Long Island August Newsletter

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August 2011 E-Newsletter

Back of T-Shirts
Dear Advocate,

Labor Day is approaching and summer is drawing to a close. As we start a new school year, the ECM-LI newsletter also has a new look. As always, let us know what you think about both form and content. This is an important way to communicate with you and we welcome your feedback.

The 2011 Parent’s Convention is approaching quickly.  Click here to register to be a participant or volunteer.

This month we focus on Homeless Children. Please read below for more information about this topic and to learn what is happening locally on LI.


Issue of the Month: Homeless Children

Homelessness is an early childhood crisis.

It is also an issue of poverty, which affects a wide range of childhood development.

On Long Island we have 4,000 children that are homeless.  These children don’t always have access to early learning programs or books to read during the summer.  Persistent poverty can interfere with children’s ability to learn. It can lead to poor health, drug use, crime, and incarceration, among other risky behaviors and consequences that extract a hefty toll on the individuals and society.

According to the 2009 census, 15.5 million children and youth live below the poverty line, an increase of 1.7 million in just one year. Almost 7 million children live below 50% of the poverty line. Millions more are in low-wage families with parents who work full-time but simply cannot earn enough to provide for basic family needs.

· African American and Hispanic children are disproportionately poor; Black children 35% (4.5 million), Hispanic children-33% (5.6 million), Asian children-13.3% (531,000), White children: 11.9% (4.9 million).

· The US has the worst child poverty rate among 24 rich countries. These countries have policies which reduce child poverty much more sharply than those in the U.S.


What is happening on Long Island:

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless has a Housing Advocacy Program

In addition, they:

(1)     Assess and give referrals for individuals and families who are homeless and are seeking housing

(2)    Provide guidance, resources and referrals in obtaining housing LICH serves as a resource through private landlords and public housing authorities (Section 8) to assist homeless individuals and families in obtaining permanent housing

It is helpful for clients to know their housing budgets prior to contacting the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless for services through their website, or by phone:

t. 516-742-7770 


The Parent Child Home Program has a Mobile Outreach Program

This program serves homeless families throughout Suffolk County.  Home visitors stay with these families no matter where they move in Suffolk.  They provide support and resources for parents and children.&n
bsp; This program is always in need of school supplies and other donations.  As another way to advocate, you can write a letter to your elected representatives asking them to think about homeless children when they are deciding which communities will receive grants for early childhood learning programs. Remind them that homeless children can be found all over Long Island.

For more information contact Sarah Benjamin:


t. 516-883-7480

Or visit their website by clicking here

ECM-LI Highlights


The 2011 ECM-LI Parents Convention is approaching quickly!

This is a free, community-inspired Parents Convention where parents from across Suffolk County will get a chance to have their voices heard as the exciting, mid-term election cycle approaches.



-Fun games and activities

-Free lunch

-Parents directly ask elected officials where they stand on pressing children’s issues

-Let elected officials know how you feel about issues related to children and families

-Empowering workshops and speakers, as well as great child care

Date: Saturday, Oct. 15th

Time: 11-4pm

Location: Henry L. Stimson Middle School, 401 Oakwood Rd, Huntington Station

Click here for more information and to register.



ECM-LI BBQ & Awareness Flash Mob Was a Success!

A warm thank you to all who participated in and supported (in various ways!) our “Awareness Flash Mob” at Eisenhower Park on July 31st. We raised awareness about issues facing children and families, and had a great time!

Click here to check out Youtube Footage of the Flash Mob.

We submitted this video of our event to the “Rock Your Park” Flash Mob Competition. Although we didn’t win, we did bring awareness to children’s issues!  

Click here to view the winning submissions and to learn more about the competition and the over 100 agencies who submitted videos to demonstrate the power of parks and recreation.

Advocacy Tip


Child Advocacy Primer:  

Tips and Tools for Improving Your Child Advocacy Skills

Published by Voices for America’s Children and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this primer is targeted at child advocates, both veterans and newcomers, who are working to make a difference in the lives of children. It is intended to be an introduction to key advocacy skills, so that those who are new to the field can refer to it in their work.

Click here to view a pdf of the primer.

Success in Advocating

Read on for good news…

Landmark Early Education Case!

Court Ruling First Ever to Acknowledge Importance of Birth to Five in Education Continuum 

Early learning advocates have cause to celebrate this week! For the first time, a court in the United States acknowledged the importance of birth to five in the education continuum.

North Carolina Superior Court Judge Howard Manning, Jr. issued the first court ruling that speaks to the pivotal role early education plays in allowing at-risk children to avail themselves of their right to a sound basic education. He issued the ruling earlier this week.

Click here to learn more, to read the decision and to feel inspired! 

Closer to Home…

The ECM-LI Awareness Flash Mob is another example of “Success in Advocating”

We’d love for you to continue these displays of advocacy across LI – contact us to find out how.

*Remember, “success” in advocacy is broadly defined and every action makes a difference. You know best what your local community needs. Keep up the great work!

Call to Action


Stuff-a-Bus Campaign (School Supplies for Kids)

The United Way of Long Island is running their 3rd annual campaign to collect school supplies on behalf of children in underserved school districts.

Long Island companies are asked to collect the following school supply items: backpacks, lunch boxes, notebooks, pocket folders, pens, pencils, washable markers, pencil cases, crayons, glue/glue sticks, scissors, rulers and hand wipes.  Items will be collected at individual companies and at United Way of Long Island’s office in Deer Park from August 1 to August 31. 

For more information click here

To register as a participating company, call Donna DeRiggi at 631.940.3759.


Cutting of Child Care Center in Nassau


In an earlier edition of our e-newsletter we were pleased to let you know about a great service the Family Court in Nassau offers. We learned that this center is also a place in danger of losing its funding during upcoming budget cuts.   

In case you missed it, please read the following article to learn about the indispensible work of The Children’s Center – a place where parents who cannot afford child care can leave their children, from ages 6 weeks to 12 years, as they await court appearances. The philosophy of the children’s center is to offer a two-pronged approach for children: quality drop-in child-care services while their parents attend to court business, and a place where families can learn about and gain access to vital services.

If you are interested in seeing the Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court survive, write to your local state legislator and attach a copy of this column (see above link).

LI Council of Churches (LICC) – Food Pantries in Danger

Message from The Rev. Thomas W. Goodhue
Executive Director, Long Island Council of Churches

For more than 30 years Nassau County’s Department of Social Services has asked the Long Island Council of Churches to assist people in need. Thirty years ago we were feeding about 200 a month.  By 2010 we were feeding 1,200/month–but our contract with the County has not gone up a cent since we opened the emergency food center in the 1970’s. Last year’s contract covered about 40% of our costs to operate the program.  This year they want us to feed over 1,200 people a month with 21% less!   

That’s morally and financially intolerable, and it’s unworkable.   

Please help us fill the empty shelves by giving as much as you can so we won’t have to turn our hungry neighbors away. 

Thank you and May God bless you. 


For more information, or to see how you can help, contact one of the following LICC locations:


Tel: 516-565-0290

Email: licc@optonline.net


Tel: 631-727-2210

Email: liccriverhead@optonline.net


Tel: 516-868-4989

Email: liccfreeport@optonline.net   


Children’s Programs on the Legislative Cutting Block

Important Message from the National Office of Every Child Matters, Washington, DC

In the months ahead, Every Child Matters will be fighting to hold children’s programs harmless as lawmakers seek additional trillions in cuts. If evaluated on their merits alone, children’s programs will be left untouched. But, head to head against much more powerful interests, the odds of children emerging winners in the battle of the budget are sharply reduced. This is the time for the millions of friends of children to step up on their behalf. 

Here are things you can do right now in preparation for the battles ahead:

1. Participate in ECM’s nationwide ‘Step Up for Kids Day’ on October 15th. Click here for details. 

2. Click here to tell your member of Congress to oppose cuts in children’s services in the 2012 federal budget. $1.2 trillion dollars slashed over 10 years in Speaker Boehner’s proposal would devastate child care, Head Start, K-12 education, Pell grants, job training, pregnant women’s health services, and many others. 

Tell your Member of Congress how you feel about Speaker Boehner’s budget proposal! Go to the following site to find who represents you.

3.Click here to read Chapter 6 – “Taxes and Government Are Not Four Letter Words” from our earlier book, “Homeland Insecurity.”   

4. Pass this message along to your friends and family.   

KTA Highlight 

Don’t forget to sign up for our Kid & Teen version of this newsletter.  It speaks to them directly and gives them ways that they can get involved in advocating.  You can share the link or print it out for a kid or teen you know.  There are also things you can do with your class to advocate. Click here to begin receiving that e-letter.

Parenting Tip *Remember early experiences matter, the organization Zero To Three  has an e-newsletter that showcases how children learn and grow each month from birth to 3 years. From Baby to Big Kid translates the science of early childhood and offers strategies parents can tailor to their unique family situation and to the needs of their child. 

Click here to sign up for their e-letter. 

*Parents, teachers and kids alike are nervous about the approaching first day of school. Click below for tips on how to prepare kids for the big day.


August 2011 E-Newsletter
In This Issue
Issue of the Month
ECM-LI Highlights
Advocacy Tip
Success in Advocacy
Call to Action
KTA HIghlight
Parenting Tip
Quick Links

Thank you for all that you do and enjoy the rest of summer!

Contact Information
LI Campaign Director

Shea Levin



Past Newsletters


| LI January Newsletter | LI February Newsletter | LI March Newsletter | April Newsletter |

| May Newsletter | June Newsletter | July Newsletter |


| LI August Newsletter | LI September Newsletter | LI October Newsletter |

  | LI November Newsletter | LI December Newsletter |