Child Watch® Columns

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  • 09/16/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Ending Child Poverty: A Moral and Economic Necessity

    Poverty data just released by the U.S. Census Bureau reveal child poverty declined last year to 14.5 million poor children from 15.5 million in 2014, one million fewer but still higher than before the recession began in 2007.
  • 09/09/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Teaching for Success: Welcoming and Respecting Every Child

    As a new school year begins, how do we teach Black and other non-White children and youths and all those who are poor or have special needs to ensure their successful readiness for the future? How do educators and all those with primary responsibilities for preparing children for the future understand that every child is sacred and deserves fair treatment? How do we create a pedagogy that respects the unique gifts of our diverse child population and nation of many colors and faiths and become a beacon for our multiracial multicultural world?
  • 09/02/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Insure All Children!

    The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, have just released Happy, Healthy, and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children! a toolkit to help schools and districts connect children to health care coverage as part of routine school enrollment.
  • 08/19/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Back to School

    As a new school year begins, parents, teachers and administrators are all thinking about how to make it the best year ever. One of the keys to student success sounds very simple but can make a profound difference: making sure every student is in school every day. This is not the case in many schools and school districts across the country. The Department of Education estimates that five to seven and a half million students miss 18 or more days of school each year, or nearly an entire month or more.
  • 08/12/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Filling in the Stories

    Do your children love the books on their summer reading lists? Are your children reading about diverse cultures and books that reflect their experience or history? Children of color are now a majority of all public school students and will soon be a majority of all children in America yet children’s books and the publishing industry have failed to keep up with the rainbow of our children’s faces and cultures and needs. Every summer our Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools® curriculum is focused on a superb collection of diverse books that reflect children’s own images and a wide variety of cultures and experiences. For some children it’s the first time they’ve seen books with characters who look like them. For others the storylines draw them in, teach them about moments in history they may not have studied in school, and allow them to fall in love with reading in a way they’ve never experienced.
  • 08/05/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Changing Our Racial Narrative

    Bryan Stevenson, the brilliant founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, believes it’s possible to change our nation and world despite the inequality and violence that sometimes threaten to overwhelm us. He’s thought long and hard about the steps needed and believes a key to changing America’s future is changing the narrative we tell ourselves about our shared past. This is especially true about our legacy of Native American genocide, slavery and Jim Crow, and the injustices throughout our history that linger and simmer under the surface then boil over again and again. He speaks often about the urgent need to confront our historic narrative including recently to young servant leaders preparing to teach children in Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® programs across America.
  • 07/29/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    How Much Do Black Child Lives Matter?

    Four little girls were changing into choir robes and chatting in a church restroom preparing for the Youth Sunday services at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963. At 10:22 a.m. a bomb previously hidden under the church steps with its timer deliberately set to go off during Sunday morning services exploded. Three 14-year-olds, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, and 11-year-old Denise McNair were killed on that Sunday morning.
  • 07/22/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Our Nation’s Unfinished Business

    [The summer] brought racial disorders to American cities, and with them shock, fear and bewilderment to the nation. The worst came during a two-week period in July, first in Newark and then in Detroit. Each set off a chain reaction in neighboring communities . . . What happened? Why did it happen? What can be done to prevent it from happening again?
  • 07/12/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Don’t Make Our Most Vulnerable Children Wait Longer!

    In an important show of bipartisanship, Congress is on the cusp of an historic step to help many of the most vulnerable children in our nation who are abused and neglected and at risk of entering foster care and lingering in group care.
  • 07/08/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Seed Sowing for a Beloved Nation and World Community

    The group of Atlanta interfaith leaders meeting that September 11th had a vision for their own version of a beloved community. Instead of being deterred by terror and hate they planted the seeds for what grew into the Interfaith Children’s Movement. Dr. Luther E. Smith, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Church and Community at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and coordinator of the Pan-Methodist Campaign for Children in Poverty, has been a leader in the movement since the beginning.
  • 07/01/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Time for "Good Trouble" Inside and Outside Congress

    Congressman John Lewis' call to action in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 22nd was the beginning of an extraordinary event in our nation's Capitol.
  • 06/24/16

    Child Watch® Column: "#LoveWillWin"

    Sunday, June 12, America woke up to news of the worst mass shooting in our gun-soaked history. A celebration of Latin Night at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando turned into a killing field fueled by intolerance, hate and weapons of war. Now is the time to remember those who stand up and stand together in love.
  • 06/16/16

    Child Watch® Column: "Inaction Cannot Be An Option"

    Inaction is not an option. In the wake of the worst mass shooting in American history we can and must do everything in our power to end this scourge of terror, hate and bullets that fly across our land killing and maiming and breaking hearts and traumatizing communities with ever increasing frequency.
  • 06/10/16

    Child Watch® Column: "The Crucial Need to Expand the Non-White Teacher Pipeline"

    The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) has just completed a week of national training for nearly 2,000 college students and recent graduates preparing to teach in CDF Freedom Schools® summer literacy programs across the country. Most come from the communities they serve and are role models for the children they serve.
  • 06/03/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Remembering, Reclaiming and Honoring Our Roots

    On the 40th anniversary of the publication of Alex Haley’s landmark book Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a new television adaptation is bringing renewed attention to the story that opened so many eyes to the harsh truth about American slavery and its aftermath – an aftermath that continues under new guises despite much progress.
  • 05/27/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Original Child Bomb

    President Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima this week offers an opportunity to take a clear-eyed look back to the first and only time nuclear weapons have been used in war. Germany had surrendered on May 8, 1945. Japan refused to surrender and continued to wage the Pacific War. President Harry S. Truman faced a decision on whether or not to drop the world’s first atomic bomb in Japan.
  • 05/20/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Building Strong Children Today For a Strong Nation Tomorrow

    Pediatricians aren’t usually day-to-day policy makers but policy decisions affect the work they do every day as frontline caregivers for our nation’s children.
  • 05/13/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Welcome to Everyone

    When Andrew Carnegie was a seventeen-year-old immigrant “working boy” in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (now Pittsburgh’s North Side) in 1853, he wanted to be able to borrow books to improve himself – but in the era of predominantly private libraries he was stopped by an annual $2.00 library subscription fee.
  • 05/08/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Mother’s Day Call to Action

    As mothers and grandmothers who have dedicated our lives to serving children, our own and others, we know firsthand how important a stable home, a positive emotional and learning environment and safe communities are for a child’s healthy development.
  • 05/06/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Stories of Mother Love

    As we celebrate mothers and grandmothers, foster mothers, and all those who step in to parent children in need, let’s pledge to take responsibility not only for our own children and grandchildren but for all children or at least for one child who may not be our own.
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