When Seattle resident Don Cameron attended Advocacy Camp in 2010 with his wife Hazel, the couple had already been staunch advocates for young people in their community for a long time.
Don and Hazel speak up for kids by preventing them from falling through the cracks into the prison pipeline – especially, says Don, in a nation that spends $60 billion a year incarcerating people yet does little to address appallingly low graduation rates. Both work with 4C Coalition, a Seattle-based mentorship program headed by Hazel that grew out of a community response to escalating youth violence in 1999.
“The kids we work with — 50 percent of whom are kids of color — come from low-income homes and a lot of their parents can’t advocate for them,” says Don.
As the state’s Health Care Authority chief prepares to leave his position, covering all kids and Washington’s health insurance exchange will remain a priority. Sea Mar Community Health Centers will open a dental clinic in Monroe for 1,500 underserved children and adults. In national news, a study finds that poor access to dental care can lead to lower school performance. Another report shows how midlevel licensed dental practitioners can help extend dental care to 6.7 million kids through school-based programs.
In state news, one Children’s Alliance advocate fights for her community as they deal with the loss of half their food assistance. The agriculture industry gives Apple Health for Kids a boost, and Asian Pacific Islander leaders support marriage equality to strengthen families. According to this week’s budget forecast, meeting our constitutional obligation to fund education won't work without new tax revenue.
Apple Health for Kids provides health care for 4 out of 10 of our state’s children. Yet more than 100,000 children remain uninsured – less likely to get the health care they need to grow up well and succeed in school. A key player in Washington’s apple industry wants to take a bite out of that problem.
The newly released Kids Count Databook on child-wellbeing shows that economic hardship has pulled 65,000 of Washington’s kids into poverty since the beginning of the recession. While on-time graduation rates and test scores dropped during this time, children’s health coverage improved remarkably. In national news, a long waiting list for child care demands that we invest in our children instead of giving tax breaks to the richest 2 percent. One education analyst asserts that meeting the needs of children means a sharper focus on racial equity in child policymaking and practices.