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Make storybook Christmas ornaments in 3 easy steps!

December 18, 2014
My favorite Christmas memory is from one of the toughest years of my adult life. When my husband and I moved into our apartment together, our first winter living away from home was the hardest. We were in a new city with no family or friends in the area, we rarely saw each other because he went to school in the morning while I worked nights, and we barely had enough money to cover our basic expenses. With all the change, I was adamant that we try to have sense of normalcy during the holidays—which included buying our first (small) Christmas tree! At first I figured we would make some paper...
Nina Perez's picture

Say “No” to Holiday Stress

December 18, 2014
What’s the best holiday gift I have ever received? Not having to do the whole holiday thing. Really, I’m not a Scrooge. I love picking out the right gift for a person and watching them open it. Receiving gifts is fun, too. Oh, and let’s not forget all the homemade goodies. And decorating your home, both inside and out. And the many parties and family get-togethers. And the wonderful concerts and recitals that your family and friends invite you to attend. And the holiday cards with pictures of loved ones and maybe an annual newsletter. It’s all great, but it’s also just so, so stressful...
Beth A. Collins Sharp's picture

Progress for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

December 12, 2014
On December 10th President Obama hosted a White House Summit on Early Education, bringing together a broad coalition of philanthropic, business, education, child advocacy, and elected leaders and other key stakeholders. It was a welcome chance to celebrate progress in expanding access to quality early childhood development and learning opportunities for children from birth through age 5. Although we haven’t yet seen the passage of needed comprehensive legislation to provide low-income and other at-risk children a full continuum of quality supports from voluntary home visiting programs to Early Head Start and Head Start, child care, pre-kindergarten and — I hope — full-day kindergarten, progress has been made in increasing access to and expanding quality programs and building support for future investments.
Marian Wright Edelman's picture

Celebrating a Step Forward for Children in Immigrant Families

December 12, 2014
Today marks the 4th year that children from around the country have come to the nation’s capital as part of We Belong Together’s 2014 Wish for the Holidays Campaign to deliver letters written by thousands of children calling for the reform of immigration policies to keep families together. Last night, we celebrated four years of amazing letters and drawings at a reception and exhibit at the National Education Association.
Wendy Cervantes's picture

Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina? Let’s Talk About Infant Mortality and Maternal Health

December 12, 2014
The North Carolina NAACP and a coalition of organizations fighting for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina recently held a funeral procession to demonstrate the result of our governor’s decision not to expand the jointly funded federal and state health-care program for low-income residents. According to protesters, 2,800 state residents will die in 2014 because the state did not expand Medicaid under the health-care reform law. What was not made explicit at the demonstration, and at rallies that came before it, is the alarming infant mortality rate in the state, which can be seen as a direct...
Emma Akpan's picture

Three Ways to Raise Wages

December 10, 2014
For a lot of working people, this holiday season will be one of belt-tightening rather than shopping sprees. Let’s face it, our wages just aren’t keeping up the way they used to. Here’s a fact: Average income for the least rich 90% of us has been flat since the 1970s, although people are working more hours. Not a recipe for a holiday-buying bonanza. The answer isn’t to cut back even more, it’s to raise wages. One sure way to put more money in consumers’ pockets and place upward pressure on pay is by raising the minimum wage—a sorely needed move that is stymied in Congress, although 20 states...
Liz Shuler's picture

White House Early Learning Summit: Speak Up for Babies

December 10, 2014
Thanks to quality teaching and tireless dedication of early learning professionals over the past decades our country’s highest offices are now identifying that work as the pivotal piece to improving our communities. Studies show that for every dollar invested in high-quality early learning programs there is at least a $7 rate of return.
Mary E. Mannix's picture

Our Country Needs Many More Quality Afterschool Programs

December 4, 2014
One thing I’m grateful for during this season of thanksgiving is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that my two daughters are happy, healthy, safe and constructively engaged during the school day and, just as critically, in the hours afterward. My girls are lucky.
Jodi Grant's picture