Child Advocacy Day to be held at Capitol

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Alliance for Children, Youth, and Families will host its 33rd annual Child Advocacy Day in the Missouri State Capitol Wednesday. 

Stephanie Joellenbeck, Child Advocacy Day Planning Chair, said as many as 400 parents, child care professionals, teachers, and health care workers are expected to attend. 

Jollenbreck said events like Child Advocacy Day are important because children cannot advocate for themselves and working to advocate for children now will help ensure Missouri children become great adults. 

Participants will take part in workshops designed to help them prepare to talk with their state legislators. Three separate workshops will be held and participants can choose which one to attend based on their level of experience in advocacy. 

Other events include a march to the capitol, a rally, and visits with state legislators. 

Kelly Schultz, Director of the Office of Child Advocate, said Child Advocacy Day is needed so legislators can hear from their constituents personally on matters of child health, education, and safety. 

"Legislators really need to know what's going on in their area and in their community. And so it is a designated time to really focus in on this issue. But the safety of children is something we need to pay attention to every day," Schultz said. 

Both Schultz and Joellenbeck said the legislature has done a good job in the past creating and working with legislation involving children. 

The day is set to begin with registration at 8:30, followed by the official welcome ceremony at 9:00. 

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