First Lady Launches “First Ladies for Healthy Babies” Initiative

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 | 12:00 pm

Mrs. Haslam Supports Operation Smart Child in Memphis

NASHVILLE – First Lady Crissy Haslam visited with members of the faith-based community in Memphis today to help launch the “First Ladies for Healthy Babies” Initiative in support of the Operation Smart Child program.

Operation Smart Child is a family outreach and education initiative of the Neighborhood Christian Centers, in partnership with The Urban Child Institute in Memphis. It is designed to impact the mental, social, economic, and spiritual lives of children through early brain development strategies and interventions.

“Those first years of a child’s life are crucial for healthy development,” Mrs. Haslam said. “The faith-based community is in a great position to help raise awareness for the importance of those first years of life and to help direct parents and families to the best resources.”

Since 2009, more than 1,000 parents and caregivers in Memphis and Shelby County have been introduced to the Top Ten Brain Developing Tasks and engaged in Touch*Talk*Read*Play activities.

Wednesday’s meeting with First Lady Crissy Haslam and more than 175 West Tennessee women at the Neighborhood Christian Center included community and church leaders as well as inner-city and suburban pastor wives, known in their community as the First Ladies of the church.

Haslam hopes to launch similar learning programs to other faith-based communities across the state, and continue to emphasize the important role that parents play as their child’s first teacher.

“I am thrilled to launch our initial First Ladies for Healthy Babies event in Memphis,” Mrs. Haslam said. “I’m looking forward to the progress we can make together for the state of Tennessee.”