Tennessee's First Lady Crissy Haslam hosted members of the faith-based community at the Tennessee Residence for the Nashville meeting of the “First Ladies for Healthy Babies” initiative.
More than 140 women, including nearly 70 pastor wives, community leaders, and representatives from non-profits attended the luncheon to learn more about the importance of healthy brain development for children and promoting early education in their local neighborhoods in Nashville.
“First ladies of the church and leaders in the faith-based community are a trusted resource for their congregation and have incredible influence within their neighborhoods,” Haslam said. “They are in a great position to raise awareness for the importance of those first years of life and to help encourage parents to be their child’s first and most important teacher.”
There was a heavily emphasis on the tried and true principle of older women mentoring younger women in the church and in the community. Haslam shared how thankful she was for the advice given by the older women in her church when her children were babies. Many women in attendance were able to network while discussing challenges and best practices. Haslam introduced Nashvillians to Ephie Ballard-Johnson of the Memphis based Neighbor Christian Center who inspired her to launch “First Ladies for Healthy Babies.”
In June 2011, the “First Ladies for Healthy Babies” initiative was launched at the Neighborhood Christian Center in Memphis, where more than 175 pastors’ wives and church leaders gathered. The initial meeting helped to create a network of First Ladies and faith-based community leaders who promote early education and strengthening Tennessee families. There was an incredible turnout at the launch in Memphis last year,” Haslam said. “I am grateful that this message is continuing here in Nashville.”
Haslam hopes to continue convening networks of faith-based communities across the state that can support one another as they emphasize the important role parents play in their child’s healthy development toward school readiness.
Full coverage and additional photos in Mocha Market Magazine
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Photo Credits: Dawn Majors, State Photographer