Longtime children’s advocate Carol Jenkins Barnett will be presented with the state’s top award for service on behalf of Florida’s youth at the Children’s Week Awards Dinner in Tallahassee as part of Children’s Week festivities. Named in honor of former Governor and First Lady Lawton and Rhea Chiles’ who spent decades of commitment to public service benefiting Florida’s children and their families, every year since 1999 Children’s Week organizers present the Chiles Advocacy Award to a deserving Floridian who exemplifies integrity, dedication and commitment to improving the lives of Florida’s children and their families and who has successfully engaged others to promote policies and programs benefiting them.
This year, the 2017 Chiles Advocacy Award recipient is Barnett, who will be presented with the award on Monday, March 27 at 6 p.m. during the Children’s Week Awards Dinner and Reception at the University Center Club at Florida State University.
Throughout her more than 30 years of public service, Barnett’s work in children’s advocacy has set the standard for others to follow. She served as a board member of Florida Council on Economic Education for nine years and is a current board member of The Children’s Movement of Florida. In addition, as president of Publix Super Markets Charities, she has been instrumental in targeting hundreds of millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations that support healthy child development.
Barnett has been a member of the board of directors for Publix Super Markets; served as vice chair of the Florida Partnership for School Readiness; was a founding board member of the Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland; and has been co-chair of the United Way of Central Florida Leadership Committee. She has received numerous awards, including the Polk County Schools Hall of Fame Award, George Williams Society Award and the Girls, Inc.-Outstanding Service to Youth award. In 2016, Barnett was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame for her extraordinary service.
“Carol’s commitment to improving the quality of life for Florida’s children and their families embodies the spirit of all that Children’s Week stands for. Her work has provided an untold number of children the opportunity to reach their full potential in life. She has set the standard to which all children’s advocates aspire,” said United Way of Florida President and Children’s Week Chair Ted Granger.
For more information about Children’s Week events and the Awards Dinner, please visit www.childrensweek.org.