East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s Cradle to K education initiative was recognized and honored recently with a 2019 City Livability Award for Outstanding Achievement during the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 87th Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The City Livability Award recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America’s cities, focusing on the leadership, creativity and innovation demonstrated by the mayors. This year’s winning cities were selected by former mayors from a pool of over 150 applicants.
“Our City Livability Awards Program gives us the chance to celebrate the extraordinary role mayors across the country play in making urban areas cleaner, safer and more livable,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “We are grateful to Waste Management for its many years of support for the City Livability Awards Program, and for the opportunity to showcase the innovation and commitment of mayors and city governments across the country.”
Mayor Broome’s Cradle to K Program is an early childhood initiative focused on strengthening the culture of parenting in Baton Rouge around three parenting pillars: Patience, Curiosity, & Conversation. The program, led by the Mayor’s Office, is a community effort involving the active participation of over two dozen community partners. Cradle to K connects parents to information, resources, and opportunities.
Mayor-President Broome expressed her gratitude for the recognition of the initiative she started in 2017. “Children in Baton Rouge are bursting with potential, and research proves that when we are able to provide them and their families with the support they need early-on, kids will thrive,” she said. “This City Livability Award further displays that when communities come together around a clear message of what supportive parenting looks like, we are best able to help parents as they seek to provide what’s best for their children.”
The Cradle to K initiative is made up of three primary strategies and also plays the role of a centralized communication hub of resources and opportunities for parents and children. Cradle to K also uses social media to amplify the voices of local parents and also to promote resources and opportunities. The Facebook page’s ( https://www.facebook.com/C2KBR/ ) engagement is by far the highest of any municipal program in the region. It’s not unusual for posts about the parent clubs or pre-k enrollment events to be shared over 50 times.