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Monthly Newsletter - February 2009

Help Make Health Coverage a Reality for All Children in 2009

February has been a busy month for children's health coverage. Earlier this month, President Obama signed legislation expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program providing coverage to an additional four million children and including some improvements that advocates like you have been fighting for. Thank you to everyone who joined us in pushing for this expansion over these past two years!

But this CHIP legislation is not the real health reform children deserve. Five to 6 million children will still have no health coverage, and millions more will remain underinsured.

This week, President Obama said in his State of the Nation address, "Health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year." As a result of President Obama’s message, the Senate Finance Committee is meeting this week to move forward with health care reform by holding a public hearing on our nation's health care.

Now is the time to build on the momentum of these significant events. We must continue to work towards making President Obama’s promise of health coverage for all children in America a reality in 2009. Send an email today to the members of the Senate Finance Committee thanking them for getting to work so quickly on this critical issue and urging them to ensure that this reform includes health coverage for every child.

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We Need Your Support to Improve the Lives of Children

With your financial support, the Children’s Defense Fund can highlight stories of families, organize grassroots efforts to push for reform, and work with Congress and the Obama Administration to ensure that all children are included in health care reform this year. Without you… this critically needed reform may be stalled or might not happen at all. Please give today—your financial support plays a vital role in ensuring that millions of uninsured children have a voice on Capitol Hill.

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Resource: State-level Data on Children

Did you know that CDF has state-level factsheets that provide basic child stats and rankings regarding poverty, health, hunger, child welfare, early childhood development, education and youth at risk? Data related to children at the state and local levels are often difficult to obtain and lack any kind of comparison to surrounding states or a national average.

We hope that providing key state and national data in a concise uniform format will enable readers to see how children fare in their state, look at neighboring states and the national average, and then urge their elected officials to ensure a level playing field for every child.

CDF President Marian Wright Edelman on the Web

As our nation continues to make history on a daily basis, Marian Wright Edelman has been an active part of the conversations happening online. Here are a few places you can read Mrs. Edelman's thoughts on current issues and how they affect children:

Recovery for America and Our Children

Earlier this month, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. Thanks to your calls to Congress, the law contains numerous provisions that will stimulate the economy and help children and families.

Now, tell President Obama how the new recovery package is affecting you, your community and how this law will finally begin to improve the lives of children and the lives of all of us.

CDF-NY Summit Develops Plan to Dismantle the Pipeline to Prison

Earlier this month, more than 400 people attended CDF-NY’s summit, "Connecting the Neighborhood-based Dots: Promoting Solutions to Dismantle the Pipeline to Prison." The summit focused on public awareness regarding the systemic issues that are driving children from New York’s poorest communities into juvenile detention centers, the need to invest in successful community-based alternatives to detention, and promising solutions and neighborhood-based approaches to dismantling the pipeline.

Justice Mapping Center - NY MapCDF-NY partnered with the Justice Mapping Center to produce a series of community maps for the summit that dramatically depicted the geographic concentrations of poverty, racial segregation, failing schools, high school suspensions, foster care placement and juvenile detention. Speakers (including youth participants) presented recommendations and solutionsto dismantle the pipeline such as creating safe and respectful school cultures and re-directing resources from youth jails to community-based alternatives for young people.

CDF-NY plans to use solutions and recommendations from the summit to implement an action plan to dismantle the pipeline in New York. Learn more about CDF's Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign or contact CDF-NY at messages@cdfny.org.

You're Invited: CDF-Minnesota's Beat the Odds Dinner

CDF-MN Award RecipientsCDF-Minnesota (CDF-MN) is gearing up for its 17th annual Beat the Odds Awards Dinner on March 12 in Minneapolis, where this year’s four outstanding honorees will tell their inspiring stories. Honorees include Max Wirt, Michael Roberts, Kia Lor and Edwin Rosas.

Founded in 1990, the Beat the Odds program has awarded hundreds of scholarships to high school students who have overcome tremendous adversity in their lives and gone on to achieve academic excellence and give back to their communities. Read past honoree's stories and learn more about the event and how you can attend.

Multi-Faith Resource for Child Advocacy

PRE-ORDER: Create Change for Children Today: Bring Hope and The National Observance of Children's Sabbaths manual serves as a guide for you and your faith community to engage in year-round child and family advocacy work and in celebrating National Observance of Children's Sabbaths weekend. The manual includes resources for worship services, education programs, direct service activities, and social justice initiatives for your congregation, organization or community.

Learn more and pre-order your copy today.


CDF's Langston Hughes Library to Host 2009 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture

CDF is pleased to announce that the Association for Library Service to Children has selected the Langston Hughes Library as the host for the 2009 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Walter Dean Myers, renowned author of outstanding fiction, poetry and nonfiction for children and young adults, was selected to deliver the 2009 lecture.

Visit our website to learn more about the event and how you can attend.

Join the Movement to End Child Poverty

Mobilization to End PovertyIn April 2009, Sojourners will host thousands of faithful advocates united in The Mobilization to End Poverty. This historic gathering in Washington, DC, will call on the new President and Congress to cut domestic poverty in half within 10 years.

Learn more and register at Sojourners' website.

2009, Children’s Defense Fund, 25 E Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001 | 1 (800) 233-1200 | Unsubscribe
The Children's Defense Fund's Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.