S t a n d

June 1st annually recognizes Stand For Children Day nationwide.

Stand For Children was launched on June 1, 1996, when more than 300,000 people -- of all ages, races, regions, incomes, faiths, and political philosophies -- gathered on the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. for a national day of commitment.

On the second Stand For Children Day, June 1, 1997, the children's movement reached further throughout America with a call to ensure that every child has a healthy start. Hundreds of thousands of citizens in all 50 states and the District of Columbia organized and joined in more than 700 rallies and marches, health information fairs, immunization drives, health screenings, food and clothing drives, playground builds, political forums, petition drives, letter-writing campaigns, and special worship services. At the same time, more than 30,000 people took a Virtual Stand For Children on the Internet.

June 1, 1998, Stand For Children addressed a serious issue about day care.  But the need did not end when the day was over.

Every child has incredible potential, and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a child learn and develop.  Whether in homes, child care centers, schools, churches, or community centers,  taking good care of our children is essential for children, for parents, for businesses, for all of us. Sadly, our society is wasting our children’s incredible potential.

There is too little affordable, reliable, quality care, leaving millions of children in non-stimulating and even unsafe care each day.   And few communities have enough activities for school-age children, leaving nearly 5 million children home alone after school each week.

Stand for Children stood up for quality, affordable child care and supported a $20 billion increase in guaranteed funds to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to help states meet the needs of working families and improve the quality of child care and after-school programs.

Stand for Children's federal work contributed to the passage of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), federal legislation that provides funds to states to offer free or low-cost health insurance to as many as 5 million uninsured children.

June 1, 1999: Ready to Learn, Ready to Succeed... Until every child goes to school ready to learn and ready to succeed, America's promise will never be realized. To be successful in school, children need to be assured of the following:

• Supportive parents who truly care that their children receive an education.

• A health program that will allow them to hear, see and learn pain free.

• Quality child care for both pre-school and school age children.

• After school care that teaches, cares... and keeps kids out of trouble.

• Schools that provide classes that challenge children.

June 1, 2000: Building Safer and Healthier Communities for All Children -  On this day, the safety of our children in the community was addressed. Nationwide more than 2,100 events were held, including violent toy trade-ins, safety demonstrations and fairs, health insurance sign-ups, political forums, and letter-writing campaigns.

The accomplishments of Stand for Children is amazing: 70,000 books have been collected and distributed; tens of thousands of children have been enrolled in health coverage, received information about health insurance plans, or received health services; and hundreds of playgrounds have been created or renovated.

In addition, Stand For Children Day events have led to tens of thousands of constituent calls, letters, and emails to local and national decisionmakers on a range of children's issues.

The Stand For Children Day theme for June 2001 is "Building Our Voice and Vision for All Children."

But why Stand for Children?

• If you're a grandparent, uncle, aunt, cousin, or godfather, nothing matters more than your loved ones.

• And as a caring community member, nothing matters more than the collective well-being of our children. After all, they are our future. And the stronger we stand for children today, the better they will be able to stand for themselves tomorrow.

• So we must Stand For Children in everything we do.

• We must Stand For Children because every child needs a caring, consistent adult in their life and business, political, religious, and media leaders who will stand for them.

• We must Stand For Children because children are dying right now from diseases we can prevent and suffering from sickness we can treat.

• We must Stand For Children because children are arriving at kindergarten not ready to learn and leaving high school not ready to succeed.

• We must Stand For Children because children are growing up without safe, enriching places to go after school and in the summer.

• We must Stand For Children because children are living in neighborhoods with so much violence and so few opportunities.

• And we must Stand For Children because if we help leave the world a better place for those who come after us, our legacy will be a proud one.


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