On Saturday, September 21, Shanna Ganne, a Granby mother of two, packed up her family and travelled to Denver to take part in Strolling Thunder Colorado. The event was created to bring attention to two critical issues for the health and well being of families with young children: access to affordable, high-quality childcare and paid family and medical leave. 

Ganne and her partner, Tom Swift, brought their two-year-old son, William, to represent Grand Beginnings, the local Early Childhood Council that provides education and support services to foster early learning, facilitate healthy child development and promote family success in Grand and Jackson Counties. 

“Working to support my family is stressful enough without worrying about my child’s well- being when I can’t be with him,” commented Ganne. “William, and all children in Colorado for that matter, deserve safe and nurturing care in their early years. That’s why we were so anxious to join other parents in Colorado to let our representatives hear about what families really need to build a good, healthy and sustainable life.” 

Ganne was so inspired to make the most of the family’s trip to Denver; she personally reached out to Colorado State Senator Bob Rankin, who accepted her invitation and attended the event. “I was so pleased that Senator Rankin made the effort to come and listen,” Ganne added. “We had a great conversation about making Colorado an even greater place to raise a family.” 

Strolling Thunder Colorado was produced by Raise Colorado, a local coalition convened by Clayton Early Learning and the Colorado Children’s Campaign, in partnership with ZERO TO THREE , and a steering committee of diverse stakeholders. Together, they work to promote the national Think Babies and Act ™ campaign in Colorado, a nonpartisan effort that seeks to make the potential of every baby a priority. 

Families from throughout Colorado were invited to the rally through additional partnerships with the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance, the Colorado Association for Education of Young Children, the Denver Affiliate of the Black Child Development Institute, and Guerrilla Mamas.