Justice for Children
"I will pour down rain on a thirsty land, showers on the dry ground. I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring and my blessings on your children. They shall spring up like a green tamarisk, like poplars by a flowing stream." —Isaiah 44:3-4
The promise of God's blessings for children has been affirmed down the generations of faith from the time that God first promised to Abraham and Sarah that their offspring would be as numerous as the stars. Jesus not only welcomed the child, but asked everyone to enter into the eternal realm of God's blessings as children. Children are not only invited, but show us the way.
Children have the right to develop spiritually, intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally, and to live in conditions of freedom and dignity. Because children are powerless and often live with adults who are poor and have little voice, there is a tendency not to see or hear them. Too often, their basic needs go unfulfilled.
The United Church of Christ has a long tradition of affirming public policies that generate and distribute resources in ways that provide all people, including children, with the potential to live healthy and productive lives. The covenant of God is with all children of our nation and the world, not just with the children who share our church life.
Enriched Pre-K Should Be Part of Every Child's Right
April 30, 2013: The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIERR) releases annual report, The State of Preschool 2012, demonstrating that, "The 2011-2012 school year was the worst in a decade for progress in access to high-quality pre-K for American children... State funding for pre-K decreased by over half a billion dollars... the largest one year drop ever." Here is a succinct summary from the Education Law Center.
February 13, 2013: In his State of the Union message, President Obama proposed expanding government subsidized pre-Kindergarten for children in poor and moderate-income families. Expanding access to early education should be a priority, as it is known that the achievement gap widens well before children enter Kindergarten.
Tracking Child Poverty
Child Poverty and Inequality... and Budget Cuts at State and Federal Levels.
Last year's 2012 Message on Public Education explores, in depth, how poverty impacts children's performance at school.
NEW in March, 2013: Here are the UCC's 2013 succinct, updated talking points to help faithful advocates reflect on and speak to what needs to happen today in public school reform.
March 25, 2013: What Will the Sequester Mean?
December 22, 2012: Research documents that widening income inequality has become the most daunting factor undermining the American Dream. In this extraordinary and nuanced article Jason DeParle explores what this means in the lives of three students from Galveston, Texas: For Poor Strivers, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall.
December 10, 2012: Is the American Dream a reality for children today or only an American Fantasy?
Here is the JWM 2013 Message on Public Education:The Public Purpose of Public Education.
August 2012: Jonathan Kozol publishes new book: Fire in the Ashes.
Additional UCC Web Pages that Address Justice for Children
Bullying: What We Can Do to Stop It
Child Care and Early Education
Child Poverty and Inequality... and Budget Cuts at State and Federal Levels
Criminal Justice, Human Rights, Children and Youth
Ecumenical Child Advocacy
Human Sexuality and Children