Strolling Thunder: A Storm of Advocacy for Georgia’s Young Children


On Feb. 8, Get Georgia Reading partner GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students hosted 2023 Strolling Thunder.

The day brought families who prepared with virtual advocacy trainings conducted by GEEARS to the Georgia Capitol, along with their babies and toddlers, strollers, and diapers bags. They had a chance to speak directly to legislators under the Gold Dome and at a fun-filled lunch at Central Presbyterian Church.

The grown-ups from the over 40 Strolling Thunder families shared letters and stories that illustrated the need for paid family leave, an increase in funding for Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS), more affordable child care, and the elimination of the state’s sales tax on diapers, among other issues affecting Georgia’s youngest children and those who care for them.

Here are some other event highlights:

  • In the legislative chambers, Representative Katie Dempsey (HD 13) and Senator Kay Kirkpatrick (SD 32) issued resolutions declaring Feb. 8 Strolling Thunder Day.
  • More than 10 legislators came for lunch and many others met Strolling Thunder families in their offices and “at the ropes” outside the Senate chamber. All spent significant time getting to know the families and learning about their parenting joys and challenges.
  • Many kids enjoyed face painting, balloon art, a well-stocked play area, and a photo booth for an advocacy day that was not only substantive and high-impact–but also a lot of fun.