Each Day in America...

Each Day in America...

  Each year, the Children's Defense Fund puts out a number of reports on the status of children in America. CDF is a nonprofit advocacy organization that has a 40-year history of ensuring that all children have equal opportunities to succeed, be healthy, be safe from violence and abuse, and receive a quality education. Many know of CDF through its founder, Marian Wright Edelman, an African American attorney who began her activism in the 1960s or through her many books and writings. Among her numerous awards was receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award.

In doing a bit or research, I came across a piece entitled "Each Day in America," which provides a sobering look at the state of children and families in our country. Its most recent report marked statistics from 2014:

Each day in America...

  • 16,244 public school students are suspended.*
  • 4,399 babies are born to unmarried mothers.
  • 3,617 children are arrested.
  • 2,857 high school students drop out.*
  • 2,570 babies are born into poverty.
  • 1,836 children are confirmed as abused or neglected.
  • 1,532 babies are born without health insurance.
  • 1,285 babies are born into extreme poverty.
  • 870 babies are born at low birthweight.
  • 838 public school students are physically punished.*
  • 761 babies are born to teen mothers.
  • 384 children are arrested for drug crimes.
  • 167 children are arrested for violent crimes.
  • 65 babies die before their first birthdays.
  • 48 children or teens are injured or killed with a gun.
  • 21 children or teens die from accidents.
  • 7 children or teens are murdered by guns.
  • 6 children or teens commit suicide.
  • 4 children are killed by abuse or neglect.
  • 2 mothers die from complications of childbirth.

(*based on 180 school days a year)

As we celebrate Independence Day, please take a moment to remember that 22% of America's children still live in poverty, and this number has risen over the past decade. As the world's richest economy, over half of all our children cannot read at grade level. Three-fourth of young people ages 17-24 cannot get into the military because of illiteracy, poor health, or prior incarceration. The lack of attention - and investment - to the health, education, safety, and security of our children is said to be the greatest threat to America's economic and national security.

It's been over half-century since President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty, and we're still working to improve opportunities for poor and working families - particularly single parent families and families of color. In the work of Chrysalis, it's vital that we continue to raise awareness about the perils of struggling families, women, and children. Independence is our vision for all girls and women, so let's remember how important our investments are to assure this.