7 Actions for 7 Days
At a time of record-setting inequalities in income, wealth, and economic mobility and with child poverty, hunger, and homelessness rampant and growing, we urgently need to correct course. Each child has only one childhood. Together, we have a chance to make a difference today. Through each CDF program, state office and policy priority, CDF is urgently working for justice for all children and to meet the extraordinary challenges facing our children today. Please join us and take action now. Here are seven actions you can take over the next seven days and beyond.
20,000 by 2014
The CDF Freedom Schools® program continues to expand across the country with a record 9,800 children served last year. This summer, we anticipate breaking that record by serving over 10,000 children which will put us on track to meet our goal of serving over 20,000 children nationwide by July 1, 2014. We have increased the number of partnerships with institutions of higher education and expanded our school district and charter school partnerships. Our goals for 2012 include growing partnerships in the juvenile justice system, foster care system and homeless shelters. The CDF Freedom Schools program will continue to transform lives and deliver high quality summer and after-school programming to the children and families we serve.
If you are interested in starting a CDF Freedom Schools site in your school, place of worship, community center, shelter, juvenile detention center, or university, we encourage you to join us for a one day general interest meeting for stakeholders next week, February 9th at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tenn. We have limited space, so first responders will be served first. Contact Ken Libby at email@example.com or (865) 457-6466.
That’s the first day of the Children’s Defense Fund National Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio scheduled for July 23-25, 2012. Our children’s urgent needs demand urgent action. Join us for this one-of-a-kind convening. This is the first national conference the Children’s Defense Fund has held since 2003. We will gather thought leaders and highlight best practices for more than 3,000 advocates, policy-makers, service providers, faith leaders, young adults and others who work for justice for children to confront the challenges facing our children head-on, focus on closing the gaps between what we know and what we practice, and create concrete change for children in our communities. Registration will open February 29th. Sign up to receive the latest information to stay informed about the speakers, programs, skills and inspiration the agenda will offer. Mark your calendars today and spread the word!
50 States. Every Child. Every School.
In the 21st century, we have new common core standards setting high expectations for every child including kindergarteners. We need to prepare all of our children to compete in this global economy but for millions of children in the United States there is a missing half-step in their early learning years. Full-day kindergarten (Full-Day K) boosts children’s cognitive learning, creative problem-solving skills, and social competence. Join us in our campaign to ensure every state and the District of Columbia guarantees every child with access to high-quality, publicly funded Full-Day K. Click on our interactive map to find out the status of Full-Day K in your state and download your state-specific fact sheet to arm yourself with the latest information.
Be sure to check out the 2012 Children in the States one-page fact sheets which provide the most recent and reliable information on children in your state. Find out how often a child is born into poverty in your state. The information includes child population, educational achievement, child welfare statistics, state rankings and more. Share our 2012 Children in the States map and fact sheets at your next community or school board meeting.
1,000 in 2012
CDF’s Young Advocate Leadership Training (YALT®) program is designed to ensure a robust leadership development pipeline to carry on the struggle for freedom and justice. The YALT program’s 2012 priorities include training more than 1,000 new young leaders of color—half of them Black males—to produce community organizers equipped with the skills necessary to dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline on local, state, regional, and national levels. Support young leaders in your community and sponsor YALT training for them. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
29 Years, 87 Publications, 10,000 Pages
We are pleased to announce we now have an additional 86 historic CDF publications available on our website. This was made possible through a partnership between CDF Haley Farm’s Langston Hughes Library and the University of Tenn. Knoxville Digital Library Initiative. More than 10,000 pages were digitized to ensure researchers and advocates have access to CDF’s ground-breaking reports. Download our first report, Children Out of School in America, which revealed the disturbing truth that more than 2 million children were not in school just because they were disabled, pregnant, poor, minority or did not speak English.
A year later in 1975, federal legislation guaranteed children with disabilities the right to a free, appropriate public education for the first time. Millions of children have benefitted. Some of the publications are just as useful today as they were when first published. Browse the new 'Archives' section of the Research and Publications section of our site and see for yourself. We extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to the University of Tenn. Knoxville Digital Library Initiative and all those who made this possible. As Garrison Keillor once said, “Nothing you ever do for children is wasted.” We believe the hard work required to chronicle the state of America’s children yesterday and today will make a profound difference in children’s lives in 2012 and beyond.
Two-thirds of 8 million
That’s how many of the uninsured children in America are eligible but not enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid. It’s time to sign them up!
CDF has launched a national collaboration with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) to institutionalize child health outreach and enrollment into routine operations of selected school districts in four target states: California, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. The project will work with districts to add health insurance questions to school enrollment forms to systematically identify uninsured children and link them with health coverage, train key school staff on CHIP and Medicaid application procedures, and coordinate district-wide enrollment drives.
CDF and AASA are partnering with CHIP and Medicaid agencies in each state to track the number of children enrolled in health coverage as a result of the project and gather participating districts together for a Community of Practice Institute at CDF Haley Farm to share promising approaches and lessons learned. We will share best practices throughout the two year project through CDF’s state and national networks and to the more than 13,000 public school superintendents throughout the country. Inform your school superintendent about this promising program and ask them to sign up for more information.
Hundreds Stand Against Zero
Members of South Panola High's Risqué Business drama team wowed the audience with ‘edutainment’ during the summit.
Hundreds of students from all over Mississippi willingly spent their Saturday learning about school discipline policies and their rights when it comes to challenging those policies. On January 21, the Children’s Defense Fund’s Southern Regional Office (CDF-SRO) and its community partners sponsored the Cradle to Prison Pipeline® Statewide Summit Focusing on Civil Rights and Zero Tolerance School Discipline Policies.
Community leaders, parents, advocates, educators, and high school and college students packed a Jackson, Miss., conference center and brainstormed solutions to change discipline policies that can be ambiguous. Zero tolerance policies that were intended to combat drug and weapons charges are now being used for lesser offenses, pushing some students out of school or into alternative schools.
CDF-SRO’s Director, Oleta Garrett Fitzgerald, is excited about the number of people who want to take action as a result of the summit. Participants also received a preview of a statewide study on zero tolerance school policies. CDF-SRO commissioned the PERICO Institute for Youth Development and Entrepreneurship, Inc. (PRYDE) in Jackson, Miss., to conduct an in-depth analysis of data obtained from school districts. A full report is expected to be completed by March. Here’s what you can do: Research your school district’s school discipline policy, then sign up and come to the Children’s Defense Fund National Conference to find out how to change it to benefit all the children in your community.