Monthly Newsletter - June 2013

 

in this edition

Honoring Hillary Rodham Clinton

Proctor Institute

Educating for Success

CDF Freedom Summer Begins

We Can Do Better

Rally4Babies

Honoring Hillary Rodham Clinton

Save the Date: On September 30th our 40th Anniversary Celebration at the Kennedy Center will honor former Secretary of State and Children’s Defense Fund Alumna Hillary Rodham Clinton.

hillary-clinton-official.jpg Hillary Rodham has been with us from the beginning, as a law student at CDF’s parent organization, the Washington Research Project; as a CDF staff attorney when we began; and as a long-serving board member and then board chair until she became First Lady. She has been a strong voice for children over the decades and continues to work to build a more just nation for all our young. Sign up for email updates on our 40th Anniversary Celebration and check out a photo slideshow of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s work with CDF over the years.


Proctor Institute

For many, summer is a time for family reunions, rest and renewal, and a step back from the year’s daily grind to focus on the big picture. The Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee July 15 - 19, is the one place where you can do all that and learn how to be a more effective advocate for children in your community. This year’s theme, “Beating Swords into Plowshares: Ending the Violence of Guns and Child Poverty,” could not be more urgent or more timelier. It is NOT too late to join us, whether for the full five-day institute, as a one-day participant, or for one of the evening worship services featuring the Great Preacher Series that is free and open to the public.

In Weaving a Just Future for Children: An Advocacy Guide, Diane C. Olson and Laura Dean F. Friedrich describe their Proctor experience: “One place both of us have felt the powerful presence of the beloved community is at the Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry... With equal parts of family reunion, spiritual renewal, and skills building, the gathering is an inspiring week of sermons, workshops, and reflection groups focused on the needs of children and celebrating our calls to advocacy. Held at the lovely [CDF] Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, the Institute provides a hospitable learning environment in an atmosphere of inclusion and celebration of diversity. The Proctor Institute is a place where we can articulate our dreams for children and be ‘fed’ intellectually and spiritually so that we continue our advocacy journeys with joy and conviction."  

Visit the Proctor Institute page on our website to learn more about the extraordinary preachers, speakers and workshop leaders and register so you can be a part of the beloved community. We hope to see you there.  


Educating for Success

Last week, in partnership with the Educational Testing Service, we convened our third in a series of symposia focused on closing the achievement gaps for Black boys and men. “Black Male Teens: Moving to Success in the High School Years” brought together young adult leaders, policymakers, researchers, practitioners and advocates to tackle the reality that American high schools are failing many Black young men, leaving them unprepared for college and career opportunities. Black men age 18 and over in 2008 represented only five percent of the total college student population, but 36 percent of the total prison population.  

The symposium highlighted best practices to reform zero tolerance school discipline policies to stop criminalizing and pushing Black young men out of school; establish safe, positive, and welcoming school environments; provide rigorous, relevant high-quality curriculum and instruction; promising and create opportunities for youth to build skills and capital for college.  

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The first panel of young Black male leaders, who shared their own success stories about what worked (and didn’t) for them in high school was extraordinary. Three of the four are graduates of CDF's leadership training programs and actively engaged in trying to change the odds for child success in their communities. Watch a short video segment and be inspired to share their stories.


CDF Freedom Summer Begins

June marked the beginning of the CDF Freedom School® summer programs! This year we have expanded again and have partners in 29 states (including D.C.) and 106 cities. Our partners will be serving over 11,500 children in pre-K through 12th grade this summer! As you can see, the scholars in Huntsville, Alabama are motivated and ready to learn!

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Photo courtesy Alabama Live.

The CDF Freedom Schools program has a track record of helping to close achievement gaps by stopping summer learning loss and getting children excited to read and succeed. This summer for the first time native children in Hawaii are going to Freedom Schools. Our dream is to have Freedom Schools in every state and every city, but that’s going to take support from people like you. Please donate now to support children this summer and to help us reach more children throughout the year.

The first week of June we held our annual weeklong Freedom Schools national training where college students and recent graduates learned how to teach the Integrated Reading Curriculum and make learning fun. More than 2,000 young leaders and teachers participated in the hugely successful week. Watch the special video created by this year’s Ella Baker Trainers who teach the college students and recent graduates and check out a slideshow of photos from the week!   


We Can Do Better

Last Wednesday a 12-year-old fatally shot his 9-year-old brother before shooting and killing himself while their grandparents ran an errand in Jackson County, Ohio. Several guns were found on the scene including a .44 caliber pistol. The next day in Dekalb County, Georgia, a toddler sitting in the back seat of a car was shot in the stomach. On Friday in Chicago, a 12-year-old boy called the police after finding his mother and 5-year-old little brother shot to death. The devastating preventable epidemic of gun violence continues and Congress has not taken successful action since the massacre at Newtown to protect children instead of guns. The number of children and teens killed by guns in one year would fill 134 classrooms of 20 students each. We can do better. We must do better.

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Please look at our new “We Can Do Better” public awareness and social media campaign created by Fallon Worldwide using startling statistics compiled by CDF. Check out our new ‘Protect Children, Not Guns’ campaign page and share these powerful visuals and the truth about guns. Find out what actions you can take to protect children, not guns in your home, in your community, and as a citizen to help create a better, safer America for all children.


Rally4Babies

Join us for a virtual rally for babies on Monday, July 8, at 2 p.m. EST and show your support for critical investments in high-quality learning and care for infants and toddlers. It builds a foundation for success so they can become confident learners, productive workers, and successful adults. Now is the  time to urge Congress to invest in early learning experiences for infants and toddlers. Join the Rally4Babies to show your support for our youngest children. The event will be hosted online at Google Hangout on Air and details and updates are being posted on www.rally4babies.org by ZERO TO THREE. Hosted by award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, connect live with keynote speakers, including Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, Jennifer Garner, actor and Save the Children artist ambassador, and more!

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