American Dream Vanishing
The American dream is vanishing for millions of families and children. New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau earlier this month revealed there are now 46.2 million poor people in America, the largest number on record in the last 52 years. One in three of America’s poor were children—16.4 million—over 950,000 more poor children than last year. CDF President Marian Wright Edelman calls this rising tide of child poverty “a national disgrace,” and in her most recent Child Watch® Column asks the question, “Is our nation on the Titanic?”
Shoes tell the story of the McKee family’s descent into poverty. Skyler, 10, confides about a bigger problem. “Sometimes we don’t have food and we just don’t eat.” Read their story »
To put names and faces and stories to the statistics, we have launched a new series, “Children of Hard Times.” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Cass traveled through America’s heartland on behalf of CDF to chronicle the real-life toll poverty is having on children and their families. Read the the heart-breaking stories of three families with children in Ohio and Michigan, and bookmark our child poverty page. We will post new stories each week to keep the spotlight on faces of child poverty.
Find out how the rise in child poverty has affected your state with our 50-statechild poverty fact sheets.
A Dream Deferred for America’s Young Families and Children
Poet Langston Hughes once wrote, “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore…” The Great Recession of 2007-2009 has had a devastating impact on the jobs and dreams of America’s youngest families. Young families with children, where the parent is under 30 years old, have the highest poverty rate ever recorded. CDF recently commissioned an in-depth analysis on employment opportunities for teens, young adults, and young families with children from Andy Sum, professor of economics and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. You can download these newly released issue briefs covering a wide-range of topics on our website. Learn more about the job prospects for teenagers, decreased earnings for young people, and the unemployment and poverty rates that have the American dream vanishing for our youngest generation during this “jobless decade.”
Stressing Justice for Juveniles in October
CDF joins organizations around the country to promote youth delinquency prevention, and fair, humane rehabilitative treatment for incarcerated youth. As Congress proposes cuts to federal juvenile justice programs in the 2012 budget, the Campaign For Youth Justice and the Dignity in Schools Campaign are supporting events in states across the country to raise awareness about youth at risk of entering the Cradle to Prison Pipeline.
Find out more about what’s being planned in your community and about CDF’s juvenile justice policy priorities.
Obama Administration Waives Education Proficiency Requirements
Last Friday, President Obama announced a plan to provide states with waivers for current problematic requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Although most members of Congress believe NCLB is broken and needs to be fixed, no agreement on how to revise the legislation has been reached. Under current law, states are required to demonstrate that 100 percent of students are proficient in math and reading by 2014. Now the Administration will waive this requirement under specific conditions. States will have to implement specific reforms that include upgrading teacher evaluation systems, creating state-based school accountability systems, and setting college and career readiness academic standards for all children in the state. View the President’s speech here.
Grandparents Making a Difference
Kinship care state fact sheets for grandparents and other relatives raising children are now available providing information on state-specific data, public policies, local resources and local programs for kinship families. Also, check out a photo slideshow from last month’s GrandRally for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children.
Children’s Sabbaths Action Resources Now Available
Action resources to engage your faith community are now available to accompany the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths resources manual. Involve your faith community in efforts to protect children from harm in the budget battles by downloading the manual from our website. It’s not too late to get your faith community involved as part of the Children’s Sabbaths weekend, October 14 - 16, and to demand our children not be sacrificial lambs on the altar of adult politics.
The depth of hunger and food insecurity in Marion, Ohio became clear this summer when hundreds of people stood in a hot sun for an hour and a half for free produce at the Salvation Army. The line stretched for three blocks as a total of 177 families picked up 10,000 pounds of romaine lettuce, carrots, potatoes, corn, peppers and bread. “We’ve never seen this many families,” a Salvation Army spokesman said.