Houston Strong | August 2017
|Credit: Thomas B.
The board and staff of the Children's
Defense Fund send our heart-filled prayers and support to all facing loss and
hardship following the devastating damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey. We
call upon federal, state, and local leaders to ensure proper attention is paid
to the needs of children, older adults, the homeless, refugees, and differently
abled as resources are distributed to respond to the widespread loss. To
the CDF-Texas staff, our CDF Freedom Schools partners, and the many friends and
supporters in Texas, we hold you in our hearts and thoughts.
Families with young
children, the homeless, older adults, and differently abled are particularly
vulnerable right now. Here are a few options to help:
- Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established a local
Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Here's
how to donate online or by mail.
- To give to immediate relief efforts, you can also
donate to any of the local food banks and organizations listed
in this Texas Monthly article.
- To give to a
community service organization that is coordinating volunteer efforts in local
Houston Neighborhoods, please visit: https://www.bakerripley.org/.
All Eyes Now on CHIP
Congress returns to Washington next week and one of the
critical items to address before the end of September is funding for
the bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). For 20
years CHIP has ensured millions of children access to high-quality,
child-appropriate affordable health coverage. CHIP has helped
reduce the number of uninsured children by half, improved health outcomes and
access to care for children, and as a result helped reduce school absenteeism
and improve children’s readiness to learn. Today, CHIP is a lifeline for 8.9
million children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid
but cannot afford private coverage. But unless Congress takes action, the
funding for this highly successful program will end after
September 30, 2017. Millions of children could lose health coverage and
millions more would pay more for less comprehensive coverage, making them all
worse off than they are today. Facing the risk that this CHIP
funding could soon end, many states are poised to
establish waiting lists and send out disenrollment notices to
families. Such actions would create chaos in program administration
and confusion for families seeking health care for their children.
After many, many months fighting to protect Medicaid and the Affordable Care
Act (ACA), our combined efforts to move forward, not backwards for
children must continue. Congress
must act now to avoid any disruption to children’s health coverage and
enact a strong, clean extension of CHIP funding for at least five years.
Make a Difference, One Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® Program at a Time!
The CDF Freedom Schools program helps children dream big, fall in love
with books, and make a difference. Over this summer more than 12,000 children
in 26 states and the District of Columbia have been empowered through this literacy-rich,
child-centric, fun-infused, and love-immersed experience. Learn more
about how the CDF Freedom Schools program is
making a difference for children and communities across the country in a small
sample of CDF Freedom Schools stories
“Students leave more prepared for their next grade level.
They exit with a greater voice to serve in the classroom and the community.”
Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, Claflin University President.
Freedom School aims to curb summer learning loss
“When you get 100
scholars and their families being transformed, then that means they begin to
relate to the rest of the community and the entire community becomes
transformed.” Rev. Lawrence Livingston, Pastor, Mother African Union Church.
Freedom School focuses on transforming communities
“During the six weeks of programing, our scholars have
gained up to five reading achievement levels. Read Lead CDF Freedom Schools program scholars are going back to school ahead
of their peers, ready and eager to learn.” Cassandra Chase, co-founder of Read
Lead Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Help to Close Achievement
Experience What Hope Feels Like on November 7th
The Children’s Defense Fund invites you to join CDF President
Marian Wright Edelman for an inspirational evening honoring five extraordinary
Washington, D.C. area scholars who have overcome tremendous adversity and are
beating the odds. Bring your family, friends
and coworkers to the 2017 CDF
Beat the Odds® Celebration on November 7th at the Newseum in
Washington, D.C. to congratulate our future leaders and experience what hope feels
We are excited to introduce you to our 2017 honorees. See you
November 7th! Buy your
Arita – Herndon High School: Herndon, VA
Jonathan Benitez – Washington Latin Public Charter School: Washington, D.C.
Christian Ndaye – Cardozo Education Campus: Washington, D.C.
Tallya Rhodes – H.D. Woodson Senior High School: Washington, D.C.
Khalis Williams – Oxon Hill High School: Oxon Hill, MD
Move Forward With Hope
Encourage your faith community to participate in the 26th Annual
National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® Celebration, "Moving Forward
with Hope: Love and Justice for Every Child." This year's celebration will
be October 20-22, 2017, uniting places of worship across the religious spectrum
throughout the nation. Local faith communities are invited to join this
occasion to highlight and respond to the needs of children, especially children
experiencing deep poverty, hunger, homelessness, and lack of health care,
through worship services, educational programs, caring action, and speaking out
for justice. The Children's Sabbath weekend serves as a springboard for renewed
and expanded efforts to improve the lives of children throughout the year. Download this
year's free, easy-to-use multi-faith resources
on our website.
Make an Impact!
Children’s Defense Fund is launching the Child Defender Fellowship to offer
community leaders and activists an opportunity to build skills, influence local
systems impacting children, and build communities that will further social
justice to ensure all
American children have a fair start and equal opportunities in their lifetime. Sign up on
our website today and learn more about how you can become a Child
Standing Up for the Most Vulnerable Students in Long Beach
|Credit: Long Beach Post
The Children's Defense
Fund-California continues to work with community organizations and parents to
ensure greater transparency and equity in the way in which Long Beach Unified
School District (LBUSD) spends its funding to support and provide services for
high-need students. On August 23, the coalition filed an appeal
with the state Department of Education over how
LBUSD, the third largest school district in California, is spending its Local
Control Funding Formula (LCFF) money.
“This is an important day for Long Beach
students and for LCFF implementation in California,” said Shimica Gaskins,
executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-California. “Students and
educators win when LCFF supplemental and concentration funds are properly spent
to improve and increase services for high need students. CDF-CA is here to help
hold systems accountable to that end.” Back in April, the coalition filed a complaint.
As a result, LBUSD has already
redistributed more than $17 million dollars for programs and
services targeted for the low-income, English language learners, and foster
youth students. Learn more about the effort.
The Children’s Defense Fund is dedicated to working with child advocates like you, policymakers and others to ensure all of America's children remain a top priority in 2017.
Please show your support by giving as generously as you can and encourage others in your network to join our community.