Big Day 4 Children | AUGUST 2016

It's Here! Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children Toolkit


This morning U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. hosted CDF and AASA, The School Superintendent’s Association at a press event to help us release our Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children! toolkit. The toolkit shares lessons learned from CDF and AASA’s extensive work with school districts to identify uninsured children through a routine school registration process and enroll them in health coverage. The event was held at the Cardozo Education Campus in Washington, D.C. where CDF President Marian Wright Edelman and AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech joined the Secretaries and District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, Superintendent Lillian Maldanado French of Mountain View School District in El Monte, CA and other Washington, D.C. officials for a roundtable discussion highlighting best practices for getting more students enrolled in health care including using the CDF/AASA model. All agreed that healthy children are better learners, and asking this simple question, "Does your child have health insurance?" on important annual school forms, is central to ensuring all children are connected to the health coverage they need to survive and thrive.



CDF-Texas pioneered this method more than a decade ago and for the last five years we have worked with fifteen school districts in California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. We hope this toolkit, available as both a PDF and as an interactive online resource, offers a clear set of steps, useful tools, tips, and lessons learned that superintendents, school districts, teachers and parents across the country will embrace and make connecting uninsured children to health coverage through schools routine in America.  Help us spread the word. Together we can #InsureAllChildren!

A Message from Marian Wright Edelman

Dear CDF Friends and Supporters:


I am very pleased to announce that Richard Hooks Wayman will be joining CDF as National Executive Director September 6th. Richard brings more than 20 years of effective policy advocacy and program implementation experience for vulnerable children and youths particularly homelessness, housing assistance and behavioral health services. He also has a compelling personal commitment to the children and youths CDF serves having fostered and adopted a large family over the years. He is very smart, collaborative, and thoughtful and has a positive energy and attitude I believe will support our collective efforts to position CDF for even greater effective impact and sustainable growth into the future.  Learn more from Marian Wright Edelman’s Letter.

CALL TO ACTION: Help NOW and Urge the Senate to Help Vulnerable Children
The Senate urgently needs to pass in September, before Congress ecesses for the elections, the bipartisan Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016 (H.R. 5456; S. 3065) to help vulnerable children who come to the attention of the child welfare system because of abuse and neglect. The bill over time will allow federal dollars — now primarily used for foster care — to be used for prevention services to keep children safely with their families. The bill also encourages children who need foster care to be placed in family-like settings and will promote the use of auality residential treatment programs for children with special emotional or behavioral needs and requires quality residential treatment programs. The House passed this bill on June 21 and now the Senate must pass it to make these historic and long overdue improvements a reality for children across the country! We cannot make our most vulnerable children wait any longer! You can make a difference in the lives of children by calling your Senators, (who come back after Labor Day), and urging them to co-sponsor and pass the Family First Prevention Services Act NOW. Here's what you can say.

Join Marian Wright Edeleman and CDF Board Members to Change the Odds for Children


We hope that you, your family, friends and others in your network will join us November 16, 2016 at the Newseum for what promises to be an inspiring, extraordinary evening. Please save the date or buy your tickets today!

Since 1990, the Children’s Defense Fund has helped change the odds for more than 900 high school students who despite tremendous hardship, have demonstrated academic excellence and given back to their communities. Thanks to child advocates like you, CDF is able to continue to celebrate and award these deserving youths the opportunity to go to college and have a brighter future.


Last year’s Beat the Odds winners from the greater Washington, D.C. area are now off to college and one step closer to making their dreams come true. Please join us in congratulating them on their college acceptances and continued successes.

  • Qiao Bridgette Chen graduated from South Lakes High School in Reston, VA, and is enrolled at the University of Washington, Seattle. 

  • Taylor Gaskins graduated from School Without Walls in Washington, D.C., and enrolled at Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA

  • Shawná Harris Lenoir graduated from Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, D.C., and enrolled at Elon University in Elon, NC.

  • Elijah Iqbal-Scott graduated from Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, MD, and enrolled at Allegheny College in Allegheny, PA.

  • Anthony Johnson graduated from Friendship Tech Prep Academy in Washington, D.C., and enrolled at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, MD. 

Interested in sponsoring the 2016 Beat the Odds Celebration at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.? Learn more about how you can change the odds for all children in America.

Marian Wright Edelman’s August Child Watch® columns encourage us think what we can do this back-to-school season to ensure all children are healthy and ready to learn, to help change racial narratives in this nation and inspire our children with diverse, multi-cultural stories that help them fall in love with reading.

Back to School

Filling in the Stories

Changing Our Racial Narrative

Thank you for your continued support and dedication toward improving the lives of vulnerable children across the country.

Please share our message and mission with your networks, and encourage everyone you know to visit the Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children Toolkit and help #InsureAllChildren. Please support our work by making a tax-deductible donation.

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