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Rx Kids Hosting ‘Baby Parade’ to Celebrate Flint Children

By May 30, 2024News

smiling baby in a stroller

In 1918, the United States government recognized ‘Children’s Year,’ an effort to “save 100,000 babies” by addressing issues that impact child welfare, including a lack of data on maternal and child health, the effects of poverty on health, lack of educational resources, and a lack of safe spaces for children to play. 

A visual way that advocates for child and maternal health raised awareness of these issues across the country was by hosting “baby parades,” which celebrated and showcased the lives and activities of healthy kids in their communities.  

Just a little over a century later, Flint Rx Kids was launched in January 2024 to address many of the same issues the Children’s Year hoped to bring awareness to. Now, Rx Kids is hosting its first-ever Baby Parade in Flint from 2-4 p.m. on June 11 to highlight the historic investment in babies and the program’s early successes. 


  • What: Flint Rx Kids Baby Parade
  • When: Tuesday, June 11, 2-4 p.m.
  • Where: Applewood Parking lot, near the corner of Walnut and Kearsley streets on the Flint Cultural Center campus; 305 Walnut Street
  • Details: Rx Kids will be hosting a Baby Parade to celebrate moms and babies and the historic launch of Rx Kids, continue advocating for more attention and resources to meet the needs of moms and babies, and reaffirm the values of Rx Kids. The Rx Kids Baby Parade will include families and children, Flint community members, and performers from local youth organizations.
  • Parking: Available across Walnut Street from the event, in the FIM Whiting parking lot.

“So far, more than 700 families in Flint have received more than $1 million in cash prescriptions from Rx Kids,” said Dr. Mona Hanna, Associate Dean for Public Health in the College of Human Medicine and Director of the Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative and director of Flint Rx Kids. “Our communities thrive when our kids are healthy and taken care of, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate our beloved, talented children in Flint than a Baby Parade.” 

Original baby parades featured many aspects of healthy childhood life, including sports and athletic activities, games, music, art, ice cream, and other aspects of play and happiness. The Flint version will feature a similar celebration of babies by including activities and demonstrations from youth-serving organizations across Flint and will include free scoops of Rx Kids Strawberry Sweetheart “mixed with love” ice cream from the MSU Dairy Store. 

The event will begin with remarks and a new Flint Public Art Project Rx Kids mural announcement. Generously sponsored by the Economic Security Project, the mural will be created on the back wall of the Buick Gallery, near the parade route this spring. Remarks will be followed by a short parade loop in the Applewood Estate parking lot located behind the Buick Gallery building at Walnut and Kearsley streets in the Flint Cultural Center, with child-themed activities and entertainment infused into the parade.  

“This callback to the baby parades of the Children’s Year in 1918 and 1919 serves as an important reminder that the same children’s health issues the country was seeking to address then remain critically important today,” Rx Kids co-director and University of Michigan Professor H. Luke Shaefer said. “Today Flint takes its place alongside the Children’s Year in making history with a baby parade in celebration of Rx Kids, the nation’s first citywide program to support families with infants with direct cash prescriptions during this critical window of development.”