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Connecticut Coalition for Child Development Education

May 1, 2007

To Members of the Connecticut Coalition for Child Development Education
and others in CT who care about preparing the next generation of parents:

The Connecticut Coalition for Child Development Education and Prepare Tomorrow's Parents (PTP) NEED you now to help us with this year's Prepare Tomorrow's Parents Month campaign in Connecticut. The coalition is being aided by Prepare Tomorrow's Parents, a nonprofit national organization dedicated, as we are, to promoting and facilitating child development/ parenting education for all children and teens in schools and youth programs. Our purpose is to prepare all young people for the most important job most of them will hold - raising the next generation of children. I serve as a member of the board of directors for PTP.

Now in its 6th year, PTP Month is an annual public education campaign from Mother's Day to Father's Day. For this campaign, PTP develops and distributes materials for educators and advocates throughout the U.S. to promote parenting education for children and teens.

I am asking each of you as soon as possible to send a letter or email to the following:

Governor Jodi Rell's address is: 210 Capitol Ave., Hartford, CT 06106; email: governor.rell@ct.gov.
Dr. Mark McQuillan's address is: Commissioner of Education Mark McQuillan, 165 Capitol Ave., Hartford, CT 06106; email: mark.mcquillan@ct.gov. Dr. McQuillan will take office as commissioner on April 16.

The Education Committee's address is Education Committee, Legislative Office Building Hartford, CT 06106. The names and email addresses of the Education Committee leaders are as follows: Senator Thomas Gaffey, co-chairman, gaffey@senatedems.ct.gov; Andrew Fleischman, co-chairman, andrew.fleischman@cga.ct.gov; Sen. John Sonsora, vice-chairman, john.sonsora@cga.ct.gov; Rep. Henry Genga, vice-chairman, Henry.Genga@cga.ct.gov; Sen. Thomas Hurlihy, ranking member, thomas.hurlihy@cga.ct.gov; Rep. Debralee Hovey, ranking member, debralee.hovey@cga.ct.gov.

Please also send your letter to at least some of the other Education Committee members, especially if they represent your district. The email address is the same for all: first name.lastname@cga.ct.gov. Other Education Committee members are: Sen. Bill Finch, Sen. Andrew McDonald, Rep. Jason Bartlett, Rep Antonietta boucher, Rep. Ron Burns, Rep Bess Bye, Rep. Pal Davis; Rep. Kim Fawcett; Rep Art Feltman; Rep Gail Hamm, Rep. Debra Heinrich, Rep Karen Jaromoc; Rep. Robert Keeley, Rep Themis Klarides, Rep Deavid Laborla, Rep. Douglas McClory, Rep. Steven Mikutel, Rep Sanday Nofis, Rep. Tim O'Brien, Rep. Felipe Reinoso, Rep. Tom Reynolds, Rep. Annie Ruwet, Rep. Pamela Sawyer, Rep. Linda Schofield, Rep. Jim Shapiro, Rep. Kevin Witkos.

It is very important this year for people to write to or email the members of the legislature's Education Committee, especially the chairmen and ranking members. They are the ones who have been blocking, or not even raising the proposed child development/ parenting bills the coalition has submitted, including a bill submitted this year. If you have email, you can write just one letter, or copy the one provided, then copy the email addresses given and send the letter to all the committee members. It should take only a few minutes. We would also like you to resend your letter to the Education Committee in December, just before the start of the next legislative session.

If you write your own letters explain why it is essential that education in child safety, child development and parenting skills be taught to all children in the CT schools. If you prefer not to write your own letters, you can visit the special CT PTP Month section of the Prepare Tomorrow's Parents website for sample letters, and you will also find helpful material to use if you compose your own letter. You can copy and paste any of these into your own email and just send them, or print and mail them out. When you write to your friends ask them to do the same thing (and enclose the list of reasons) so that we can get a letter tree going. It is important that as many people as possible take the time to do this, so together we can have a real impact.

If you want your letter or op ed in the newspaper published on Mother's Day or Father's Day, get it in ahead and ask that it be run then, if possible.

Many additional resources including downloadable poster, reading list and bookmark, sample letters, press releases and op-eds may be found on the National PTP Month section of Prepare Tomorrow's Parents website.

We would appreciate it if you would call or email me and/or PTP when you send your letters, so we can keep track of them, and send us copies of articles published to us.

Parenting is the most important job most of us do in our lifetime, yet most people get no training for it. It's time they did! If we all work together, we can make a difference in the lives of children and in the quality of our society.

Joan Barbuto, Coordinator
Connecticut Coalition for Child Development Education
136 Ridgeland Circle, Wallingford, CT 06492
joanbstone@aol.com Phone: 203/269-1946

The Connecticut Coalition for Child Development Education, formerly the Connecticut Coalition for Parenting Education is comprised of approximately 40 people and organizations dedicated to bringing education in child safety, child development and parenting skills to all Connecticut students sometime before they graduate from high school. Members include Yale psychology professor Edward Zigler, who helped launch Head Start, Yale child psychiatrists Kyle Pruett and James Comer, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, the Mental Health Association of Connecticut; the Connecticut Child Advocate, pediatricians, psychologists, social workers, parents, and other state residents.

Nine years of coalition experience with the legislature and Commissioners of Education indicate the need for a groundswell of public support to bring about action. For more information and to get involved, contact Joan Barbuto, Coordinator of the Coalition, at joanbstone@aol.com or 203/269-1946.

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