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Children's Defense Fund

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Children's Defense Fund
Monthly Newsletter


Be Prepared This Summer With Our Children's Health Coverage Conversation Guide!

child health coverage conversation guideYou've got SPF to shield you against the sun's harmful rays and bug repellant to keep those pesky mosquitoes away; now protect yourself against misinformation!

Summer get-togethers present a great opportunity to talk about important issues with your friends and family, such as children's health coverage. Health coverage is going to be discussed on the campaign trail, on the nightly news and as a key reason why working Americans are having a difficult time paying their bills. Beware, there is a lot of misinformation out there! Thankfully, our children's health coverage conversation guide provides helpful responses you can use to explain why health coverage for all children is a step forward for children that will improve the lives of all of us.

Child Poverty: Learn the Facts and Take Action in Your Community

child poverty in americaCDF's Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign is a national call to action to stop the funneling of tens of thousands of youth down life paths that often lead to arrest, conviction, incarceration and even death. Poverty is the largest driving force behind the Pipeline crisis, exacerbated by race. We must step forward now to end the Pipeline crisis. There is no time to waste — 2,483 children are born into poverty each day.

Learn the facts about child poverty in America and what you can do to end it and dismantle the Pipeline (.pdf). Every step we take to lift one family out of poverty is a step towards dismantling the Pipeline and improving our communities not just for the future, but starting today.

CDF Honors Outstanding Students and Champions of Children

Kendall SimonEarlier this month at 2008 Beat the Odds Awards ceremonies, CDF honored nine students from the Washington, D.C., and New Orleans areas who have overcome tremendous adversity to demonstrate academic excellence and give back to their communities. Among the scholarship recipients is Kendall Smith who despite being displaced a number of times due to Hurricane Katrina, difficult family circumstances and lack of a support system at home, has worked hard to graduate in the top five in his class, tutor other students and be an intern with the Civil Courts in New Orleans.

CDF initiated the Beat the Odds program program in 1990 to celebrate the positive potential of young people. CDF works with local educators to select and honor students who demonstrate academic excellence and have the strength and determination to "beat the odds."

Learn more about these outstanding Washington, D.C., area and New Orleans area students.

Ruby BridgesIn addition to honoring the Beat the Odds scholarship recipients, CDF-Louisiana also honored four Champions of Children — inspiring individuals who have made a commitment to improving the lives of children and made invaluable contributions to the city of New Orleans. One of this year's honorees is Ruby Bridges. In 1960, Ruby became the first African-American child to desegregate an elementary school. Today, through the Ruby Bridges Foundation, Ruby promotes and encourages values of tolerance, respect and appreciation of all differences through educational programs for children and is also active with FIRST BOOK, a national non-profit organization that gives new books to children from low-income families.

Learn more about Ruby Bridges and the other Champions for Children.

Progress Made in Protecting Vital Child Health Coverage!

Good NewsGreat news! Months of hard work and unrelenting advocacy by child advocates like you paid off last week when the Senate voted 75-22 (which is a veto-proof majority) to delay seven harmful Bush Administration Medicaid regulations for one year. (The House of Representatives will vote on the bill in the next few weeks.)

We must continue urging Congress to work quickly to protect health coverage and to delay all seven regulations before states have to make harmful cuts to Medicaid or other social service programs. Any solution that falls short of this goal will result in children, especially children in foster care and children with disabilities, losing vital programs and services. One child who would lose services is Eduardo, a child with special health needs who is thriving in his third-grade class because of Medicaid services available to him in school services that would be eliminated under the Bush Administration's regulations. (Superintendent Randy Mohundro shared Eduardo’s story with Congress in April (.pdf).)

We can protect the critical health coverage of children if we all step up and do our part.

Renew Your Spirit at the Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry —
Save Money by Bringing a Friend!

Proctor InstituteWhat better place to refocus our vision and revive the moment for children than at the 14th Annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, July 14-18, at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee. Gather for worship, workshops, and intergenerational networking with other child advocates who share your passion for justice.

Pre-Order Your National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Manual Today!

Children's Sabbath Manual: Volume 17The National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Weekend (October 17-19, 2008) is an annual, multi-faith holiday that celebrates children as sacred gifts of the Divine, and provides the opportunity for communities of faith to renew and live out their moral responsibility to care, protect and advocate for all children. To guide faith communities in their Children's Sabbaths weekend and year-round advocacy work, CDF produces a Children's Sabbaths manual. This year's manual, entitled, When Will We Hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Call to End Poverty in America? focuses on answering Dr. King's call to build and be the blessed community where all children can live out their God-given potential.

Pre-order your manual online or call (865) 457-6466.

Are You a Fan of CDF on Facebook?

Find Us on FacebookCDF's Facebook Page is proving to be an invaluable resource for activists and child advocates around the globe. Visit our page to see updates on initiatives, events, resources and the state of America's children. The CDF Facebook Page is also an excellent way to demonstrate the sheer strength of the children's movement in the United States. In just a short amount of time, over 1,400 child advocates have become "fans" of CDF on Facebook.

If you haven't already done so, become a fan of CDF today and invite your friends to do the same by clicking on the "Share with Friends" button at the top right corner of the page. See you on Facebook!

Dramatic Exhibit in Washington, D.C., Draws Attention to "Forgotten Children"

casaLast week, the National Court Appointed Social Advocates for Children (CASA) — in conjunction with the Freddie Mac Foundation, Casey Family Program and Pew Charitable Trust — launched an exhibit at the Washington Monument in D.C. on behalf of the Forgotten Children Campaign to draw attention to the 850 children that enter the foster care system every day in America. Starting May 19, 850 life-size displays of foster children were added each day until the total reached 4,250 on May 23, representing the number of children who enter the foster care system each workweek. Of special note, Daryle Conqueringbear — a former CDF intern — was honored as a recipient of an award at this year's ceremony. While this moving display occurred in our nation's capital, the issue it raises is nationwide, affecting every state and community in the country.

CDF-MN KIDS COUNT Data Book Chronicles Costly Rise in State's Child Poverty

CDF-MN KIDS COUNT Data Book 2008CDF-MN's recently released 2008 KIDS COUNT Data Book finds that there are 152,000 Minnesota children living in poverty — the highest level of the decade — costing the state an estimated $5.7 billion each year. The costly problem diminishes the state's long-term productivity and economic output, and increases the public cost of health care and crime across the state, according to the report. While the book reports some alarming statistics, it also highlights movements working to eradicate poverty.

CDF-MN is currently setting a schedule of meetings, "KIDS COUNT Coffees," in communities across the state to let people know how children in each of Minnesota's 87 counties are faring.

Step Up and Take Action to Protect Programs for California's Children

Step Up and Take Action to Protect California ChildrenAs you may know, Governor Schwarzenegger's proposed budget and revisions released earlier this month will deeply and directly affect California children and families (.pdf). If passed, proposed cuts will force hundreds of thousands of California children to lose health coverage, cash assistance and other vital services needed to stay healthy and in school. Budget hearings have already begun and CDF-CA has issued letters to state assembly and senate (.pdf) leaders urging them to reject these devastating cuts.

Join us and other CDF-CA activists who have already stepped up to protect California children! As a voter, tax payer, and child advocate you know best that every step we take to improve the lives of children improves the lives of all Californians today and in the future. Please take less than five minutes now to email your state elected officials and tell them to protect and prioritize children in this budget cycle.

Ohio County Maps Provide Information on Well-Being of Children

CDF-OH KIDS COUNT MapIn addition to the Ohio's KIDS COUNT: 2007 Data Book, a compilation of the most current and accurate data that tracks and compares the well-being of children in Ohio, released earlier this year, CDF-OH has recently made available county maps as a part of The Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT project. These maps display demographic and program related information on 14 indicators of child well-being in the categories of economic security, health, education and safety. Learn more about how children in your Ohio county fare. By becoming more knowledgeable about the well-being of children in your community, you are taking the first step towards improving the lives of Ohio's children and improving the lives of all of us.

Children's Defense Fund
25 E Street, NW - Washington, DC 20001

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