The readers’ forum

Give children healthy, nurturing experiences

 

When families have the community support they need to provide nurturing experiences for children, those children invariably become productive adults — and absolutely capable of contributing to a thriving economy. We know that from our own Publix experience with thousands of associates, and we know it in so many other ways.

Clearly, those children in families lacking support are at much greater risk for child abuse and neglect, educational challenges and all sorts of other poor outcomes.

When we invest in communities to create environments where all children can thrive, everyone benefits. At Publix we offer many programs to support families – for example, the Publix Baby Club, Reading Pals, and investments in priorities established by community-based United Way leaders. As we see it, family-friendly policies and access to quality early child development are not only good for families, but also good for business.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and as a long-term sponsor of Children’s Week, Publix is pleased to participate in the Pinwheels for Prevention launch event at the Florida Governor’s Mansion, hosted by First Lady Ann Scott.

We take our responsibility seriously to inform the community and our policymakers of the issues facing our children and families — and provide proven solutions to address those crucial concerns.

I encourage Florida leaders to support increased funding for programs like Healthy Families Florida, an evidence-based, voluntary home visiting program proven to prevent child abuse and neglect in 98 percent of the high-risk families served. That investment pays dividends for today’s children and our communities, state and country for generations to come.

We all share the responsibility to give children healthy and nurturing experiences to help them achieve their fullest potential. The time to do that is now.

Carol Jenkins Barnett, president, Publix Super Markets Charities, Lakeland

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