CHAMPION FOR CHILDREN AWARD RECIPIENTS: Representatives from Livingston County’s six public libraries accept the 2024 Champion for Children organizational award.

CAP Announces 2024 Champion for Children Award Recipients

The 2024 Champion for Children award recipients were honored during LACASA’s Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Council’s “Plant a Pinwheel” celebration at the Howell Carnegie Library on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

The Champion for Children award is a joint effort between the CAP Council and Great Start Livingston to recognize outstanding individuals and/or organizations who devote significant time and energy to helping children in Livingston County. This year’s honorees include two individuals and one group award.

Howell teacher Kristi Fowler and retired Livingston Educational Service Agency administrator Sean LaRosa were both selected as Champions for Children for their extraordinary contributions to education in Livingston County. The organizational award was given to the six public libraries of Livingston County for their devotion to creating lifelong learners and the welcoming, supportive spirit in which they do so.

“We know there are many people tirelessly supporting children in our communities, and most of that work goes unrecognized,” said LACASA’s Director of Family Prevention and Education Holly Naylor. “The Champion for Children award is our way of shining a light on those who make our community a better place for kids, often without any expectation of recognition.”

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Champion for Children award and ceremony offer the opportunity to spotlight those outstanding individuals and organizations who make a significant positive difference in the lives of children in Livingston County. Those who nominated the winners were invited to take part in the award ceremony as well.

Kristi Fowler of Northwest Elementary School in Howell was nominated by two parents whose children were in her class and described her as a true Champion for Children. Kristi has dedicated more than 20 years of her life to educating children in Howell, where, in addition to her teaching duties, she also leads the school’s Student Council and the “Girls on the Run” program. She is known for organizing and supporting numerous fundraisers in and out of school, and for inspiring and empowering students to maximize their potential and discover their passions.

Kristi Fowler (center) accepts the 2024 Champion for Children award.

Sean LaRosa, photo courtesy of Michigan Department of Education.

Sean LaRosa is a former teacher and principal who served as Assistant Superintendent for Early Learning at the Livingston Educational Service Agency for nine years. Sean was not able to attend the ceremony, but the many nominations on her behalf cited her dedication and passion to increasing learning outcomes and forging relationships between early childhood programs and K-12 systems in Livingston County. As a result of her efforts, more than 4,000 at-risk 3 to 5-year-olds entered kindergarten prepared and with a foundation for future success, according to her colleagues.

Livingston County’s six public libraries ensure all children are welcomed and encouraged to become lifelong learners. The libraries, as a community-supported asset, work collectively to teach children valuable and lessons in research and evaluation and promote lifelong literacy and learning.

“Our 2024 Champion for Children award winners show just how much of a positive impact each one of us can have on the lives of children in our community, and the different ways to work together to do so,” Naylor said.

For questions about CAP or any of its programs, contact Holly Naylor at or call 517-548-1350.