The Raising of America event took place on June 29, 2015 at 12:00 noon. It was an event that brought together two dozen advocates that consists of: Parents, Educators, Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) for one cause” CHILDREN.” It took place at the CK Café, 1506 Federal Street Camden NJ 08105 in partnership with the Camden County Council for Young Children (CCCYC) and The Camden County Department of Children’s Services.
The purpose of this event was to promote early childhood success through recognition that a child’s development begins from the moment of conception, and that learning continues throughout the child’s life. Camden County Freeholder Liaison Carmen Rodriguez, who is also an educator and co-chair of the Camden County Covenant for Children Youth and Families set the tone, emphasizing how important it is to invest early in our children from conception through the formative years.
Sister Donna engaged our participants in a dialogue of their impression of “Raising of America,” and with enthusiasm and commitment the group signed ‘The Pledge’ to support efforts to build positive, lasting change that will allow all of our children the opportunity to succeed in life.”
There were speakers from Advocates for Children of New Jersey, (ACNJ) Reginald Dorsey; Camden County Department for Children, Sister Donna Minster; and The Community Planning and Advocacy Council (CPAC), Diana Cooper, President/CEO.
Mr. Dorsey spoke about the NJ Kids Count data and shared some astonishing statistics of minority children living in poverty. He shared data highlighting areas of improvement, however emphasized that there was much work still to be done.
The CCCYC will continue to meet to address questions such as: What can we do to change the statistics? How can we use the data to bring about change?
Sister Donna reviewed accessibility, affordability and quality of child care in Camden County and that proposed changes will enhance the process to make it more “family friendly.” She shared how all parents are concerned about quality child care regardless of race, income or circumstances. All parents want to make sure that their children are cared for by qualified and competent providers. By supporting the proposed increase of the reimbursement rate for providers and the finger printing bill of the Family child care providers, we are helping to insure that our children are in quality programs that support their age appropriate development.
Diana Cooper, President/CEO of CPAC gave a brief overview of the Covenant for Children, Youth and Families focus areas: Early Childhood Success, Positive Youth Development, and Strong Transition to Adulthood and Strong Families Strong Communities. She shared the brainstorm from the Early Childhood Success Leadership and the CCCYC to promote the Parents Anonymous, NJ 1-800-THE-KIDS number as a resource for families with children that may witness trauma during the formative years. Representatives from the Camden County Metro were invited and in attendance and were asked to “Consider the Child” that may have an adverse childhood experience (ACE Study) when responding to calls of a traumatic nature. All attendees were presented with a Button that simply read “Consider the Child” 1-800-THE-KIDS. Among the Attendees were: Family Success Institute; JANUS Solutions; Hispanic Family Center; Saving Grace; Head Start; CPAC Board Member; Parents Anonymous NJ; Zion House; Caress Embracement Foundation; and the Director of the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services.
Funders: Nicholson Foundation and State of New Jersey Department of Children & Families