Governor Carney, First Lady, Casey Family Programs Announce “First Chance Delaware”

New initiative promotes culture of commitment to Delaware children through cross-sector partnerships

WILMINGTON, Del. – Joined by members of his Cabinet, representatives from Casey Family Programs and child advocates, Governor John Carney joined First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney on Thursday to announce First Chance Delaware – an initiative led by the First Lady to recognize and facilitate effective partnerships, to share research and best practices, and to promote opportunities to collaborate in support of Delaware’s children.

Casey Family Programs provided the founding grant for First Chance Delaware, and will continue to provide technical and operational support through Casey’s First Spouse Initiative program.

Delawareans can learn more about First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney’s “First Chance Delaware” initiative, and sign up to help, at

“First Chance is not a new program. It is a framework, in coordination with the Family Services Cabinet Council, to promote a statewide culture of commitment to Delaware’s children,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “In advancing that culture, we recognize our shared interest, as well as our shared moral obligation, to give all children an opportunity to realize their potential – in learning, work, and citizenship. We also recognize that, working in isolation, not even the most well intentioned – or even the most well-funded – organizations or individuals can address the obstacles to success that too many of our children confront in the 21st Century. The challenges are intertwined; each deepens the others, in a geometric – and often generational – erosion of opportunity. So to be effective, the efforts to alleviate those challenges must be coordinated and mutually reinforcing. Everyone concerned with Delaware’s future needs to be involved.”

First Chance Delaware will focus its work on:

  • Ending childhood hunger and expanding access to nutritious food for low-income children;
  • Promoting learning readiness through literacy, health and parent-child engagement programs; and
  • Advancing the recognition of – and effective responses to – adverse childhood experiences.

“First Chance Delaware encourages partners from across government, the nonprofit sector, and private business to work together on behalf of Delaware’s children,” said Governor Carney. “This initiative is already helping to confront childhood hunger across our state, and will bring partners together to take on challenges surrounding trauma, learning readiness, and childhood literacy. Thank you to Tracey for her leadership, and we look forward to bringing more voices and resources to the table with the goal of finding solutions to critical issues facing Delaware’s children.”

The statewide Task Force to End Childhood Hunger is the first model partnership to be recognized as a First Chance Delaware program.

“Making sure our children and families have the tools they need to thrive and be successful is vital,” said Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “The partnerships created by First Chance Delaware will help us identify gaps so that we can assist and provide for our children in so many areas. I look forward to working with Governor Carney and First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney, as well as the Family Services Cabinet Council, to help make our children and families stronger and healthier.”

“As a member of the Governor’s Family Services Cabinet Council, I have seen firsthand the Governor’s commitment to improving the lives of Delaware’s children and families; however, state government alone cannot address all of the needs of Delawareans, which is why we are all very grateful to First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney for creating First Chance Delaware,” said Josette Manning, Secretary of Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families. “First Chance Delaware will break down the barriers between state agencies and all other individuals and organizations to encourage collaboration and creative solutions to some of the most complex issues facing our children and families.”

Related News
Summer Food Service Program Provides Nutritious Meals for Needy Children
First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney Attends Learning Lab on State Strategies to Reduce Childhood Hunger

Related Background Information
The statewide Task Force to End Childhood Hunger, with a central team convened by the First Lady, includes representatives from the Food Bank of Delaware, the Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Social Services. This task force’s specific goals include increasing participation and building partnerships in support of the Summer Food Service Program and alternative model school breakfasts. The task force also seeks to promote awareness of all programs, public and private, available to Delawareans experiencing food insecurity. Other task force partners include the Harry K Foundation; superintendents, principals, and members of the Delaware School Nutrition Association; the Department of Agriculture and Delaware farmers; Summer Food Service Program sponsors and partners; and the regional office of the USDA.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Governor Carney, First Lady to Host Holiday Open House at Woodburn

Holiday Open House at Woodburn on Satuday, December 2.

DOVER, Del. – On Saturday, December 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Governor John Carney and First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney will host a holiday open house at Woodburn, the Governor’s Residence. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet the Governor and First Lady, tour Woodburn and Hall House, view holiday decorations, and enjoy holiday treats. The event is free and open to the public.

WHAT:        Holiday open house and tours at Woodburn.

WHO:          Governor John Carney

First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney

WHEN:       Saturday, December 2, 2017

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. *Governor Carney will arrive around 12:00 p.m.

WHERE:    Woodburn

151 Kings Highway Southwest

Dover, DE 19901




The Woodburn Holiday Open House is one of several events taking place in Dover on Saturday, December 2:

Saturday, December 2, 2017
“Delaware’s State Constitution.”
9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Guided tours explore the Delaware State Constitution of 1792 which changed the Delaware State to the State of Delaware. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover.

Saturday, December 2, 2017
“Johnson Victrola Museum’s 50th Anniversary Celebration: A Country Tale”
Program at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Museum open 9 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.
Program, “Play That Old-Time Country Music,” explores Victor Records’ early recordings of country music, accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Part of a series celebrating the museum’s creation in 1967. First Saturday in the First State program. Programs held in the museum’s 2nd floor gallery (entry via staircase; no elevator). Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required for the programs by calling 302-739-3262. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover.

Saturday, December 2, 2017
“Handmade for the Holidays”
Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Seasonal program in which visitors can design a tile for the holidays. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover.

Saturday, December 2, 2017
“Home for the Holidays Market Place & Parade”
3 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Parade starts at 6:30 p.m.
Loockerman Way Plaza, Dover.
Click here for more information from the Downtown Dover Partnership.

Summer Food Service Program Provides Nutritious Meals for Needy Children

Delaware’s First Lady is leading effort to ensure children have regular access to healthy meals

WILMINGTON, Del. – First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney and the Delaware Department of Education are asking for your help in letting Delaware residents know of the availability of free meals this summer for children in need.

The Summer Food Service Program targets children in low-income areas to ensure they have nutritious meals during the summer. Children and teens 18 years old or younger are eligible to receive a meal at the open sites. It is a federally funded program operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and managed locally by the Delaware Department of Education.

Delawareans can call “211” or text “food” or “comida” to 877-877 to find meal sites in Delaware.

“We’re asking all Delawareans to join in the fight against childhood hunger by spreading the word about the Summer Food Service Program,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “Ensuring that every child has access to nutritious meals is a moral obligation that also supports the most urgent, practical goals we have for our state – for student engagement and achievement, for public health, and for a vibrant economy driven by a strong workforce.”

Meal site sponsors, including school districts, are using creative ways to reach children in their communities, including trucks that bring meals to neighborhoods, partnerships with libraries and bookmobiles and meal sites at community functions such as the Loockerman Way Farmers’ Market in Dover and the Delaware State Fair.

“Many children depend on the nutrition they receive at school during the academic year. When school is out, their needs remain,” said Susan Bunting, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education. “The Summer Food Service Program provides meals to children in their own communities so that they don’t go hungry during summer break.”

First Lady Carney is leading a Delaware team studying how to leverage public-private partnerships to ensure school-age children have regular access to healthy meals. In addition to providing more education and outreach to increase awareness, the team will identify new and innovative ways to increase access to child nutrition programs, specifically for families in rural areas when school is not in session.

Use the hashtag #summermealsDE to spread the word on social media.


Related news:
First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney Attends Learning Lab on Strategies to Reduce Childhood Hunger

First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney Attends Learning Lab on State Strategies to Reduce Childhood Hunger

Delaware one of ten states and territories selected to participate in learning lab

DOVER, Del. – First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney is leading a Delaware team studying how Virginia has leveraged public-private partnerships to ensure school-age children have regular access to healthy meals.

Delaware was one of 10 states and territories selected by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices to participate in a learning lab on state strategies to reduce childhood hunger. Gathered in Richmond Monday and Tuesday, the participating states are learning more about communicating and collaborating to reduce hunger, expanding access to school breakfast, supporting innovation in summer meal programs, and streamlining eligibility determination for free meals.

“[Virginia First Lady] Dorothy McAuliffe has provided inspirational leadership on the issue of childhood hunger, and Share Our Strength and the National Governors Association (NGA) have been tremendous partners in that effort,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “I’m privileged to be part of the Delaware delegation to this week’s learning lab, along with Aimee Beam from the Department of Education; Ray Fitzgerald, Director of the Division of Social Services; Charlotte McGarry, Programs Director for the Food Bank of Delaware; and Jon Sheehan, Education Policy Advisor.

“We’ve been encouraged by the many ways that efforts already underway in our State align with national best practices, and I’m so proud to learn from those who have been leading such good work in Delaware. We’ve also picked up a few ideas from other states, especially our friends in Virginia, and it’s exciting to think about how we can, very realistically, build alliances and make progress toward meeting the most basic need of the next generation of Delaware’s workforce and leadership. The quality of our schools and the growth of our economy, as well as public health, depend on our success in that effort.”

“Neither teachers nor students can be successful when hunger permeates our classrooms and homes,” said Governor Carney. “Reducing childhood hunger is a moral, educational, and economic imperative.”

The Governor has tasked the Delaware team – which includes representatives from the Governor’s Office, Delaware Department of Education, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and Food Bank of Delaware – to develop a comprehensive plan to establish partnerships between districts and charter schools and public-private organizations that will support existing and new initiatives for reducing childhood hunger.

In addition to providing more education and outreach to increase awareness, the team will identify new and innovative ways to increase access to child nutrition programs, specifically for families in rural areas when school is not in session.

Delaware has made progress in recent years. For example, the Community Eligibility Provision – which allows all children in a school to eat for free if at least 40 percent of its population qualifies – has helped more students across Delaware have the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch at school at no cost. This school year, 115 schools participated in the program, an increase from 96 schools when launched in 2014-15. Delaware is ranked in the top five states for the largest increase in this area.

With the school year ending, the state now is trying to get out the word about the Summer Food Service Program, which aims to provide low-income children nutritious meals when school is not in session. Free meals, which meet federal nutrition guidelines, are provided to all children 18 years old and younger at approved SFSP sites in areas with significant concentrations of low-income children. Last summer, more than 720,000 meals (breakfast, lunch, snack, and supper) were served at more than 350 statewide locations.

“Children who depend on school meals for nutrition during the academic year still have needs when school is out,” said Secretary of Education Susan Bunting. “We must continue to provide nutritious food to children in their own communities so they don’t go hungry during the summer months.”

“Ensuring that Delaware children have access to nutritious food has always been a priority at the Food Bank of Delaware,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We have advocated for alternative models of school breakfast in all Delaware schools, improvements to the summer and after-school meal programs, and to ensure that both at-risk children and their families have access to healthy foods. We know that good nutrition is needed in order for kids to learn, play and grow. 17.3 percent of Delaware children are considered food insecure so there is still much we can do as a state. We are thrilled that Delaware has this opportunity to learn best practices from other states so that we can best serve our most vulnerable children.”


The First Spouse

Eleanor Roosevelt with Governor J. Caleb Boggs
Eleanor Roosevelt is shown here with Delaware Governor J. Caleb Boggs (right). The man on the left is unidentified.

(Dover, DE) Are American First Ladies a cultural mirror reflecting the role and popular perceptions of women of their eras? What happens when they are too outspoken or unconventional? On Saturday, March 5, at 10:30 a.m. Dr. Cynthia Newton will present a program about the women who have served as First Ladies to the United States. This presentation examines these questions with reference to the White House tenure of Abigail Fillmore, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Betty Ford. Naturally, this program leads to speculation of what will happen to the role of First Spouse when the roles may be reversed and the individual in the position/role is a male.

Dr. Cynthia Newton is Associate Professor in Political Science at Wesley College in Dover. Her areas of expertise are American governmental institutions and public policy. Her research includes substantial work on obesity as an emerging public policy area, and more recently the oversight role of Congress concerning issues affecting Major League Baseball. Dr. Newton is a strong advocate of civic and experiential education, student government, and students’ rights.

The program is free to the public and will last approximately one hour. No reservations are required. For more information, contact Tom Summers (302) 744-5047 or e-mail

Delaware Public Archives is located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard North in Dover. The Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room is open to the public Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. On the second Saturday of every month the research room is open from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Delaware Public Archives (DPA,, an agency of the State of Delaware, is one of the oldest public archives programs in the United States. DPA serves the citizens of Delaware by identifying, collecting, and preserving public records of enduring historical and evidential value; ensuring access to public records for present and future generations; and advising and educating interested parties in the creation, management, use, and preservation of public records.