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Children's Campaign Update for Spring 2004

by Julie Taylor

Untitled Document

Every Child Is Our Child and Our Children Count
It was in response to this resolution on public education and a long history of concern for the education of children that the Women’s Division voted to renew the Children’s Campaign in early 2002. The goal of the UMW Campaign for Children is to see that every child receives a good, quality, free and accessible education. To that end, a brochure (#5573) is available free, except for postage and handling and a booklet (#3223) for $10.00 plus shipping and handling from the United Methodist Service Center, 7820 Reading Road, Caller No. 1800, Cincinnati, OH 45222-1800 or call toll free 1-800-305-9857 or order by e-mail: SCorders@gbgm-umc.org.

What's Coming?

  • The School of Mission issue study for 2004-2005 was public education! It’s not too late to learn. Resources are still available in the Service Center.
  • Issue sheets will focus on specific concerns, the first one looks at environment
  • The Sara Shingler Public Education Internship began in June of 2004. Ginena Wills has assisted in the planning of our special events (described in the following two bullets), is developing a network of United Methodist Women who are working on public education in their communities, and is working on the National Council of Churches’ ecumenical project to develop church/public school partnerships.
  • UMW Program Book 2005 – “A Call to Prayer And Action” is a great program to get started!
  • In summer 2005 a Public Education Summit was held at Scarritt-Bennett Center with United Methodist Women talking about the issues and helping set priorities for future work
  • Pilot training events are being planned for two “hub” cities to train trainers for sharing skills that will make an impact in local public school education

There Is More To Do …
Support designated and undesignated giving. Undesignated giving supports our national mission institutions and a variety of community centers that provide before, during and after school care as well as tutoring services and other educational opportunities. Two of our institutions are schools, the McCurdy School in Espanola, NM and Robinson School in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Designated giving, such as the Brighter Future for Children and Youth, also supports school-related programs as well as helping to provide other needed services for children.

Keith Butcher, Assistant Director for the Office of Instructional Services at the West Virginia Department of Education, has offered praise for the resources already developed by the Women’s Division to help the Campaign for Children, Phase III but suggested that we do even more

  • Promote understanding of the new education bill
  • Know our state’s accountability system
  • Know which schools receive Title I funding
  • Study our schools and Local Educational Agencies (LEA) report card
    • Subgroup performance
    • High quality teachers
    • School improvement status
  • Monitor and support school reform efforts
  • Support scientifically based instructional strategies
  • Support teacher training and the retention of highly qualified teachers
  • Help parents understand educational choices
  • Encourage faith based supplemental service providers and
  • Support programs that help all students reach proficiency by 2014

WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU!!! Tell us what your group is doing!
Executive Secretary for Children, Youth and Family Advocacy,
Women’s Division, General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church
100 Maryland Ave, N.E., Room 530, Washington, DC 20002
1-202-488-5660, ext. 102 Fax: 1-202-488-5681
E-mail: jtaylor@gbgm-umc.org

United Methodist Women are following the Scriptural mandate from Jesus found in Luke 18:16, 'But Jesus called the children to him and said, 'Let the children come to me, and not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.' We are putting children first.

Historically, United Methodist Women have always focused on children. The United Methodist Discipline puts children's rights in a place of priority by including them in the Social Principles under paragraph 66C saying, 'children must be protected from economic, physical, emotional, and sexual exploitation and abuse'.

The Student Bill of Rights
At the 2003 spring Board of Directors meeting, the Women’s Division endorsed The Student Bill of Rights. By doing this, they joined the National Council of Churches, Children’s Defense Fund, National Education Association, National Parent Teacher Association and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, among others, in supporting this effort. Since the goal of the UMW Campaign for Children is to see that every child is educated equally well, the Student Bill of Rights helps to address the inequities in our current legislation and practice. It acknowledges what the Charter for Racial Justice addresses in supporting efforts to create equity for all, specifically requiring states to produce the funds necessary, regardless of where a school is located. See www.house.gov/fattah/ or call 202-225-4001 for more information about H.R. 2178.

United Methodist Women "Leave No Child Behind"
United Methodist Women continue to support efforts to keep the issues of children a priority in our federal government. The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is a child advocacy organization that raises public awareness and annually sponsors the Children’s Sabbath, a weekend set aside to focus on the needs of children in our local communities. The United Methodist Book of Resolutions designates that the second weekend of October be set aside as Children’s Sabbath on the official church calendar.

In 2001, United Methodist Women endorsed the CDF Movement To "Leave No Child Behind".

During spring 2003, the Women’s Division voted to support CDF by endorsing the Act to “Leave No Child Behind.” This was a comprehensive legislative effort to address all the needs of children together---education, child care, health care, hunger, housing, safety, early childhood development and more. Unfortunately this bill was not passed and has not been re-introduced in the new Congress.

The phrase 'Leave No Child Behind' has been a rally cry for CDF for many years and was copyrighted to them. It is not to be confused with the education bill of 2002 – No Child Left Behind – which has a very similar title and is explained below.

No Child Left Behind
In early 2002, President Bush signed into law a bill called the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND Act of 2002. This was a new education bill. The titles are very similar. LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND is the trademark slogan of Marian Wright Edelman and the Children’s Defense Fund and is, therefore, the name of the MOVEMENT and the legislation, yet to be passed. NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND is the education law currently in effect for the operation of the public school system in our country.

As part of our United Methodist Social Principles, on rights of children, United Methodists affirm children’s right to be educated. A resolution, #246 on Public Education and the Church, also sets this as a priority suggesting that churches should, among other things, advocate "for public education as a basic human right; and not relying solely on school fund raising and state alternative revenues, such as gambling, for financial support."

SIGN ON LETTER In October of 2004, the Women’s Division signed on to a Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. This statement affirmed the intent of the law but called for improvements in its implementation. http://www.nea.org/presscenter/nclbjointstatement.html

Date posted: Jun 07, 2004