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The UPDATE

 

Together with our young people, parents and community partners, we’re advocating with one voice for public policies that support kids at every step from early childhood to early adulthood. We are stronger, louder and more effective together. And, whether we are focused on helping a toddler learn her letters or a young man pursue his professional passion, we share one goal: that all of DC’s children and youth grow up safe, resilient, powerful, and heard.

Early Childhood


Mark your calendar for two important virtual events!

 

March 25  |  6:00 – 7:30 PM


Join us this Thursday, March 25, from 6pm-7:30pm for a virtual conversation about inclusive parenting. 

Setting the Table: Making Space for Inclusive Conversations Around Parenting and Other Mothering will be hosted by Mamatoto Village, DC Action, and Mayor Bowser’s Thrive by Five Initiative. 

The first conversation in our year-long series will establish the foundation for expanding our views of the Black parenting experience in the District. When stakeholders aim to address maternal health in the District, often missing from the table are the voices and diverse experiences of Black mamas, parents, and caregivers (other mothers). This conversation seeks to center and amplify the voices of those who have been excluded. We will learn how parents navigate raising their children and find access to spaces that affirm their experiences. We hope to shed light on the intersecting issues impacting Black mamas and families and identify ways to build collective and sustainable change.

Register here

March 31  |  7:00 PM


Join the Under 3 DC Coalition next Wednesday, March 31 at 7pm for a Virtual Education Town Hall: Early Education During COVID-19.

This is a great opportunity to share your story, ask questions, and connect with DC Councilmembers, parents, community members, and early educators to discuss the upcoming District FY22 Budget Session.

Register here

DC Kids Count Fact  |  Housing Insecurity


Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, housing costs were a struggle for families: a third (34%) of the District's children were living in households paying more than 30% of their income on housing. Families of color disproportionately bear that burden – the rate for white children is just 11%. And the economic impact has made things worse: roughly one in four Black renting households with children said it's likely they’ll be evicted in the next two months.

Race Equity


Child Trends recently released an important report, Family, Economic, and Geographic Characteristics of Black Families with Children, as part of its series Addressing Structural Racism Through Equitable Policy Making for Black Families. The report explores how the inequality built into our country’s infrastructure has led to the systemic racism that intentionally puts Black Americans at a disadvantage.

“These inequalities negatively impact the lives of Black people in a number of ways, including where they live; the education they receive; their employment opportunities, access to child care, mental and physical health outcomes, and political standing and power; and the way they are treated in our systems of law and justice.”

Read the full report

Education

 

Episode #5 in the OST Blog Series


This new blog series highlights out-of-school-time programs, by creating space to share the stories of voices that have been left out of the discussion about how to support virtual learning, and provide for safe and healthy in-person learning for students who need access to it. 

The Fishing School’s Sarah Ricker explains how the organization collaborates with school principals, supports students during virtual school, and provides fun and inspiring activities to keep kids engaged and motivated during the pandemic. 

Read the blog post

Health and Safety


Last week DC Action staff and scores of advocates testified before the DC Council Committee on Health as part of an agency performance oversight hearing. 

Program Manager for Early Childhood Nisa Hussain explained, home visiting programs, Help Me Grow, and Healthy Steps are integral components of the broader early childhood system. Home visiting is one of several approaches to supporting families in the early childhood system. As a voluntary service, families have the choice to join and it may not be the perfect fit for every family. But it is important for the District to continue offering this service as an option, as well as a variety of models that meet a diverse number of needs and populations.”  Read the full testimony here. 

Research and Data Manager Rachel Metz outlined strategies the District could use to increase participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children--better known as WIC. “According to the most recent pre-pandemic publicly available data, less than half of eligible DC residents are enrolled in WIC (45.7% in 2017), which is a lower share than in neighboring Maryland and than the national average. There are policies and strategies the District could employ to enhance the ability to reach and retain District families with low incomes and link them to much needed assistance.”  Read the full testimony here.

Voting and Democracy


The US House of Representatives held a hearing on DC Statehood today. When the DC Statehood bill passes the House, it would then go to the Senate, and ordinarily would need 60 votes to pass. But the GOP has threatened to filibuster the bill in order to kill it. We need all 50 democratic senators to be in favor of it, so Dems can opt for reforms such as possibly suspend the filibuster for this bill and it could potentially pass with a simple majority of 51. We are closer than we've ever been before to true democracy for the District!

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, and others advocated for DC Statehood at today’s hearing, reported the Washington Post, arguing that statehood is a voting rights issue. Read more: Bowser, advocates make the case for D.C. statehood at House committee hearing.  

What We're Reading


In celebration of National Reading Month, which encourages kids of all ages, families, and educators to read, we're sharing some of our team’s favorite children’s books. 

-- A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
-- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault 
-- Clic, Clac, Muu Vacas Escritoras/Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
-- Corduroy by Don Freeman
-- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
-- I SPY by Jean Marzollo
-- Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
-- The Rabbits’ Wedding by Garth Williams
-- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
-- The BFG by Roald Dahl
-- Sideway Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
-- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

If you’re looking for more recommendations for great reads for young kids, middle grade, and young adults, check out the National Education Association’s Read Across America 2020-2021 calendar.

DC Action encourages you to buy books for all the readers in your life at local Black-owned bookstores such as Mahogany Books, Loyalty Bookstores, Solid State Books or from READ, an organization that works to ensure “babies and young children have new, quality, culturally relevant books of their own that are mirrors and windows into their everyday lives and communities.” READ funds all its programming though its online nonprofit children's bookstore.

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