Office of the Governor

First Chance Delaware

First Chance Delaware

“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. 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.”

Image of the First Lady's signature


First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney is leading the First Chance Delaware initiative. The goal of this initiative is to ensure that all of Delaware’s children have a “first chance” to succeed.

First Chance Delaware encourages public, private, non-profit, philanthropic, business entities and community partnerships that work to:

  • End childhood hunger and expand access to nutritious food for low-income children
  • Promote learning readiness through literacy, health, and parent-child engagement programs
  • Advance the recognition of and effective response to adverse childhood experiences
First Chance is a vehicle to recognize and to facilitate effective partnerships, to share research and best practices, and to promote awareness of 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.


Ending Childhood Hunger

Tracey serves lunch to students.

The Task Force to End Childhood Hunger consists of a central team convened by the First Lady with 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, members of the Delaware School Nutrition Association, the Department of Agriculture, Delaware farmers, Summer Food Service Program sponsors and partners, and the regional office of the USDA.

Promoting Learning Readiness

 Governor Carney and Tracey sit down for a conversation with country singer Dolly Parton.

Tracey works closely with the Delaware Libraries, the Delaware Readiness Teams, and other advocates to promote learning readiness through literacy, health, and parent-child engagement programs. These programs include the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and Kindergarten Readiness programming.

In Delaware, every child under the age of five is eligible to receive a gift of a monthly book at no charge to families. Families can sign up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library on Delaware Libraries’ website:

Sign up for free books!
Recognizing and Responding to Adverse Childhood Experiences

Tracey stands with two youth advocates from Delaware at the White House's event on Youth Mental Health.

In order to raise awareness around Adverse Childhood Experiences, Tracey has worked closely with the Family Services Cabinet Council to promote trauma awareness, including recognizing May as Trauma Awareness Month and presenting Delaware’s Compassionate Champions awards.

2023 will mark the fifth-annual Trauma Awareness Month in Delaware.

Learn more about Trauma Awareness Month

To learn more about First Chance Delaware and Pathways to Resilience, read Tracey’s opinion piece in the News Journal.

Get Involved

If your ORGANIZATION is interested in partnering with others toward First Chance goals, please fill out form 1 below.

*indicates required


Ending childhood hunger and expanding access to nutritious food for low-income children
Promoting learning readiness
Responding to adverse childhood experiences

If you are an INDIVIDUAL who would like to volunteer at First Chance events (such as community food drives, book drives, baby showers, and peer or play groups), please fill out form 2 below.

*indicates required


(check all that apply):
Sussex County
Kent County
New Castle County
City of Wilmington


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