Child Watch® Columns

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  • 11/04/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Corporate Loopholes: The Tip of the Iceberg"

    Picture an iceberg. Many children know the danger from the "Titanic Song"? they learn in school or summer camp. One verse goes like this: "It was off the coast of England not very far from shore, when the rich refused to associate with the poor. So they sent them down below, where they were the first to go. It was sad when that great ship went down. Oh it was sad, so sad. It was sad, too bad. It was sad when the great ship went down . . . husbands and wives, little children lost their lives -- it was sad when the great ship went down. "
  • 10/28/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Just Say No – To Corporate Greed"

    Repatriation. It's a word many schoolchildren probably haven't yet learned to define or even seen very often outside of spelling bees. But when it comes to corporate taxes, repatriation is the cornerstone of an idea that has the potential to severely hurt millions of children and parents and widen the already historic and unconscionable gap between the rich and the poor.
  • 10/21/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Stupid"

    "The Economy Stupid" were the words on the now famous sign in successful presidential candidate Bill Clinton?s 1992 war room. Today, that sign should be in the war rooms of all candidates?from those seeking the presidency down to those running for local office. And right below it should be three words, "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs."
  • 10/17/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Dedication"

    We honor Dr. King today in stone. Let us honor him tomorrow and every day - for as long as it takes - with powerful, persistent voices and unrelenting nonviolent action to rescue his dream - America?s dream - from the clutches of materialism, militarism, racism and poverty he warned would be America?s undoing.
  • 10/14/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Full Day Kindergarten: A Missing Half-Step in Our Schools"

    In Pennsylvania, many children who had been getting excited about their first day of full-day kindergarten were disappointed when full-day kindergarten fell victim to state budget cuts. Massachusetts families in 80 school districts had to pay an average of $3,110 this year for their children to attend full-day kindergarten.
  • 10/07/11

    Child Watch® Column: "A Parent, Community, and National Audit: It's Time for Adults to Shape up and Close the Hypocrisy Gap"

    I am often asked, what's wrong with our children? Children having children. Children killing themselves or others. Children dropping out of school and roaming streets alone or in gangs. Children addicted to tobacco and alcohol, drinking and drugging themselves to escape reality.
  • 09/30/11

    Child Watch® Column: "National and State Safety Nets Fail to Catch Millions of Children"

    The Children's Defense Fund has launched a new series of stories on our web site featuring children and their parents who have fallen on very hard times. They are the real faces and fears behind our disgraceful national child poverty statistics – 16.4 million poor children living in the richest nation on earth.
  • 09/23/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Is Our Nation on the Titanic?"

    A theologian friend took her car to a Jiffy Lube for servicing. Not having anything to read, she picked up a manual on the coffee table about boating. A chapter on the rules for what happens when boats encounter one another on the open sea described two kinds of craft: burdened and privileged.
  • 09/16/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Discouraging News on Child Poverty"

    New data just released by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals 46.2 million poor people in America, the largest number in the last 52 years. One in three of America's poor were children—16.4 million, over 950,000 more than last year, and 7.4 million children were living in extreme poverty. More than one in three Black children and one in three Hispanic children were poor.
  • 09/09/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Supporting Grandparents Caring for Children"

    At a time in life when many are beginning to ease into retirement and enjoying a little more free time, Mr. and Mrs. B. found themselves unexpectedly starting all over again—struggling to care for their adopted daughter's two young sons.
  • 09/02/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Stop Political Lions from Attacking Our Children: Join the Rescue Posse"

    One of the most-watched videos on YouTube a few years ago showed the struggle of a water buffalo family and herd to save a child. It's called the Battle at Kruger Park. It begins with a buffalo mother, father, and child meandering peacefully ahead of the herd unaware that a pride of six lions is stealthily easing up to attack them.
  • 08/26/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Kids Count: Tallying The High Costs Of The Economy For Children"

    The Children's Defense Fund-Ohio, through the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, just released the Ohio's KIDS COUNT: 2010 Data Book, an annual report that provides snapshots of the well-being of Ohio's children. With unemployment in Ohio reaching 10.6% last year, we found thousands of Ohio children and their families pushed to the front lines of economic suffering. The overall poverty rate for Ohio's children was 21.6% in 2009, jumping 16.8% in a single year and increasing 45.9% since 2001. The number of Ohio counties with at least 25% of children living in poverty more than doubled from 15 in 2008 to 31 in 2009.
  • 08/19/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Bounced Checks From America's Bank of Opportunity"

    As our nation pauses to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the dedication of a new memorial on the anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington, most will focus on only part of the story. When many Americans think of the historic March, they think of Dr. King standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial delivering his inspiring "I Have a Dream" words he spontaneously added at the very end of his speech.
  • 08/12/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Getting Children Ready For School"

    From new backpacks to sharp pencils, parents across the country are doing their best to cross the items off their children's back-to-school checklists. They want to be sure that when the first day of school comes, their children will have everything they need to be ready to start and ready to learn. But as a country we're failing to do the same thing and in the current budget debate, some of our leaders are threatening to do just the opposite.
  • 08/05/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Zero Tolerance Discipline Policies: A Failing Idea"

    Suspended and expelled students are at greater risk of dropping out of school and dropping into the prison pipeline, and using automatic suspensions and expulsions for minor infractions often has a major negative effect on a child's entire future.
  • 07/29/11

    Child Watch® Column: "A National Family Portrait"

    In the Children's Defense Fund (CDF)'s new report on The State of America's Children 2011, we give a comprehensive overview on the well-being of America's children. But just who are America's children and families today? Children make up almost one in four of the people living in the United States today. More than one-quarter of our nation's children are young—infants, toddlers, or preschoolers.
  • 07/22/11

    Child Watch® Column: "Lessons Learned From the Ark"

    As we take stock of the current state of America's children and the desperate need to change direction for the future, some ancient wisdom can give us a blueprint for setting sail and getting our children to safe harbor. Everything our nation and all of us need to know about life can be learned from Noah's Ark according to an anonymous writer.
  • 07/15/11

    Child Watch® Column: "The State of America's Children"

    The Children's Defense Fund has just released a new report, The State of America's Children 2011, which paints a disturbing portrait of child needs across our country. With rampant unemployment, housing foreclosures, homelessness, hunger, and massive looming federal and state budget cuts, children's well-being is in great jeopardy. One in five children is poor and children are our nation's poorest age group.
  • 07/08/11

    Child Watch® Column: "The Promise of Freedom Schools"

    In many school districts across the country summer vacation is getting into full swing. But for a lucky group of nearly 10,000 children in 87 cities and 27 states around the country, it's not just summer—it's a Children's Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools® summer.
  • 07/01/11

    Child Watch® Column: "The Pledge"

    Over this long holiday weekend, children will be gathering in towns and cities around the country ooh-ing and aah-ing over fireworks, marching in parades, proud of their heritage and proudly waving the American flag. Most of them still believe in the promise of America—a promise reflected in so many of the values and ideals that underlie the founding documents of our nation and the Pledge of Allegiance so many of us learned as children and repeated each morning in school.
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