Children Matter. Act Now! | May 2015
Ending Child Poverty NOW
President Marian Wright Edelman took the message about ending child poverty NOW
to a full house of foundation leaders, business leaders and service providers
at the City Club of Cleveland on May 22, 2015. Her speech kicked off a series
on Family Resilience and highlighted why ending child poverty is key to
promoting resilience in families. Watch this powerful, emotional speech and learn how you can make a
difference in your community. If you haven’t read CDF’s report,
Ending Child Poverty Now, take the time and share it with your
networks. The United States has the second highest relative child
poverty rate among 35 industrialized countries despite being the world’s
largest economy. A child in the United States has a 1 in 5 chance of being poor and the younger she is the poorer she
is likely to be. Growing up poor has lifelong negative consequences, decreasing
the likelihood of graduating from high school and increasing the likelihood of
becoming a poor adult, suffering from poor health, and becoming involved in the
criminal justice system. Yet in the city of Cleveland, more than half (54 percent) of children lived in
poverty in 2013, more than 1 in 4 children in extreme poverty (at less than
half of the poverty level) and more than two-thirds of the children (67
percent) lived in areas of concentrated poverty (where the poverty rates
were 30 percent or more). And 58 percent of children lived in families where no
parent had regular full-time employment.
CDF never gives up. For
more than 40 years we have worked to level the playing field for children by
advocating for the policies and programs that support children from birth
through a safe passage to adulthood with the help of caring individuals and
communities. With your support we will continue to champion policies that give
America’s children the fair and head start they need to thrive. When you speak
up for children, you speak up for the stability of our nation’s future.
Supporting Investments for Young Children
The Strong Start for America’s Children
Act introduced on
May 19th by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representatives Robert
C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) and Richard Hanna (R-NY) highlights the continuing
importance of increased investments in the development and learning of our youngest
The bill—over 10 years—will expand and improve critical early
learning opportunities for children birth through age 5 with a full continuum
of supports including voluntary home visiting, Early Head Start, Head Start,
child care, pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten.
We need your help to show broad support for this
Strong Start bill which is very similar to the one introduced in the last
Call or tweet your members of
Urge them to co-sponsor the Strong Start for America’s Children
Ensuring Success for Neediest Children
is expected to begin debate on the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177), the reauthorization of the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act, in June or July. It is critically
important that improvements be made in the bill before it is approved by the
full Senate to ensure the poorest children, children of color, English
Language Learners, children with disabilities and children in foster care have
the opportunities and supports they need to achieve.
CDF is working with The
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and others to ensure a final Senate bill will hold states accountable for
progress for these children, ensure resource equity so
all can truly achieve and ensure a strong federal role when children aren't progressing.
Call or tweet your Senators. Urge
them to support amendments that promote state accountability for vulnerable
groups of children, resource equity and a strong federal role when children are not achieving and states are not helping them
20 Years and Growing
The 20th Anniversary CDF Freedom Schools® Ella
Baker Child Advocacy Training Institute, our national training, is nearly here.
We’re ready to meet and greet nearly 2,000 college students from 108 cities who
will come together at CDF Haley Farm in Tennessee to learn cheers and chants,
more about the Integrated Reading Curriculum and classroom management, and how
to make learning fun for the scholars they will be teaching and mentoring this
summer. We are excited to make this milestone anniversary a summer that CDF Freedom Schools children will never forget. Since 1995, we’ve
trained more than 16,000 college students and recent graduates to deliver the CDF Freedom Schools award-winning model.
Many have gone on to become teachers and principals and professors after
helping more than 135,000 children fall in love with reading and inspiring them
to make a difference in their lives and communities. We’re grateful again this
year to our strong partners and for their powerful commitment to offer
opportunities, skills and healthy meals, and to put college in sight for needy
children in their communities.
CDF-Minnesota is piloting two American Indian-focused
Freedom Schools that will serve 80 scholars at two American Indian
organizations in Minneapolis—Division of Indian Work and the Minneapolis
American Indian Center. We are pleased to welcome our new American Indian
partners and servant leader interns to national training. Nation Wright, CDF-MN
21st Century Programs Coordinator said:
"Our Minneapolis American Indian
students graduate at a rate between 20-30% and many of them drop out at a young
age. The CDF Freedom Schools model
will provide a positive learning environment that reflects and values our
Native children. We are extremely excited to be able to provide this program to
the American Indian community in Minneapolis and believe that it will be a game
changer for our scholars. We’re eager to begin the program this summer and are
hopeful that it will be a model that tribal communities can use across Indian
Country to positively impact outcomes for our Native children and their
Freedom Schools model celebrates diversity, inclusiveness, and carefully
selects books that reflect the lives of the children and can inspire them to strive
to reach their full potential. Donate today to support this important work.
New Strategies, Skills and Effective Models
When you attend the 21st Annual Proctor Institute
for Child Advocacy Ministry you will have a unique experience that will leave
you informed, inspired, equipped, connected, and ready to put your faith even
more effectively into action to seek justice for our nation’s children. Check
out our great lineup of speakers and preachers and explore which of the 18
workshops would strengthen your skills to better advocate for children in your
community. Hone your organizing skills, recommit yourself to making a
difference for children, and recharge with an intergenerational, interracial,
and culturally diverse community of the faithful. This year we have special
scholarship opportunities available on first-come first-served basis — if you
want to learn more about this opportunity please reach out to a CDF office in
your state or email the Rev. Janet Wolf firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to see you, your family, your friends, and members
of your congregation at the Proctor Institute this July 20-24 at CDF Haley Farm.
and share this flyer and registration form or register online.
"Orange" You Ready to End Gun Violence?
On June 2nd advocates across the country will
wear orange for the first National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The classmates of
Pendleton, who lost her life to gun violence in Chicago just days after
marching in President Obama’s inaugural parade, wore orange to honor her life —
the color hunters wear to alert other hunters to their presence. Their action
has inspired a movement. CDF has long advocated that we must Protect Children,
Not Guns. Show your support by wearing orange June 2nd and for more
information, go to www.wearorange.com. Make
sure to tweet @childdefender
your pictures wearing orange with the hashtag #ProtectChildrenNotGuns.
The First Lady and Marian Wright Edelman Take the Stage
I’m also a little giddy to be joined on stage by another
one of my heroes, Marian Wright Edelman. Her moral leadership on behalf of
children in this country has inspired me throughout my career, as well as my
husband, the President of the United States. – First Lady Michelle Obama
|Marian Wright Edelman addresses Oberlin College & Conservatory's 2015 graduating class. Watch now.
Oberlin College & Conservatory’s commencement with First
Lady Michelle Obama and CDF President Marian Wright Edelman was a historic
occasion. Nearly 50 years after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed
Oberlin’s graduating class of 1965 with his commencement speech “Remaining
Awake Through a Great Revolution,” the college honored the First Lady and
Mrs. Edelman. During the ceremony the First Lady encouraged graduates to carry
on the Oberlin legacy of service and social justice. Marian Wright Edelman
encouraged graduates to be leaders and teachers, to come together, to stand and
speak up for justice and to live a life of service to spark the change so badly
America is going to
hell if we don’t use her vast resources to end poverty and make it possible for
all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life. — Martin
Luther King Jr.
Ending child poverty
is just the critically important start to improving the lives of children
across the nation.
If you missed any of Marian
Wright Edelman’s Child Watch® Columns this month — here's a recap.
in the Family"
a Child’s Broken Heart"
Children in Foster Care"
Thank you for your continued dedication to CDF's Leave No Child Behind® mission.
Please share this message with your networks and encourage them to join our mailing list.