Keep Moving Forward for America's Children | January 2018


Good News First

It finally happened! On Monday, January 22nd, Congress passed and the President signed into law a three week spending bill that reopened the government and included a six-year extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) after 114 days of partisan politicking. This funding helps ensure stability for CHIP meaning parents of the 8.9 million children who benefit from CHIP’s high-quality, child-appropriate affordable health coverage can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Your calls, emails, and tweets to Congress over the last several months helped make this possible. As we celebrate this victory for children, we are also urging Congress to seize the unique, time-limited opportunity to extend CHIP funding for even longer — an additional four years (for a total of 10) – which the Congressional Budget Office says will save $6 billion that can then help pay for other critical services.


Bad News Second

The bad news is that the three week spending bill that must be completed by February 8th left many other children, youths and young adults behind, letting the pressures on them continue to grow. The failure to come to agreement on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program leaves nearly 800,000 young adults who came to America as children with their parents, and some of them with children now, at risk of deportation to countries they don’t know at all. Legislative action on DACA and other help for Dreamers is needed now.  Many other children and families continue to be negatively impacted because of inaction on funding for the Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) and the Community Health Center Program that serves millions of children and families; and the failure to provide post hurricane relief to those continuing to struggle in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Texas and Florida. This long overdue help for children, youths and young adults does not have to wait three weeks.  

Tell your Members of Congress to urge the House and Senate Leadership to act now and not leave children, youths and young adults behind.

The State of America’s Children® 2017 Demands Action Now in 2018!


The Children’s Defense Fund’s new report The State of America’s Children® 2017 details the immoral, costly, and preventable poverty, homelessness, hunger, health problems, poor education, and violence plaguing children who are America’s responsibility and future. The U.S. has 73.6 million children. Nearly 1 in 5 are poor—more than 13.2 million. It is a national disgrace that children are the poorest Americans and the younger they are the poorer they are. Children of color, who will be a majority of our children by 2020, are disproportionately poor. The report highlights the threats facing children day-to-day and moment-to-moment. It describes how, despite our great wealth, the U.S. lags behind other industrialized nations in investing in children and consistently ranks among the worst on key child outcomes. The plight of America's children by the end of 2017 requires us to take action and move forward on their behalf in 2018. While we build on what we know works to improve the odds for our children, we must use these facts to fight all efforts to unravel the safety net that has been laboriously woven over the past 50 years. The State of America’s Children® 2017 is a critical tool for everyone who cares about whether children are treated fairly and the well-being of our nation’s future. Download The State of America’s Children® 2017 and a volume of one-page factsheets summarizing children’s status in your individual states, the District of Columbia, and nationwide. You can also use our interactive map to see how children fare in your state.


Change the Odds for Children in New York


On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the Children’s Defense Fund – New York will host its annual Beat the Odds® Gala at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. Join Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman and other special guests to honor five New York City high school youths in recognition of their academic achievement despite overwhelming challenges. Congratulations to Zyiel Baughan, Ashlyn Cruz, Omar Newman, Chinomso Keslyn Ononiwu, and Amy Pantoja.

At the gala, CDF-New York will present its Children's Champion Award to three recipients: Kathryn Chenault, patron of the arts and education; Service Employees International Union (SEIU); and Stan Smith, tennis champion and fashion icon. The event supports CDF-New York’s advocacy and programmatic work, which includes health care coverage, youth justice, immigration, income security, and youth leadership development. Tickets are still available. Learn more about the event and ways to volunteer.

Since 1995, the Beat the Odds scholarship and servant leadership program has supported hundreds of youths across the country. CDF holds awards events in CaliforniaMinnesota, OhioTexas, and Washington, D.C. not only to celebrate the scholarship recipients, but to inspire community leaders and citizens to help all children who are struggling to overcome adversity.


A Dream for Today’s America


“My dream for today’s world is to eliminate poverty and for every human being to have equal access to education and health care… I want all of our top government officials to take poverty, failing schools, and health care seriously. The way to do this is through political action and voting.” A 5th grader, Tchanori Kone answers a question “What is your dream for today’s world?” and gives us a vision for the America that we can be – one that teaches and reinforces core values like inclusivity, civility, nonviolence, and tolerance.

Listen to her powerful voice and join us in recognizing the ten-year-old CDF Freedom Schools® program scholar. For the past three summers, Tchanori has been attending HYPE Freedom School in Houston. There, her mother shared with us, she has been encouraged to make a difference in her community and the world. Tchanori is one of 860 children served in 16 CDF Freedom Schools sites in Texas in 2017. Learn more about CDF Freedom Schools program in Texas.

Honor Tchanori’s dream by using your political power to create an America without poverty in which everyone has access to education and health care. If you are not registered to vote yet, get up and register today to make your voice heard, and follow CDF’s Action Alerts by signing up here.


You Made a Difference

January Newsletter_donation.jpg

Thanks to YOU the Children’s Defense Fund was able to exceed our $750,000 matching gift challenge in November and December. That was made possible only because of the generosity of people like you! As a result, the impact of every gift during that time doubled!

This time of year when we think of our goals and hopes for the new year, but it is also the time we focus on the more mundane things like completing our taxes. If you need information or verification of your donations to CDF during 2017, please let us know. You can reach us by email at or leave us a message by phone at 202-662-3654.


Marian Wright Edelman’s Child Watch® Columns


“This is one of the scariest times America’s children have faced in the struggle to level the playing field as the last 50 years of progress in child health coverage, nutrition, and education are under assault. We should be building on what we know works and moving forward, not backwards, to improve the odds for children who need our protection.” Marian Wright Edelman’s Child Watch® Columns urge us to speak up and stand for our children. Please read and share her columns with others in your network.

Charles Merrill: The Crucial Importance of Lanterns in Young Lives

The State of America’s Children Demands Your Action Right Now!

Missed Opportunities to Help Homeless Youths

Hope for the New Year

Making Room at the Inn

"Is America a Goat? Has Congress No Shame or Moral Decency Left?"

"Congress’ Urgent Unfinished Business for Children"

"I Didn't Make This World For You"

An Abominable Massacre of Poor Children's Futures

25 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 | Tel: (800) 233-1200
Children's Defense Fund© 2014 All rights reserved.
FOLLOW US: Follow Us on Twitter Join Us on Facebook