Follow by Email

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Here's a campaign platform: Supporting Children

There's an article in the Huffington Post this week that is a must read for all those who care about children. (And that should be everybody, right?) It might be especially good reading for someone running for, say, governor of our fair state.

Author Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus and First Focus Campaign for Children, says we must do better for our nation's young people because:
  • 16 million (1 in 5) live in poverty
  • 8 million lack health insurance
  • 1 million are homeless
  • 750,000 are abused and neglected
  • 1 in 5 drop out before high school graduation
  • the U.S. has the 2nd highest infant mortality rate among industrialized nations
We all know that life in Arkansas -- by these stats anyway -- doesn't stack up any better for our kids. And, while he doesn't mention the problem of hunger, it's huge in Arkansas, especially for children. More than one in four young Arkansans face food insecurity, meaning they don't always know if they will have their next meal.

Lesley proposes a number of strategies, but here's one we find especially intriguing -- create a Children's Commission. He's talking nationally, but what a great thing to happen in Arkansas.

Just think about what the synergy of Gov. Beebe's Workforce Cabinet (an alliance of all the agencies involved in education and economic development in the state) has accomplished. Bring together all those who work with children -- education, health, hunger relief, child protection, child advocacy, even financial planners -- and the result could be incredible.

And just what Arkansas needs.

(Our thanks to Rich Huddleston at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families for sharing the link to Lesley's article on his Facebook page.)

No comments:

Post a Comment