It takes many resources and sponsors to support the work and advocacy that Children’s Defense Fund provides for children. One such organization is the Public Welfare Foundation, Inc. (www.publicwelfare.org). The mission of the Public Welfare Foundation is to support and advocate for individuals, regardless of age, in need, on civil rights, low-income programs, government benefits,juvenile services for youth and other legal aid for adults. A current initiative of the Public Welfare Foundation is to increase civil aid for low-income and poor families. Many have difficulties keeping their homes, getting adequate healthcare or job benefits, providing for their families and knowing where to turn when legal aid assistance is needed. The advocacy work performed by the Foundation is crucial in that the assistance they provide helps families, which in turn provides some stability in their lives and the lives of their children. As educators, knowing where to find additional services and resources for families in time of crisis helps to solidify a strong presence in the lives of their children who count on us to be not only their teachers and counselors, but part of their support system in life.
The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) was founded in 1973 by Marian Wright Edelman, a civil rights attorney who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement. The initial conception of the Children’s Defense Fund, which they continue to advocate for today, was helping formulate, shape and change federal public policies pertaining low-income programs, discrimination, education, health and abuse. They have continued to grow into one of the leading advocates, providing a strong vocal voice on any and all children’s issues through the United States. . One of the reasons I’m partial to this website is because as an advocate group, CDF champions for the welfare of children from birth through high school and addresses social issues on hunger, abuse, special needs, healthcare and education. By partnering with health and education officials, doctors, families and legislators, CDF continues to fight for equality for all of our children. There are three separate tabs that addresses these issues from programs and campaigns, to research and policy.
Three articles CDF featured on their website this week touched on poverty, changes to our pre-K and kindergarten full or half-day programs, and gun violence against black males. For the past several weeks there has been a counter at the center of their main page that CDF has showcased when the 113rd Congress convened. The counter changes daily. Today the number is 21,838. Almost 22,000 children have been victims of gun violence (CDF 2013). Located under the Research Library tab, is a 2013 reported entitled “Protect Children Not Guns”. It is a very comprehensive look at a troubling issue where too many of our children are witnessing and becoming victims of gun violence, not only in their communities but in their homes and at school, two places where they should feel safe. Gun violence is not only a black male issue, but an American issue as this is affecting all of our children, regardless of the color of their skin or the neighborhood they live in. I’ve provide a link to the report for those who are interested, http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/protect-children-not-guns-2013.pdf (CDF, 2013).
Children’s Defense Fund (www.childrensdefense.org)
“Dear Lord Be good to me. The sea is so wide and my boat is so small”
Children’s Defense Fund (2012)
Children’s Defense Fund (http://www.childrensdefense.org) is an advocate for America’s children on issues concerning health, education, welfare, poverty, juvenile justice and provides advocacy and family resources. Current frontline issues include The State of America’s Children 2014, reform changes to school disciplinary practices and policies, budget cuts to school programs and the ever increasing gun violence happening in America’s schools.
As a mother and educator interested in leadership and advocacy for children’s issues, this website is a goldmine of information and resources. One startling fact learned was regarding gun violence against our children. “Since the 113th Congress has intervened over 19,738 children have been shot by guns”, (Children Defense Fund, 2014). Another interesting statement was for every cut we make in education investments we run the risk of increasing a child’s chance of going to prison by 39 percent (Children’s Defense Fund). Cuts to resources and personnel affects more than the quality of a child’s education but their future as well. It takes just one voice, followed by a community of interested individuals, to change our circumstances and provide the best opportunities for our children.
The research library tab features national and state statistics on poverty levels, abused children, health and education facts concerning the state and welfare of our children. Take Action provides informative ways as educators and parents we can voice our concerns by writing to our elected officials and writing editorials and blogs to our local news agencies.