Education

‘Every child deserves a chance,’ Florida children’s advocate says before Clovis speech

Dave Lawrence speaks with kids at the United Way Center for Excellence for Early Education in Miami.
Dave Lawrence speaks with kids at the United Way Center for Excellence for Early Education in Miami. EL NUEVO HERALD file

Dave Lawrence, founder of the Children’s Movement of Florida, says the burgeoning Children’s Movement of Fresno is making great progress in advocating for all children in the community.

Lawrence will give the keynote speech at the eighth annual State of Our Children breakfast Thursday at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District hall. The breakfast, which will address the challenges children face in the region, is a sold-out event.

Lawrence, author of “A Dedicated Life: Journalism, Justice and a Chance For Every Child,” is also a former newspaper editor and publisher of the Miami Herald.

Lawrence serves as the chairman of the Children’s Movement of Florida and has been integral in its growth, according to the movement, helping to pass a statewide constitutional amendment to make pre-kindergarten available for all 4-year-olds.

The theme of this year’s Clovis breakfast is “A Community on the Move: The Power of Shared Purpose.” More than 600 stakeholders and members of the community from the education, health, housing, justice and business sectors will gather to hear Lawrence and celebrate the movement’s progress.

Lawrence spoke at the first Fresno breakfast in 2012.

“All children need to grow cognitively, physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, etc. and Fresno understands that,” Lawrence told The Bee on Wednesday.

He says the high number of children living in poverty in the region creates difficulties in early childhood learning.

“Every child deserves to have a chance to start school eager to learn,” he said. “We have a lot of things yet to do in Fresno, Miami and the rest of this country.”

Ashleigh Panoo: 559-441-6010, @AshleighPanoo
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