How Well Do Your Members of Congress Protect Children?
Once again, that's the question asked by the Children's Defense Fund Action Council® 2009 Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard. The CDF Action Council, CDF’s sister organization, tracked votes that Senators and Representatives cast on important concerns affecting children and families in 2009. Their Scorecard gives each Member of Congress a score based on how often his or her votes helped protect children. Check the CDF Action Council® 2009 Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard to find out how your state’s Congressional delegation scored for children in 2009. The 2010 Congressional Scorecard will be available once the second session of the 111th Congress adjourns. This annual Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard is part of the CDF Action Council’s public education, ongoing policy analysis and advocacy for children. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any candidate for public office.
10-10-10 March for Children & Youth
On October 10, 2010, CDF-Minnesota will partner with other local child advocacy organizations in mobilizing 10,000 child advocates to march on the state capitol to ensure elected officials and those seeking office put 10 key children’s concerns at the forefront of their platforms and legislative agendas. Special guest speakers for the rally include Garrison Keillor, author and host and writer of A Prairie Home Companion, and CDF President Marian Wright Edelman. It was at CDF’s April Young Advocate Leadership Training (YALT®) program that a small delegation of young adults from Minnesota drew up action plans for the march as a way to raise awareness for children at home. Other YALT participants are also planning 10-10-10 events in Arkansas, Georgia, North and South Carolina. For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. CDF is proud of this cadre of young adult leaders and their continued engagement and commitment to improve the lives of children.
On October 15-17, child advocates in Minnesota and across the country will continue the momentum for children during the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths weekend, an annual, multi-faith event where thousands of congregations lift up children in need and act on their behalf. It’s not too late to begin planning your Children’s Sabbaths celebration. Download this year’s Children’s Sabbath manual.
Take Action for Youths in the Juvenile Justice System
CDF, together with a broad coalition of national organizations, is advocating for the humane and fair treatment of children in the juvenile justice system through improvements in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). The JJDPA, once reauthorized, would restore adequate funding to states that implement effective research-based practices for youths in delinquency prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation. It would also require states to collect data and conduct analyses to help counter the massive overrepresentation of children of color in detention and incarceration. Learn more about the JJDPA, the importance of Congress reauthorizing the JJDPA this year and how you can help make it happen. For more data on children and youth at risk, see CDF’s 2010 State of America’s Children® report.
9/23 Milestone for Children and Young People in Health Reform
September 23 marked the sixth month anniversary of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act)—and with it came much for children, young adults, and their families to celebrate! Long awaited relief for millions of children and young adults took effect. Young adults can now get health coverage through their parents’ insurance plans until age 26; children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be discriminated against by insurers; when a child or adult becomes sick, insurance companies are prohibited from rescinding coverage, just as they can no longer place annual or lifetime caps on coverage; and children can now receive preventive services without any co-payment requirements. Your hard work in securing passage of the Affordable Care Act is already bringing help to children and families across the country—and we thank you! Go to www.GettingCovered.org to learn more about coverage for young adults and www.healthcare.gov for other helpful tips on the new health reforms.
CDF Hosts Early Childhood Data Institute
The Children’s Defense Fund recently hosted Data Driven Decisions: Separating Fact from Fiction in Building Early Care and Education Systems, a learning institute for agency representatives from Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina who competed to attend. The institute focused on the importance of using coordinated early childhood data systems as tools to help policymakers better understand the needs of young children and the programs and services they are getting and still need. Early childhood data are often scattered throughout multiple state agencies or departments, making it difficult for policymakers and advocates to develop efficient coordinated strategies to meet the needs of young children and families in their states.
This institute gave state teams the opportunity to:
- Better understand the importance of and how to use of data in driving policy decisions.
- Share lessons learned and challenges faced in improving state data systems.
- Discuss the best strategies for implementing effective early childhood data systems.
A complete summary of the Institute, videos, meeting resources and presentations are available.
Last week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the TEACH Campaign, an initiative to highlight the importance of the teaching profession and get a new generation of teachers into the classroom. The newly launched teach.gov website features videos of celebrities, leaders, and teachers—including several alumni of the CDF Freedom Schools® program—reflecting on meaningful moments they’ve experienced in the classroom. The TEACH campaign was unveiled during a conference organized by the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights on “Civil Rights and School Discipline: Addressing Disparities to Ensure Equal Educational Opportunities”, where Barbara Best, CDF’s Director of Foundation Relations and Special Projects, participated in a panel and highlighted the CDF Freedom Schools program as an example of a positive learning environment and an alternative to harsh zero tolerance school discipline policies.
CDF Online Store Featured Product
Check out posters from CDF's past campaigns for children which feature our long-standing partnership with the award-winning advertising firm Fallon Worldwide. The strong visual images and the accompanying messages used in these posters will be a great addition for your office, classroom or wherever else you want to raise awareness for children.