There is abundant evidence that what happens today shapes tomorrow.
A student who struggles to read by third grade is four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers, putting him at higher risk for unemployment and less access to medical care. An adolescent who is overweight or obese has a greater chance of staying that way in her adult years, leading to serious health concerns. Child abuse and neglect can have ramifications that last a lifetime.
Fortunately, changing a child’s life—and our collective future—is not impossible. Many problems our children and families face are preventable, and we do not lack innovative and effective solutions. As a community, we can move mountains—but only if we stand unwavering in our commitment to make children our number one priority and meet their needs, from cradle to career.
Our mission at The Children’s Agenda
is to improve the health, education, and success of our community’s children and youth, especially the most vulnerable, through advocacy for evidence-based solutions and policy change at the local, state, and federal levels. In the last decade, we have made significant progress in establishing foundational support for the nearly 200,000 youth in Monroe County:
- We contribute to healthier birth weights, reduced child abuse, and we mitigate other outcomes of poverty by advocating for proven solutions, including establishment of the Nurse Family Partnership program locally and its continued expansion.
- We contribute improvements in academic success as well as physical, social, and emotional well-being by advocating for increased access to quality early child care and after-school programs and local adoption of Coping Power, a school-based initiative for fourth and fifth graders which is proven to reduce crime and incidents of aggression and violence.
- We provide backbone staffing for a number of efforts that align multiple parties in improving outcomes for children, including ROC the Future, the Children’s Interfaith Collaborative, and the Children’s Policy Council.
We can make a difference, but the future won’t wait. That means the time for action is now.
When we commit to creating positive change for kids, we will see sustainable progress for everyone.