On March 5, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, along with other local United Ways, attended Day on the Hill to advocate for health and education issues set by United Ways of Tennessee (UWTN).
UWTN was joined by the Tennessee Afterschool Network (TAN) and Save the Children to promote programs that address the impact of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) and the importance of after-school programs in enhancing health and academic success, as well as preventing, reducing and helping families heal from opioid addiction.
“We have so many new legislators this session and we want to share with them the resounding support and incredible impact out-of-school-time programming has in our state,” said Mary Graham, president of UWTN and lead staff for TAN. “These programs help young people succeed in school and gain workforce skills, while giving working parents peace of mind that their kids are safe and productive after school and in the summer.”
In 2019, Governor Haslam recommended appropriation of $2.45 million in recurring funding to address ACEs. These funds support ACEs Innovation Grants across Tennessee in a wide range of sectors, including academia, medical, education, mental health, justice/courts, public awareness and community and early childhood programs.
“A 2016 study on adverse childhood experiences in Tennessee found 61 percent of participants had at least one [adverse childhood experience] and 27 percent had three or more—more than one in four Tennesseans,” said Linda O’Neal, United Ways of Tennessee’s public policy chair. “Research shows us that ACEs greatly impact disease, disability and social functioning, as well as increasing substance use and negative health outcomes across the lifespan, at great financial impact to our communities and families.”