Looking Forward for Children
The end of the year is a time to pause, look back and reflect then correct course and set new achievable goals for the New Year. At the Children’s Defense Fund, we found 2011 particularly challenging for children and families. In the aftermath of the Great Recession a record number of children are drowning in a sea of poverty. Child homelessness has increased by 33 percent over three years. More children are getting free breakfast and free lunch at school to stave off the pangs of hunger at home. More than half of American children are poor or low-income in families struggling to make ends meet while income and wealth gaps continue to grow.
Congress spent the year in partisan bickering over the federal budget and deficit reduction. This placed children’s programs in the crosshairs as many lawmakers defended the interests of corporations over the needs of children and billionaires over babies. But child advocates, a growing discontent with income inequality, and partisan gridlock helped fend off deep cuts although many states decreased funding to critical safety nets that included child care and education programs. Children’s health remained a bright spot in 2011 as CHIP and Medicaid were left unscathed and proven effective, 2.5 million more young adults have health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and 95 percent of children are eligible for health coverage. CDF continues aggressive outreach to enroll eligible uninsured children.
Looking forward for children in 2012, CDF will continue to raise the alarm. We know that if Americans don’t stand for children than we don’t stand for much. We will continue to protect children in the budget and shine a light on programs that work—such as safety net programs that catch poor children and families and lift them out of poverty. We will continue to educate and advocate for Early Childhood Education and Development, Full-day Kindergarten (FDK), CHIP and Medicaid, school-based health outreach, and the CDF Freedom Schools® program that gets children excited to learn and college-aged students of color excited to teach. We will continue to identify and train the next generation of leaders who will work with us to help dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline and replace it with a pipeline to college and successful adulthood. Help us amplify our voice now by sharing CDF’s mission with a friend and help us reach our year-end fundraising goal by making your year-end contribution today.
CDF National Convening in 2012: Save the Date
When 16.4 million children in our rich country live in poverty, 8.3 million children lack health insurance in a nation with the world’s most advanced medical technology, and one in three Black boys and one in six Latino boys born in 2001 will go to prison in their lifetimes, we have a moral crisis that demands the resources, engagement, and commitment of our nation. Decades of hard-fought progress are threatened by budget cuts to critical lifelines for children. We must come together as never before to secure a future for our children that dismantles the Cradle to Prison Pipeline and replaces it with a pipeline to educational achievement, economic opportunity and healthy life outcomes—a pipeline to success for all children.
On July 23-25, 2012, CDF will convene child advocates, faith and community leaders, policymakers, service providers, and others who care about children. As we work to give every American child hope and the freedom to reach their God-given potential, this convening is appropriately held in Cincinnati, Ohio, a city at the nation’s crossroads that served as a beacon of light on the Underground Railroad for those seeking liberty and a new way of life. This one-of-a-kind multi-disciplinary convening will provide opportunities to learn about best practices and policies that work to address the needs of the whole child; to develop new strategies to bridge the gaps between what we know works for children and what we do in practice; to acquire new skills that will expand organizational capacity and strengthen advocacy and organizing efforts; and to connect communities with the people, tools and information we need to sustain the Leave No Child Behind® movement. Together we will speak up for children, connect new generations of child advocates and leaders to the movement, and shape the national conversation in 2012 and beyond to achieve real change for children. Sign-up today and stay connected to receive information and help us rescue the dream for all of America’s children.
How well do your members of Congress protect children? That's the question asked by the Children's Defense Fund Action Council® 2010 Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard. Find out how the CDF Action Council scored your members of Congress. The 2011 Congressional Scorecard will be available in early 2012.
CDF’s YouTube Channel
CDF’s YouTube channel has been updated this month with more than a dozen new videos, including 10 inspirational profiles of Beat the Odds recipients. We will continue to utilize multimedia in 2012 to get the message out about the needs of children. Be the first to find out when a new CDF video is released by subscribing to our YouTube channel and watch all the videos for this year’s Beat the Odds recipients.
Find Inspiration in the New Year
Browse CDF’s online store for inspirational books by CDF President Marian Wright Edelman such as Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors and I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children.