In this edition, you’ll read about a new report showing that despite rising childhood hunger in the summer, there are fewer summer meal sites available for children in Washington State. Linda Stone, Senior Food Policy Coordinator at Children’s Alliance, explains how fewer resources to offer summer schools and recreation programs are also cutting down access to summer meals. You’ll also find an article celebrating the reunification of families involved in the foster care system that features the work of two recent Children's Alliance Voices for Children Awardees.
Fewer Summer Meal Programs Available For Children I KUOW I 06-30-2010
A report from the Food Research and Action Center shows there are fewer summer meal programs available for poor children. In Washington there are 700 schools, parks and community centers that serve sack lunches — that's 23 fewer than last summer. Linda Stone, senior food policy at the Children's Alliance, says, "Increasingly, school districts don't have the resources to offer summer schools, or any kind of enrichment or recreation programs in the summertime...so what all this means is that not only do kids not have access to those recreation and education resources, but they don't have access to any meals during the summertime."
Courts reunite happy parents, kids in dependency cases | Seattle Times I 06-24-2010
On June 24th, amid applause and cheers, Anderson won her children back, one of a handful of dependency cases celebrated for their happy endings as part of King County Youth Services' first annual Reunion Week. "People can change and families do reunite," said Nancy Roberts-Brown, director of Catalyst For Kids. Of hundreds of children who are removed from their families each year in Washington state because of abuse and neglect, two-thirds are ultimately returned to their families. Nancy Roberts-Brown and Kimberly Mays are both Children's Alliance Voices for Children award recipients.
Gregoire: Across-the-board cuts or special session if Congress doesn’t extend Medicaid match I The Capitol Record I 06-30-2010
Gov. Chris Gregoire visited Washington, D.C. yesterday with a group of other governors to ask Congress to pass an extension of the Medicaid match program, or FMAP. If Congress doesn’t pass the extension, Gregoire said she’d either have to call a special session or make across-the-board cuts. In a conference call with reporters, Gregoire said all-day kindgergarten and hospice programs would be on the chopping block without the FMAP extension. She said the $480 million would equate to about 6,400 jobs or a 4 percent across-the-board cut to state programs.
Child immunization rates at high | Tri-City Herald I 07-01-2010
Sandy Owen, the preventative health services director for the Benton-Franklin Health District, stood in front of the district's board on Wednesday with a number she's proud of -- the number of children getting fully immunized against infectious diseases. According to state data, about 93 percent of children who started kindergarten in the two counties last fall had gotten all of their shots. That number is closer to 85 percent for the state as a whole. Owen said one of the reasons the immunization rates are so high in Benton and Franklin counties is because the health district offers a public child immunization program that allows parents to bring their children to the district offices to get their shots if they can't get them at their doctor's office.
Checking On K-12 Reform and Early Learning: Is There Any Real Progress? I Birth to Thrive I 06-29-2010
After Congress dropped the Early Learning Challenge Fund from health care reform one of the brightest remaining legislative opportunities to improve early learning this year was K-12 reform. But, as legislative days pass, it is unclear what, if anything, policymakers will do.
Health Care In Washington State I KUOW - Weekday I 07-01-2010
It's been 90 days since the massive national health care reform bill passed. What does that mean for your coverage? What changes are we seeing in Washington state? KUOW's panel of experts join us once again to hash out the details and answer your questions.
Wash. income tax initiative steps closer to ballot I Associated Press I 07-01-2010
A campaign to impose an income tax on the state's wealthiest residents is likely headed to the November ballot, as supporters submitted boxes of petitions Thursday morning. Bill Gates Sr., father of the Microsoft Corp. co-founder, and about two dozen other supporters of Initiative 1098 turned in 350,000 petition signatures Thursday in Olympia, many more than the roughly 241,000 required get on the ballot. Gates said that it was time "to make our tax code fair for the middle class and small businesses."