Son of late Governor Lawton Chiles retraces a portion of his father’s historic walk for children, starting at the Center

Lawton “Bud” Chiles III, a longtime child advocate and son of late Governor Lawton Chiles, is coming to the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education to tour the Center and retrace a portion of his father’s historic walk for children on Wednesday, March 3rd during a visit to Miami.  Last year, as part of its Worst to First initiative, the Lawton Chiles Foundation launched “One Million Steps for Florida’s Kids,” an ambitious campaign to push for better investments in health, education and the well-being of Florida’s children.  Chiles and his team are committed to walking one million steps from Pensacola to Miami on behalf of children.

During his visit, Chiles will meet with community leaders and advocates including Miami Dade County Public School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Miami Dade College President Dr. Mercedes Quiroga and United Way of Miami-Dade CEO Harve Mogul. Following the meeting and tour, Chiles will set-off on his historic walk, accompanied part of the way by students, staff and parents of the Center and members of United Way’s Women’s Leadership and Young Leaders groups. Chiles will head to Riverside Elementary School, and continue on to the Stephen P. Clark Government Center before concluding his walk at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus.

Chiles hopes his efforts will rally Floridians to support high-quality health and education programs for all children. Florida consistently places at or near the bottom of independently compiled rankings of state performance on children’s health and education. For instance, according to the National Institute of Early Education Research, Florida is 2nd in the nation in terms of accessibility to pre-k programs but 34th in terms of state spending on programs. And, when it comes to health care for children, of the five largest states in the U.S. – California, Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois – only Texas ranked lower than Florida according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.