RIght from the Start and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT have been proudly participating in Strolling Thunder Rhode Island 2021. Working together with parents, advocates, educators, and legislators, we’ve held seven Zoom advocacy events that featured REAL families sharing REAL experiences and struggles to help advocate for the RIght Start Agenda of policies and legislation designed to help Rhode Island’s young children and families weather the COVID-19 crisis and emerge stronger on the other side.

Our April 28, 2021 virtual event focused on child care and featured remarks from Wilmaris Soto-Ramos, a new mom from Pawtucket who is also the Rhode Island representative to national Strolling Thunder.  Wilmaris talked about why she advocates for improved state policies and funding for programs that help families like hers and how better state policies will help her daughter and all kids get off to the right start!

Rhode Island Capitol TV also worked with us to create a special production: Child Care Makes the World Go Round which features remarks from the Governor, Lt. Governor, General Assembly leaders, child care program leaders, and parents of young children.

Throughout May we’ve been organizing individual meetings between parents of young children and key Rhode Island legislative leaders as the General Assembly prepares to make decisions on legislation and state budget priorities in June.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and remote advocacy, Strolling Thunder Rhode Island is ensuring that our legislators are hearing directly from parents in support of policies, legislation, and budget items that will help ALL children get off to the right start.