


“Policymaking and the Power of Sharing Lived Experiences”
May 19, 2021

Thank you for attending the May Lunch and Learn. We hope you had a rich learning experience with expert tips on how to engage the populations you work with in your advocacy work. Raising their voices is so important. Special thanks to our panel speakers:

  • Christy Callahan, Director, Office of Innovative Projects, Clinton County RESA; and President, Early On Michigan Foundation
  • Oogie La Mar, Director, Kent ISD Adult Education; and Advocacy Chairperson and Government Relations Liaison, Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education.
  • Nolana Nobles, Director of Early Childhood Programs, Capital Area Community Services
  • Michele Strasz, Executive Director, Capital Area College Access Network

Resources:

Click here to access a recording of the video.


“Crafting Effective Testimony with Storytelling: How to Put Your Policy Ask into Action”
April 21, 2021

April 21, 2021 – Thank you for attending Michigan’s Children’s April 2021 Lunch and Learn program. We appreciate your continued support! In particular, we thank our guest speakers, Ben Moe, president of the Michigan Network for Youth and Families, and Jacqueline, a youth from the Network who shared her experiences in telling her story.

Resources:



“Prepping for Policymakers: Advocates Discuss Developing ‘Your Ask’ and Framing Your Message”
March 17, 2021

Thank you for attending Michigan’s Children’s March 2021 Lunch and Learn Series. We so appreciated the rich discussion and contributions from our panelists. Our thanks again to our terrific panelists:

  • Asia Canady, Policy Specialist, Start Early
  • Maha Makki, Advocacy Co-Chair, Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education
  • Fran Talsma, Executive Director, State Alliance/YMCA

Resources:
You can find a recording of the session here. and a copy of the PowerPoint here.


“The State Budget Process: How to Gain Support for Kids & Families”
February 16, 2021

On behalf of the staff and partners at Michigan’s Children, thank you for attending our February 2021 Lunch and Learn: “The State Budget Process: How to Gain Support for Kids & Families.”

Whether you attended or not, though, please use the resources shared during the Lunch & Learn to learn more about strengthening your advocacy skills during the budget process.

Resources:

  1. Please find here a copy of the PowerPoint presentation.
  2. Access a full recording of the program.
  3. Learn who to talk to about your issues on our Contact Policymakers page. Find links to state lawmakers serving on key committees impacting children, youth and family issues in the state legislature.

How to Talk to Policymakers: Effective Tips for Messaging Your Issue”
January 20, 2021

On behalf of the staff and partners at Michigan’s Children, we would like to thank you for attending our January 2021 Lunch and Learn: How to Talk to Policymakers: Effective Tips for Messaging Your Issue.

If you have a moment, please give us feedback by clicking here so we can improve our lunch and learn opportunities.

Please find below the resources we shared. Thank you to our panel of experts for their generous contributions:

  • Deb Frisbie, Policy and Advocacy Group Co-Lead, Kinship Care Coalition of Michigan
  • Erica Willard, Executive Directors, Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Sarah Plachta Elliott, Executive Director, Youth Development Resource Center (Detroit)
  • Patrick Brown, Director, Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education
  • Matt Gillard, President, and CEO, Michigan’s Children

Resources:

  1. Please find here a copy of the PowerPoint presentation.
  2. Watch a brief recap of the “How to Talk to Policymakers: Effective Tips for Messaging Your Issue” program.
  3. You can access a full recording of the program.
  4. MACAE, the Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education, has shared several resources including a sample Advocacy Talking Points and a sample Legislative Engagement Timeline.
  5. Additionally, Michigan’s Children website is always a great resource. You can use it to explore policymaker contact information, committee assignments, etc. Visit our website here: Contact Policymakers
  6. How to Develop an Advocacy Plan
  7. 2020 MI Senate Standing Committees
  8. 2020 MI Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Health/Human Services Committee
  9. 2020 MI Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on K-12 and Michigan Department of Education

Getting to Know the 2021 Michigan Legislature: Building Great
Relationships with Incoming (and Returning) Lawmakers
December 16, 2020

Thanks to so many of you for attending our inaugural December 2020 Lunch and Learn event held on Wednesday, December 16: “Getting to Know the 2021 Michigan Legislature: Building Great Relationships with Incoming (and Returning) Lawmakers”.

If you have a moment, please give us feedback by clicking here so we can improve our lunch and learn opportunities.

Resources:

  1. The lunch and learn slides. and recording.
  2. Information about new Michigan House members.
  3. Step by step guide on how to learn more about your respective policymaker.
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