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Federal Cuts Threaten to Defund Programs That Help Pennsylvania Families

Proposed federal budget cuts threaten to defund programs that help children and families meet basic needs or recover after a difficult life event. On Friday, April 21, Sen. Bob Casey joined advocates and community members at Calvary United Methodist Church in Philadelphia to discuss how these cuts could impact millions of Pennsylvanians.

Casey said, “What some extreme members of Congress want to do is cut basic programs in ways we have never seen before, so wealthy Americans get more of a tax break.” He pointed out that the Trump administration’s proposed repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was “a big tax cut bill” that would Read more

Caught in the Crossfire: Children and Gun Violence

As Child’s World America reflects upon the events that took place at Sandy Hook four years ago, it is vital to recognize that childhood gun violence continues to occur throughout the nation. Dr. Marano exposes the varied experiences children and youths face in Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. —Cyndi Maurer, PhD (editor)


 

On a Saturday morning in August, a white carriage drawn by two white horses makes its way through the streets of Camden, its top-hatted driver bearing a solemn expression. Inside the carriage is the body of 8-year-old Gabrielle Hill-Carter, struck in the head by a stray bullet as she played across from her home several days before.

Gabby, as she was known, was but one of the recent child victims of gun violence in our area. In the poor neighborhoods of Camden and Philadelphia, adults have a great deal of experience planning funerals for children who were shot while playing outside their own homes. Often, as in Gabby’s case, the families need help from friends, neighbors, and strangers to pay for the burials. Read more

Local Nonprofit Helps Young Readers Go for the Gold

Philadelphia Reading Olympics photo

While athletes from around the world compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics, preparations for a much different Olympics are taking place in Philadelphia. Philadelphia READS, an independent nonprofit serving thousands of urban children, organizes an annual Reading Olympics that encourages kids to strengthen their literacy skills. Instead of the high jump or the 200-meter freestyle, kids read a list of assigned books and compete to answer Jeopardy-style questions that test their reading comprehension and analysis.

Philadelphia Reads LogoThe Reading Olympics is a creative attempt to solve a longstanding and intractable problem: getting kids reading at grade level by the time they enter fourth grade. Read more

Getting Kids to Read Over the Summer Takes a Village

Kids on lawn reading Harry Potter

What adults might not remember about the long, carefree summer days of youth is how much they forgot between June and September. In fact, the typical child experiences a three-month loss in reading achievement known as the “summer slide.”

Philadelphia Foundation LogoOn July 21st, Philadelphia-area children’s advocates, organizers, and nonprofits gathered at the Philadelphia Foundation for a conversation on how to promote childhood literacy by working collaboratively.

The prospect of using summer as an opportunity to hone literacy skills might induce groans from most kids, but solutions to the “summer slide” can actually be entertaining. Read more

Philadelphia Soda Tax: A Sweet Victory for Kids?

Editor’s Update: The Bill has passed the City Council making Philadelphia the first major city to tax soft drinks.

 

On Wednesday, June 8th, a Philadelphia City Council committee voted “yes” to an amended version of Mayor Jim Kenney’s controversial soda tax. The original tax, 3.0-cents-per-ounce, would have raised an estimated $95 million each year for universal pre-K and improvements to city parks and recreation centers.

The revised proposal calls for a 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax and the addition of diet soda to the list of taxable sweetened beverages. At $91 million, the projected revenue is just short of the initial goal. Kenney’s administration has also introduced some last-minute plans for the tax: $41 million of the revenue through 2020 will be applied to the city fund. The City Council is expected to pass this amended bill during this week’s final vote.

But will kids see the promised benefits? Read more

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