An awards ceremony is being held today at the Bethel YMCA to recognize this year's Children's Champions. The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance has given the honor to 24 state lawmakers for their work during the latest legislative session. Among them is Wilton State Senator Toni Boucher.
Boucher cited research that shows investments in pre-school and early childhood education will bring the greatest return on investment and help close the achievement gap. She says a highly trained and educated Connecticut work force is vital in today's global economy. Boucher says almost 80-percent of what we learn is done from the ages of birth through age 5. She says their rapid pace of brain development means a good environment for young children is vital.
The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is a statewide membership and advocacy organization committed to improving developmental outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety and economic security for children ages birth through eight.
Boucher also received the Children’s Champion award from the Alliance in 2013, 2012 and 2009.
The other 23 honored are:
Senator Andres Ayala (D-23) Bridgeport and Stratford
Senator Dante Bartolomeo (D-13) Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield and Middletown
Senator Beth Bye (D-05) Bloomfield, Burlington, Farmington and West Hartford
Senator Carlo Leone (D-27) Stamford and Darien
Senator Andrea Stillman (D-20) Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville, New London, Old Lyme, Salem and Waterford
Senator Don Williams (D-29) Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Mansfield, Putnam, Scotland, Thompson and Windham
Representative Cathy Abercrombie (D-83) Berlin and Meriden
Representative Tim Ackert (R-08) Columbia, Coventry, Tolland and Vernon
Representative Joe Aresimowicz (D-30) Berlin and Southington
Representative Juan Candelaria (D-95) New Haven
Representative Victor Cuevas (D-75) Waterbury
Representative Andrew Fleischmann (D-18) West Hartford
Representative Mae Flexer (D-44) Killingly and Plainfield
Representative Daniel Fox (D-148) Stamford
Representative Gerald Fox (D-146) Stamford
Representative Mary Fritz (D-90) Cheshire and Wallingford
Representative Patricia Billie Miller (D-145) Stamford
Representative Bobby Sanchez (D-25) New Britain
Representative Hilda Santiago (D-84) Meriden
Representative William Tong (D-147) Stamford and Darien
Representative Toni Walker (D-93) New Haven
Representative Roberta Willis (D-64) Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Torrington and Sharon
Rep. Michelle Cook (D-65) Torrington (Legislator of the Year)