Vote 4 Children Tomorrow | October 2016

Do Your Part: #ImpactTheVote


“This election is one more opportunity for our nation to choose leaders who share our hope for our children’s futures and model the behavior we want our young to learn. To do that we must do the work and get out and vote — every time. Every vote is precious and a responsibility of being a good citizen steward. Children cannot vote, but we can.” – Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children’s Defense Fund

Don’t let anybody or anything stop you from voting tomorrow. This election will determine our children’s and nation’s future. The Children’s Defense Fund is working hard to get out the vote. Last month CDF’s National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths celebrations united thousands of faith communities across the country to do their part to impact the vote and ensure children concerns and futures are central to this election. CDF President, Marian Wright Edelman, took our message to Ohio for a get out the vote tour. In Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland she inspired millennials, women’s groups and congregations to do their part. And we are working in southern states of North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Please watch and share this message from Marian Wright Edelman today.

As Mrs. Edelman says, “Democracy is not a spectator sport. Staying home and failing to vote is a knife in the heart of our democracy.” Remember to take your children with you so they can see democracy in action.

CDF President in the News
How Politics Killed Universal Child Care in the 1970s – NPR October 13
In this radio interview, Marian Wright Edelman shares the heartbreak of the missed opportunity to provide poor children and their families with child care during the 1970s.  Struggling parents today certainly know a lot about the high cost of child care and the presidential candidates have been talking about it.  But do you know there was a moment when Congress united to make high quality child care accessible and affordable in America?  Listen now, and then join us to advocate for it now.

Monticello Summit Offers Somber View of Slavery Legacy – Diverse Education October 5
CDF President Marian Wright Edelman joined historians for a robust discussion on America’s founding and how slavery continues to impact our country. Other speakers included Dr. Edward Ayers, president emeritus of the University of Richmond; Annette Gordon-Reed, a professor at Harvard Law School; and Dr. Deborah McDowell, the Alice Griffin Professor of Literary Studies and director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia.

Strategies for School-Based Health Enrollment Outreach Webinar a Success


In October, the Children’s Defense Fund, in partnership with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and AASA, The School Superintendents Association hosted the “Successful Strategies for School-Based Outreach to Increase Health Coverage Enrollment” webinar. Local experts from Edinburg Consolidated School District (Texas) and the Partnership for Healthy Kids (Virginia) highlighted strategies that proved successful and pointed to two new resources — Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn! #Insure All Children and the Guide to School-Based Outreach for Health Coverage Enrollment. Today the number of uninsured children is at a historic low, however nearly 3.9 million U.S. children still remain uninsured, many of whom are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but need help enrolling. We must double down on our commitment to ensure all children have access to health coverage so they do better in school, are more likely to graduate, and are healthier and earn more as adults, ensuring the nation a stronger economy tomorrow. Share the CDF and AASA school-based health enrollment outreach toolkit and help #InsureAllChildren in your community.

A Look at Discipline in Long Beach
Children’s Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA) and Public Counsel released Untold Stories Behind One of America’s Best Urban School Districts on October 25, 2016, a report about educational equity and racial justice in the  Long Beach, California schools. The report is a bold vision for the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) to build and foster positive learning environments for all students. Since 2012, California school districts have issued fewer suspensions.  But concerns about persistent racial/ethnic disproportionality, school-based policing, and other forms of school pushout remain at some schools including at LBUSD. The report’s findings include:

  1. Black students in Long Beach are almost 14 times more likely to be suspended than their White peers; Latinos and Pacific Islanders are four times more likely to be suspended than White students.

  2. Black and Latino students account for 86 percent of LBUSD’s student-police contact, despite accounting for 69 percent of LBUSD’s enrollment. 

  3. The district has spent over $35 million on policing students between the 2011-12 and 2014-15 school years, compared to only $117,112 during the same time period to support its prevention-focused school climate program.

Recommendations call for engaging students, parents and community members in a collective vision for racial justice, equity and positive school climate, using data and a model code of conduct to help create positive learning environments across the district.

Superintendents #RethinkDiscipline at Discipline Reform Symposium


Twenty nine Superintendents and district leaders representing 1.5 million students, joined CDF and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, for a Superintendent Discipline Reform Symposium on October 28-29 in Chicago. The spotlight was on successful superintendent-led strategies and the challenges they face as they seek to help all children achieve. Discussions centered on reducing suspensions and expulsions and their disproportionate impact on children of color, promoting positive school climate, confronting race and implicit and explicit bias, and using the new Every Child Succeeds Act to promote positive school climate and address exclusionary discipline. Special attention was given to engaging teachers, students, parents and other community leaders and organizations to help improve school climate and help students succeed.

People of Faith Unite to Improve the Lives All Children

From the Philadelphia Tribune: The Keystone Boys’ Choir and state Girls’ Choir at
Children’s Sabbaths worship service at the Congregation of Rodeph Shalom Synagogue
Photo Courtesy of PCCY

Thousands of faith-based child advocates and congregations across the nation united in a common concern last month to end child poverty and close opportunity gaps that often leave children of color behind for the 25th annual National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® Celebration, “Children of Promise: Closing Opportunity Gaps.” We promise our children a free and equal education, but millions of children are consigned to failing schools bereft of adequate resources, and a majority of Black and Latino children receive a separate and unequal education. Even if your place of worship was unable to participate, we encourage you to use the 2016 Children’s Sabbaths resources all year. We are inspired by the celebrations that have taken place from Chicago to Washington, D.C., North Carolina to North Dakota, Pennsylvania to Ohio, Texas and beyond.

The most important way that each and every place of worship can continue their Children's Sabbath commitment to ending child poverty and closing opportunity gaps now is to encourage adults to vote tomorrow and to take children with them to the polls to understand the importance of this building block of our democracy and commitment to justice.

Calling All CDF Alumni


CDF is building a network of alumni who are former Children’s Defense Fund staff members, interns, CDF Freedom Schools® students, servant leader interns, Ella Baker Trainers, or partners, or participants in a CDF leadership development network such as Beat the Odds. This will be a community of leaders who share a common past and association with the Children’s Defense Fund, and a continuing commitment to CDF’s mission. Activists, advocates, teachers, lawyers, business owners, even a presidential nominee — all are #CDFAlumni. There is no better time than now to reengage with CDF. We want your expertise and thoughts and good work to ensure at every child in America has a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. Please join the CDF Alumni Network so you can participate in activities and connect with other alumni.

Double Your Impact This #GivingTuesday
Are you ready to double the impact of your gift this #GivingTuesday?  Any amount you give will be matched by a generous donor up to $250,000! Please make sure to include CDF in your #GivingTuesday plans and help us meet our goal. Your support helps further the Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission.

Marian Wright Edelman’s October Child Watch® Columns
Marian Wright Edelman’s October Child Watch® columns remind us of the Civil Rights Movement advocates who fought and died for voting rights, and the need for everyone to do their part this November to vote for and hold our elected officials to promises made to improve the lives of children and future of our nation.

Hope for the Future Through Your Vote

The Early Childhood Infrastructure Our Children and Nation Urgently Need

Do Your Part: “March to the Polls” and Vote

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 #ImpactTheVote November 8 and to help #InsureAllChildren in communities across the country. Please support our work by making a tax-deductible donation.

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