Long Island July Newsletter

Dear Reader,

During the course of our advocacy work, at times it is necessary to take a sobering look at our local realities. This month’s issue opens with the difficult, yet critical (and often deadly) issue of child abuse. The response and discussions sparked by the Caylee Anthony case were overwhelming, so what about child abuse in our own backyard of Long Island? Every 50 minutes there is a case of child abuse and neglect on LI.  Therefore, we pose the difficult question of action and accountability: What will you do with your vote, your time and your influence to make a difference in the lives of abused children? We know this is not easy, but it is important, so please read on for suggestions, media spotlights, and advocacy ideas.


In this Issue:
1.Protect Our Children
2.ECM-LI Updates
3.Resources & Advocacy

Protect Our Children

Newsday Op/Ed – “Levin: Young Children Need Our Protection”
The Op/Ed section of the July 12th edition of Newsday highlights ECM-LI Director, Shea Levin’s point: The Caylee Anthony case shed light on the vulnerability and abuse of children in a national context, so how about answering the call to take a local look? With child abuse reaching epic proportions on Long Island, how do we help children who are at risk right here? Solutions include (and are by no means limited to) the Parent-Child Home program, Head Start and various other Child Abuse Prevention Services. Levin’s  main point, which ECM-LI stands firmly behind is as follows:

“As the collective outrage over the Caylee Anthony case begins to dissipate, we must not let our passion to protect children disappear with it. We should take our energy and emotions for that Florida toddler and use them to help the children who need us, right here at home. Start by getting educated now, and continue in November by holding politicians accountable. Children need to be a political priority.”

Child Abuse Highlighted on CNN
Visit the following site to view a brief CNN segment on child abuse. It highlights the Christian Choate abuse case, and also speaks more broadly about public will and creating a social and political movement to end abuse. Michael Petit, President of the National Office of Every Child Matters speaks with CNN reporter.


What You Can Do Right Now:

-Share this article (and CNN segment) with others as a conversation-starter for how to address child abuse and neglect issues on Long Island, along with the importance of paying attention to warning signs.
-Create opportunities for conversation about abuse and neglect, armed with the local LI statistics mentioned in the article (in 2009, there were nearly 17,000 reported cases island-wide)
-Learn more about the programs highlighted in the article
Parent-Child Home Program: http://www.parent-child.org/
Head Start: http://www.nhsa.org/
Child Abuse Prevention Services: http://www.capsli.org/

Another way to get involved:
Vote for Kids posters are available to encourage voters to think about kids when going to the polls. Please contact ECM-LI: infoli@everychildmatters.org for posters, bumper stickers and/or window clings.


Thank you for all that you do to keep Long Island’s children safe.


ECM-LI Updates

Summer BBQ & Flash Mob
Join us for this great event that we are co-hosting with Dialogue Beyond Borders.
Food and fun guaranteed for all who attend!
Sprinkler system is available, so please remember your child’s bathing suit.
Also, all who attend may bring a nut-free dish or dessert.
Event Details:
Date: Sunday, July 31st
Time: 1pm-Sunset (Flash Mob taping with begin at 3pm)
Location: Eisenhower State Park
1899 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow
To Register: Call ECM-LI at 631.885.8044
Click here for more information.


Free Local Opportunity – Calling All Vendors!

Are you interested in being a vendor at our Summer BBQ & Flash Mob event? As long as you provide an activity for children, there is NO FEE. This is a fabulous way to communicate with a variety of people, in a local context. ECM-LI will do presentations to get the word out, we just need your participation (which is a win-win for everyone).
Please contact ECM-LI if you are interested: slevin@everychildmatters.org
Date/Time: Sunday, July 31st from 1pm-Sunset
Location: Eisenhower Park


Sponsor the ECM-LI 2011 Parents’ Convention

Gold Level Sponsorship: Your name mentioned on our registration form and Day of Hand Outs, your name mentioned during our closing speech and your banner will be displayed at the event
Cost: $100
Silver Level Sponsorship: Your banner displayed at the event
Cost: $50
The event will be held in Huntington Township
For more information about this opportunity, contact: infoli@everychildmatters.org

Street Team Success!!
Thank you to everyone who came out to our Street Team meetings where we discussed ways for individuals to help create a voice for the infants and children of Long Island.
Check out our coverage on FiOS 1 of this inspiring event.
Join us for our next event at Eisenhower Park.

Street Team T-Shirt Contest Winners
Congratulations goes out to Rein Bey of Nassau County and to the Toddlers in Central Brookhaven’s Early Head Start Class C&D in Suffolk County for their winning submissions.  Thanks to all of those that have submitted your drawings, we are all proud of your commitment to get the message out that Every Child Matters and they need voters to be their voice.

National Night Out is August 2nd
If you are tabling at any National Night Out events, don’t forget to include voter registration forms at your booth and bumper stickers that encourage others to vote with kids in mind. If you are in need of any information or materials to distribute, please contact us: infoli@everychildmatters.org
To find an event near you, visit the following site.
If you are in the area, check out the ECM-LI booth at the Freeport event.

Resources and Advocacy

Call to Action – Press Conference on Nassau County’s Failure to Pay Nonprofits for Contracted Services
Nassau County elected and appointed officials need to know of your concern about the failure of the County to pay health and human service agencies millions of dollars they are owed for programs our neighbors — children, families, seniors — count on and need. Several programs already have been terminated and employees have been laid off. More program terminations and lay-offs are imminent.
Date: Tuesday, July 19th
Time: 10am
Location: Steps of Nassau County Legislature Building
1550 Franklin Ave, Mineloa

Grant Opportunity
The DeWitt Wallace Fund for Youth at the Long Island Community Foundation is currently accepting proposals for direct service related to students and educators. Special consideration given to agencies operating in underserved communities and offering programs in science, technology, engineering, arts and technology.
Visit the following website for more information.

Fresh Summer Ideas for Your Toddler
Summer is in full swing, and you may be running low on creative ideas for your kids. Visit this site for 10 inspiring ideas to do with your toddler.
Examples include: Mud Play, Huggable Scavenger Event, Have a Rain Race and More!

Pick-a-Park
Created by the Long Island Nature Collaborative for Kids, this is a national demonstration project of The Early Years Institute to reconnect children and nature. Designed especially for young families, preschool programs and elementary schools, this inventory includes about 700 parks and preserves run by every level of government – village, town, city, county, state and federal, as well as several not-for-profit organizations.
Visit the link below to find a park near you.


Wonderopolis

Learning is happening everywhere, all the time!! Discover some of these amazing things, big and small through Wonderopolis!
This is a place where parents seek and nurture a brighter world for their children through the power of discovery, creativity, learning and imagination. Wonderopolis is brought to life by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL).
Check it out to spark your imagination and to inspire other creative ideas to soar!

Ending Hunger
Read this article about Harry Chapin to inspire young people who want to do something about hunger in general, and specifically on Long Island.
“A New Push for Harry Chapin Postage Stamp” Newsday, July 11, 2011
In particular, visit the Long Island Cares – Harry Chapin Food Bank website.


Finally, Something to Consider…

Pam Schiller, one of the experts appearing on the VOICES DVD: Caring for Infants and Young Toddlers, offered these suggestions to infant and toddler teachers for “finding strategies that will lead to a more purposeful learning experience for children” in her Exchange article, “More Purposeful and Intentional Infant and Toddler Care”:

-Think of desired outcomes as you plan and move through daily routines.  This will automatically lead you in a more purposeful and intentional direction.

-Strengthen your knowledge of the research that supports early development.  You will become more effective in selecting outcomes that are beneficial.

-Remember that teaching is as much about following as it is about leading.  Teachers who are keen observers of children learn as much from the children as the children learn from them.  All are striving to become intentional.

Start doing your research on our local candidates running for office; see where they stand with kids issues!