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Thousands of Youth Join Children’s Defense Fund in National Effort Calling For Health Coverage For 9 Million Uninsured Children

For Immediate Release
July 18, 2007
For More Information Contact:
Ed Shelleby
(202) 662-3602

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today more than 8,000 youth from Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools® sites across the country will participate in a "Day of Action" and urge their U.S. Congressional delegations to provide health coverage for all children as Congress considers funding reauthorization for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) this month.

"Nine million children in America are without health insurancethat's one in nine children in the richest country in the world," said CDF President Marian Wright Edelman. "It is appalling in this country that a child is born uninsured every 47 seconds, at greater risk of living sicker and dying sooner than an insured child. If adults aren’t standing for children, the children in the CDF Freedom Schools program will stand up for themselves."

The CDF Freedom Schools program provides summer and after-school enrichment through a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: high quality academic enrichment, parent and family involvement, social action and civic engagement, intergenerational leadership development, and nutrition, health and mental health.

The social action and civic engagement component of the CDF Freedom Schools model teaches youth to engage in community service and social justice advocacy. This year, with Congress preparing to reconsider SCHIP funding, CDF Freedom Schools participants will be urging their local elected officials for health coverage for all of the nine million uninsured children. Supported by CDF Freedom Schools sites in states as diverse as Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, more than 8,000 youth will be advocating as part of the Children's Defense Fund’s national Healthy Child Campaign.

The CDF Freedom Schools program partners with faith institutions, schools, colleges and universities, and community-based organizations to boost student motivation to read, generate more positive attitudes toward learning, and connect the needs of children and families to the resources of their communities. The CDF Freedom Schools program partners operate 124 sites in 61 cities and 25 states (and Washington, D.C.) around the country.

For more information on the CDF Freedom Schools program, visit www.childrensdefense.org/freedomschools. To find out more about the Children's Defense Fund's Healthy Child Campaign, visit www.childrensdefense.org/healthychild.

For more information about the Children's Defense Fund, visit www.childrensdefense.org.

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