Thriving Communities: Early Childhood Investment 

Earmark 10% of all ARPA funds into a Thrive Communities: Early Childhood Investment Fund

American Recovery Funds can help grow our local economy. We know the Fox Valley prospers when all children are healthy, valued and thriving. In order to provide children with an equal start in life, strengthen our economy in a way that also reduces racial, gender and income inequality in our communities, and meet the needs of working parents, it is time to support a robust vision to make the high-impact investment in children’s readiness for school, work and life.  Thriving communities depend on the well-being of all members. By providing families with equitable access to the early child development resources they need, we ensure all enjoy more vibrant years ahead.  The need is urgent.  The time for action is now!

First 5 Fox Valley invites parents, grandparents and other family members to a motivational hour dedicated to learning how to advocate on the local and state level for high quality early childhood education. Everyone has a story that provides a deeper understanding of the lived experiences that families with young children face every day. 

Participants will be inspired, laugh, and work in small groups to frame a message around their experiences, with a goal to use the stories for advocacy efforts around high quality early childhood development within our local communities and the use of federal ARPA money.


Meredith Kennedy is a parent who never realized how she could create change in amazing ways until she was invited to the table and spoke her story. Her engaging and funny look at all issues parents face brought the reality to policymakers that something wasn’t working. Her experiences refining her story changed her life and moved her to become a national parent engagement leader and start her own business Native North Storytelling. A Waganakising Odawa tribal citizen has been appointed to the Think Babies Michigan executive board.

Amanda Stuck served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 2015-2021 representing the 57th District. A newly appointed Appleton Area School District Board member, and a mom of two children, Amanda listens intently to constituents and honors the lived experiences they share with her as a policy maker.