Give Hope to a Child | November 2015

“Every child needs a dream. Dr. King had a dream and our nation has a dream we must continue to struggle to honor for every child and adult in America.”
-- Marian Wright Edelman

Give Hope to a Child This #GivingTuesday
In this holiday season, the Children’s Defense Fund is grateful for your continued support. Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday. We ask you to support at least one child in our CDF Freedom Schools® program that works to staunch summer learning loss and improve literacy for our nation’s at-risk children. This year the CDF Freedom Schools program fueled the dreams of nearly 13,000 poor and low-income children and inspired them to fall in love with reading. CDF distributed over 109,000 diverse and culturally-appropriate books to our young scholars, featuring stories and characters that reflect the experiences and challenges these children face daily.

Giving Tuesday_web_childandbooks.jpg

When you give a book to an at-risk child, you provide opportunity for a better future. As Pakistani child activist and youngest Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai said, “Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.”

Will you help CDF reach one or more at-risk children this #GivingTuesday? For only $10.37 per book you can give the gift of reading and make a difference a child’s life.

Empower Children with a CDF Freedom Schools® Program
It’s not too late to bring a CDF Freedom Schools program to poor and low-income children in your community next summer. We are still accepting applications for the 2016 CDF Freedom Schools® summer program. Learn how you can give at-risk children in your community hope this summer. For two decades the CDF Freedom Schools program has helped over 135,000 children fall in love with reading. CDF has trained more than 18,000 college students and recent graduates to deliver the empowering program. Last summer low-income children in 28 states and the District of Columbia were able to have the CDF Freedom Schools experience. Help us expand to reach poor and low-income children in your community.

In Loving Memory
We are grateful for decades of service from two former members of the CDF Board of Directors who died this month. They will be deeply missed. Laura Chasin was on CDF’s board from 1981 through 1991, and never wavered in her support of our mission. Pat Fallon joined CDF’s board in 2008 after nearly two decades of partnering with CDF on major media campaigns to make a difference in children’s lives. He played a major role in CDF-Minnesota’s Beat the Odds® program and was with us in Washington, D.C. earlier this month to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Beat the Odds scholarship and leadership development program at the Newseum.

Laura Chasin
Longtime friend of children, Laura Chasin dedicated her life to the service of others. She founded the Public Conversations Project of Watertown, MA, a non-profit organization promoting constructive dialogue on issues involving clashing values, world-views, and identities, such as sexual orientation, immigration, gun safety, and religious tolerance. Mrs. Chasin devoted herself to improving outcomes for the most vulnerable people in our country. She was a Life Trustee of Spelman College and served on numerous Boards including the James Jackson Putnam Children's Center of Roxbury, the Conflict Management Group, the Institute for Faith and Politics, the Rockefeller Family Fund, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Her service to children and families will be greatly missed.

Laura Chasin

Pat Fallon
Our loyal friend Pat Fallon was devoted to improving the lives of children. His passion and cutting edge agency's creative ideas for furthering the future-defining Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission was unwavering. His agency's brilliant award-winning campaigns cut to the heart and mind and provided distinctive, moving images of voiceless, voteless children our nation can continue to ignore at its peril. Pat and his wonderful colleagues at Fallon Worldwide gave children left behind voice and visibility. Countless children have a fairer chance in life as a result. We are grateful for his service and leadership.
You can make a donation to the Children’s Defense Fund to honor and continue Pat Fallon’s legacy.

Pat Fallon

Making Their Dreams Come True
On November 5th, the Children’s Defense Fund honored five extraordinary high school seniors from the greater metropolitan area of Washington, D.C., with Beat the Odds® awards. Each winner received a $10,000 scholarship, laptop computer, guidance through the college admissions process and CDF leadership training. Watch and be inspired by the stories of overcoming adversity, including poverty, to excel academically and give back with the help of at least one caring adult.

Qiao Bridgette Chen

Taylor Gaskins

Shawná Harris-Lenoir

Elijah Iqbal-Scott

Anthony Johnson

25 Years of Changing Outcomes
We are grateful to award-winning actress and CDF board member, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Emmy Award-winning journalist Byron Pitts, co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline, for co-hosting the celebration. Notable presenters included Donna Shalala, former CDF Board Chair and President of the Clinton Foundation; Rev. Dr. Bernard Richardson, Dean of the Chapel at Howard University; and Romulus Johnson, CDF Beat the Odds® alumni from the first ceremony 25 years ago in Los Angeles. We are grateful for child advocates like you who support the CDF Beat the Odds program.

Celebrating Extraordinary Young People in Los Angeles
On December 3rd join CDF-CA for the 25th Annual Beat the Odds® Awards Celebration at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. The night will celebrate the resilience of five high seniors in the greater Los Angeles area who have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership and aspire to go to college. Don’t miss your chance —along with Marian Wright Edelman, many celebrities, public officials and change-makers in Los Angeles— to celebrate this year’s winners and hear their stories. Visit us online for tickets and more information..

Help Improve Working Family Tax Credits
When Congress returns from Thanksgiving recess, the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees are expected to extend or make permanent corporate tax credits.  Urge your members to make permanent important improvements in tax credits for working families – the Earned income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) – if tax credits for wealthy corporations and businesses are made permanent or extended. If critical improvements of the EITC and CTC are left to expire, more than 50 million American, including 25 million children, stand to lose a critical piece of their family budgets – making it harder for those already struggling to make ends meet. 

  • The EITC and CTC are among our nation’s most effective anti-poverty tools—lifting about 9.4 million people, including 5 million children, out of poverty each year.

  • A single mother with two children working full time at the minimum wage (meaning just $14,500) would lose her entire child tax credit of $1,725.  

  • 16.4 million Americans, including 8 million children, would either be pushed into poverty or thrust more deeply into poverty.  

Making improvements to both tax credits is a critical step forward in ending child poverty. Children in families who benefit from these credits see long terms gains – they are healthier, do better in school, and are more likely to go to college and to earn more as adults.  

Speak up today and urge Congress to make permanent improvements in tax credits for working families.

Help Increase Child Care Funding
This month CDF joined others celebrating the one-year anniversary of the bipartisan reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act. In November 2014, CDF applauded the broad bi-partisan Congressional support for important improvements in health and safety and other quality improvements in child care programs receiving federally-supported subsidies. The Department of Health and Human Services then moved quickly to identify quality improvements needed in states. Despite this long overdue and much-needed reauthorization, funding for CCDBG is at an eleven year low and today there are more than 360,000 fewer child care subsidies than in 2006. Congressional action is needed now.

Please contact your Senators and Representative today and ask them to urge Appropriations Committee members to increase funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant for 2016 so more children can access quality child care.

makaylah.jpgNational Adoption Month
“Makaylah was adopted through the DC Foster Care System. Even though the circumstances were traumatic, it was such a pleasure to be part of a team – from her social worker to her guardian ad litem and judges. Everyone acted with her best interest at heart. For anyone considering adoption, know that the rewards are great and the sacrifices are well supported.” – Deidre L, new adoptive parent.

As National Adoption Month ends today, this is a time to recognize the critical role adoptive families play in ensuring caring, permanent families for children and to renew efforts to promote adoption for children in foster care. There are nearly 108,000 children in foster care across the country waiting to be adopted. All children, like Makaylah, deserve a safe, stable family. To learn more about becoming an adoptive parent or how you can support adoptive families and children in foster care check out the Children’s Bureau’s webpage on National Adoption Month.

This month, Marian Wright Edelman’s Child Watch® columns brought light to how we can better serve all children. From coping with crisis and building awareness of voter suppression to facing the 'ugly truths' from our past and opening our hearts to protect children domestically and abroad. In this season of giving, we must give more to ensure our children succeed.   

A Prayer of Thanksgiving to the God of all Children in America and the World

Ugly Truths It's Way Past Time for America to Face

Revising the Undemocratic 'Map of Shame'

Helping Children Cope with Crisis

Thank you for your support and dedication to improving the lives of all children in America.

We hope that you will remember CDF, and all the children we serve, this #GivingTuesday. For only $10.37 you can give hope to a child in need. Please share our message and mission with your networks. Encourage your family, friends and neighbors to support our work this #GivingTuesday or join our mailing list.

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