State Rep. Oberlander Honored by Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children for Dedication to Children’s Issues

Be Someone for Kids Award Recognizes Lawmaker’s Work to Better Protect Kids

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, the only statewide advocacy organization with a public policy agenda that spans the life of a child prenatally through adulthood, presented Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) with its annual Be Someone for Kids award in recognition of her work to enact public policies that benefit the commonwealth’s children.

“We are proud to work alongside with Representative Oberlander on issues that impact the lives of children and families across the state,” said PPC President and CEO Kari King. “She has advocated for additional support for child care during the pandemic – which is key to our economic recovery – and supports broader early care and education issues including pre-k and evidence-based home visiting programs.”

In Clarion County, 54% of eligible 3- and 4-year-olds do not have access to high-quality, publicly funded pre-k, which research shows results in reduced grade repetition and special education placements, and increased graduation rates, among other benefits.

Additionally, only 5% of children eligible for voluntarily, evidence-based home visiting programs are served by the two publicly funded models operating in the county: Early Head Start and Parents as Teachers. Approximately 2,446 children are eligible for the programs.

King noted Rep. Oberlander’s support for women’s health care and nutrition aligns with her organization’s work to ensure equitable access to affordable, quality health care for every pregnant woman and child in Pennsylvania.

“In addition to program developers and practitioners, policymakers can help parents build the foundation for lifelong health and learning by ensuring that families and communities have the resources they need to provide responsive, supportive relationships for their young children,” she said.

That includes programs that support infants and toddlers by promoting responsive relationships, reducing sources of stress, and strengthening core life skills to build strong foundations for future success and support parents, families, and caregivers.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Representative Oberlander to help build better futures for children and families so that communities across the state can fully recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

The Be Someone for Kids award honors policymakers who have made extraordinary efforts to help Pennsylvania’s 2.6 million children. King and Government Affairs Director Justin Fleming presented the award to Rep. Oberlander in her Capitol office, followed by a virtual event with PPC’s Board of Directors and sponsors: Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Customers Bank, Highmark Blue Shield, Independence Blue Cross, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry, Penn State Health, and Shelly Lyons Public Affairs & Communications.