A round-up of children's issues in the news and on the blogs
The Affordable Care Act, the nation's health reform law, turned 2 last week, while the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the law this week. Millions of Texans, including children, have a lot at stake in the court's decision (which is expected this summer). Our Texas Well and Healthy Campaign compiled some of the reasons why Texans are among the Americans most helped by the health law. Members of the campaign shared several reasons why and first-hand accounts in a one-hour recorded webinar. A newvideo short from Community Catalyst celebrates the Affordable Care Act and features some Texans affected by the law.
Tackling Issues of Race and Kids After Treyvon Martin
The shooting death of an unarmed teenager in Florida has disturbed many, and those of us who champion issues for children are no exception. All kids should have the chance to grow up safe from prejudice. But what can our public policies and the people who push for change do to address discrimination? From our archives, we offer this round-up of helpful resources on the web for people interested in reducing racism and promoting equity in our society.
Over the last month, our staff have gone to the Capitol to urge lawmakers to do right by kids. On our blog, we share some highlights. Ashley, a former caseworker with child protective services, talks about how to help our most at-risk kids and families. Lauren R. and Josette check in on whether all the changes in our juvenile justice system are helping kids. Lauren D. describes what the nation's health care law will offer for middle-income families who struggle to find coverage for their kids. And Eileen weighs in on the ongoing consequences of bad budget choices in 2011.
Resource Spotlight: The Impact of Pre-K
What happens before a child enters school affects how well he or she does there—and later in life, too. That's why we are pleased to partner with the Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition (TECEC) in hosting "The Impact of Pre-K in Educating the Greatest Texas of Tomorrow, Today," a full-day conference and free event Thursday, April 12, at the Texas Capitol Building.
Join us and:
- Learn about the state of early childhood environments--including child care, public pre-kindergarten programs, and programs for children with special needs--in Texas.
- Discuss the role of our state services targeted to the youngest children, like Early Childhood Intervention and home-visiting, in giving kids healthy and safe beginnings.
- Hear from private sector leaders about the business case for Texas investing more in its children.
Member Spotlight: Larry Combest Community Wellness Center of Lubbock
More than 200 members of Texans Care for Children provide services and support to the kids and communities our organization is all about. They have great insights to share, as you can see from our featured member this month, the Larry Combest Community Health & Wellness Center, at Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Nursing. Here are some excerpts from a recent interview.
Your organization works to provide primary care services and outreach to the vulnerable and underserved populations of Lubbock and surrounding counties. Can you provide us with an example of that work?
We are rolling out an outreach and research program that addresses childhood obesity. We. . . involve the whole family in the intervention process of childhood obesity prevention. Additionally we plan to begin this intervention in the pre-school age where change can be affected early. We plan to work with local schools where community impact can be readily felt. If we begin addressing obesity with the family through the schools, the idea will transcend to the community level.
One of the reasons Texans Care for Children has members is so groups can come together around a common message regarding what kids need to grow up healthy. What message about prevention do you think more Texans need to understand?
Although most of the research into childhood obesity has focused on older school-aged children and adolescents, current thinking is pushing the edges of the developmental boundaries into younger groups. By the time the child reaches the age for adiposity rebound (begins usually at age 6 when children begin to increase their body mass index), values and beliefs regarding nutrition and physical activity will have been firmly established, and it becomes more challenging for children to learn healthy behaviors after this time.
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