Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today was named a 2011 Champion for Children by First Focus Campaign for Children, one of only 35 Representatives given the group’s highest congressional honor for the previous year. In choosing recipients for the prestigious award, the group “noted leaders [who] demonstrated extraordinary initiative by spearheading activities such as sponsoring hearings or garnering the support of their colleagues to improve the health and well-being of children,” according to the announcement available at http://bit.ly/x2citF.
“Children need to be the first focus not only of Congress, but of our entire country’s thinking about what kind of future we’re building,” Grijalva said. “Thanks to First Focus and other groups doing great work to promote child welfare, we’re reminded today that kids need friends in Congress even if they can’t afford a lobbyist or get meetings in corporate board rooms. I’m proud of this recognition today, and I’m going to do everything I can to earn it again next year.”
Rep. Grijalva has led the push in Congress to improve public education from pre-kindergarten through high school. In addition to the numerous bills he co-sponsors and supports, in 2011 he personally introduced:
– the Success in the Middle Act to increase support for underfunded middle schools
– the FLUEnT Act to improve family bilingual education support and emphasize English language acquisition
– the SKILLS Act to provide every school with a qualified librarian
– the PRIDE Act to improve access to dual-language educational programs for younger students
These efforts, along with his strong support for Head Start, the Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program, and other child assistance measures contributed to his recognition. Grijalva is the only member of the Arizona delegation in either chamber of Congress to receive the bipartisan Champion designation for 2011.