National Day of Social Action Puts the Spotlight on Child Poverty


July 14, 2015

Parents, children,and college students from our CDF Freedom Schools in California organized events to bring attention to the problem of child poverty in their communities. The efforts were part the CDF Freedom Schools National Day of Social Action, a national event organized by the Children’s Defense Fund that encourages children and teens to explore the critical issues facing their communities and apply their critical thinking and problem solving skills to address them. Check out some of the stories below and learn more about our campaign to #EndChildPoverty in California.

Sacramento: The Roberts Family Development Center CDF Freedom Schools held a march and rally on the steps of the state capitol to bring their voice to the fight against poverty in nation. Scholars had the chance to tour the Capitol building, meet with their representative Kevin McCarty, and hand-deliver letters explaining why ending child poverty should be his top priority.

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Marin: The Hannah Project CDF Freedom Schools site hosted a family and community forum to demonstrae local policymakers and media that poverty is not just a fact of life but something that can be solved.

At the forum, the scholars presented a resolution on ending child poverty laying out the scope of the problem and urging policy makers to get on board. to the offices of state Senator Mark McGuire and Representative Jaren Huffman. Then, our Senior Policy and Government Affairs Manager Michele Stillwell-Parvensky demonstrated how the we could eliminate poverty US by the 2030.

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Los Angeles: Read Lead CDF Freedom Schools scholars learned from presentations about the realities of poverty, and how to take action to create social change and make a difference. Guest speakers included a CDF Freedom Schools parent who currently lives in a shelter, and a director of a local food bank working to eradicate hunger.

Long Beach: Success in Challenges CDF Freedom Schools brought together children and families for an intimate conversation about the consequences of poverty and what can be done about it. Participants had the opportunity to dialogue about their own encounters with poverty and learn about the innovative solutions being taken to address it.

Bay Area: The CDF Freedom Schools site at Camp Sweeney juvenile probation camp, hosted by Lincoln Child Center, held a physical and virtual food drive to directly address the problem of hunger by providing food and grocery gift cards to the families of participants who were in need. Scholars also wrote poetry and performed skits about the need to address poverty and inequality. One powerful line in a scholar’s poem: “Rather than fighting against each other over crumbs, we need to come together to make a loaf.”