Win for Children | October 2017

31 Days and Counting


Here we are 31 days and counting since the September 30th deadline for funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) passed and nine million children and parents still wait for funding to be extended. Sadly, once again children are being held hostage to political debates. Created specifically for children, CHIP’s benefits and provider networks are designed to ensure children in working families across America with higher income eligibility than Medicaid have access to child-appropriate services, providers, specialists, and facilities. Despite bipartisan support for a strong, five-year extension of CHIP in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, debate continues about how to pay for CHIP and the extension of other important health programs. Later this week the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act, a bill that includes the same strong, bipartisan five-year extension of CHIP that the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Finance Committees approved and that CDF strongly supports, but it would pay for the extension of CHIP – and other critical health programs for vulnerable populations – with offsets that would cause undue harm to children and families. There is also a sad irony to the fact that the House is bickering over how to pay for these relatively small programs and at the same time is about to begin consideration of a tax bill benefiting our wealthiest individuals with relatively little concern about if and how it will be paid for. We’re so close to the finish line. There is bipartisan support for CHIP. Congress is following regular order. Senate and House members, Republicans and Democrats alike, agree on what we need to do for children’s health, so let’s do it now!


Experience What Hope Feels Like


On November 7, bring your family, friends and coworkers to the 2017 Beat the Odds® Celebration in Washington, D.C. to congratulate our future leaders and experience what hope feels like. Tickets are still available for what promises to be a magical evening celebrating Elsa, Jonathan, Christian, Tallya and Khalis, five extraordinary young people who have overcome tremendous adversity and are beating the odds. 

Join us on November 7th!  Buy your tickets today.

Since 1995, the Beat the Odds scholarship and servant leadership program has supported hundreds of youths across the country. CDF holds five high-profile awards events in CaliforniaWashington, D.C.TexasMinnesotaNew York and Ohio not only to celebrate the scholarship recipients, but to inspire community leaders and citizens to help all children who are struggling to overcome adversity. CDF encourages you to attend one of these events and learn more about how you can support CDF youth leadership and development programs.


Pursuing Equity and Justice for Children in School and Beyond


Superintendents and school district leaders representing 32 school districts serving nearly 900,000 students joined CDF and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, for a Superintendent Summit on October 13th-14th at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee. This summit focused on ways to promote equity and justice in schools through enhancing access, inclusiveness and opportunity. Discussions centered on sharing superintendent-led strategies and challenges they face as they: seek to help all children achieve; promote positive school climate; confront implicit and explicit bias; reduce suspensions and expulsions and their disproportionate impact on children of color; and establish alternatives to exclusionary discipline such as restorative justice. The event coincided with Youth Justice Action Month, a month of action with a focus on uplifting justice-involved youths, central to which is a major push to urge Congress to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). Learn more.


Winning for Children in California, Texas, and Ohio

In California, children’s advocates are celebrating the passage of the three key state bills into law that will help level the playing field for California children.


Two of the bills promote prevention and rehabilitation in the justice system. Senate Bill 394 eliminates life without the possibility of parole sentences for youth under 18. Senate Bill 395 requires youth age 15 and younger to consult with legal counsel before waiving their Miranda rights during a police interrogation. A third bill will end school lunch shaming in California. Senate Bill 250 will prevent schools from denying a meal or publicly shaming students for their unpaid school meal debt. Children’s Defense Fund-California worked closely with partners and policymakers to co-sponsor the legislation. Learn more about the legislative wins in California.

On the heels of a highly publicized increase in Ohio’s infant mortality rate, Children’s Defense Fund -Ohio published a new policy brief, Birth Equity - a Pathway Forward, which explores how the psychological, social and environmental factors that women experience throughout life and during pregnancy drive birth outcomes and could be behind Ohio’s racial gap in infant mortality. The new brief explains how a growing body of evidence points to nonmedical factors, like poverty and physical environments, along with negative experiences across a woman’s life span—adverse childhood experiences, trauma, experiences of racism, and chronic stress—as drivers of racial disparities. 

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And in Texas, Children’s Defense Fund-Texas is working to raise public awareness about the need to reauthorize Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and leading a team of partners to create a public information campaign and recruit volunteers to assist with Affordable Care Act enrollment activities. Over the past several months CDF-Texas outreach teams in East Texas and the Rio Grande Valley have been focused on a whole range of community- and school-based activities, setting up agreements with numerous school districts in both regions, a Boys and Girls Club in Nacogdoches, several Head Start programs and community clinics.


Keep Moving Forward with Hope, Love, and Justice for All Children

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Photo: Riverside Church

Thousands of people spanning religious traditions joined in the 2017 National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths, “Moving Forward with Hope: Love and Justice for Every Child” this October to raise awareness of children in poverty, underscore the mandate in every faith tradition to respond with compassion and justice and launch or expand efforts to end child poverty. Participation took many forms: some Children’s Sabbaths took place in individual congregations; other communities held multi-faith services; in other cities, dozens of Children’s Sabbath celebrations were linked in a variety of events and in shared advocacy.

What’s next? The Children’s Sabbaths aims to generate faithful responses to last throughout the year. Whether a parent or pastor, child advocate or Christian educator, professional or volunteer working with children, we hope you will continue moving forward for all children through action and advocacy. In addition to our year-round multi-faith resources, the book, Hope for the Future: Answering God’s Call to Justice for Our Children, has more resources for monthly study and action in a church.

Our next Children’s Sabbaths celebration is October 19-21, 2018. Save the date now and begin conversations with other congregations and community groups for how you might partner.  


Be a #ChildDefender!

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Nonviolent direct action has been at the epicenter of all major changes in the U.S. history. Women suffragists, civil rights organizers, and DREAMers have all successfully harnessed its strength to influence power structures within society to make America a more just and fair country for all children. Interested in learning more? Put your passion into practice through the Children’s Defense Fund Child Defender Fellowship program.

The fellowship application closes on November 3rd. Sign up today!


Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® Program in Your Community

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The CDF Freedom Schools program is welcoming Summer 2018 Sponsor Applications.

Children and youth are not citizens in waiting. If you want to make a difference in your community next summer, sponsor a CDF Freedom Schools program. The CDF Freedom Schools program boosts student motivation to read, generates positive attitudes towards learning, and connects the needs of children and families to the resources of their communities. Please contact us at if you wish to receive more information about our application process.

This summer, over 12,000 children in 27 states have experienced CDF Freedom Schools. Learn more about the CDF Freedom Schools program.


Marian Wright Edelman’s October Child Watch® Columns


“Hang in there, all of you who love children. Never give up!” In her October Child Watch Columns, Marian Wright Edelman reminds us no matter the political climate we need to remain steadfast in our stewardship of future generations and our determination to shield children from harm.

Children and the Opioid Crisis

We Can and We Must Win for Children

Healing the Gaping Open Wound: An Urgent Call for ore Aid and Fair Treatment for Puerto Rico

Congress Is Holding CHIP and Children Hostage


Double Your Impact This #GivingTuesday

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This #GivingTuesday any amount you give will be matched by two generous donors dollar-for-dollar up to $750,000! Include Children's Defense Fund in your 2017 year-end charitable giving plans. Your support helps further the Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission.

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