Getting the 2012 candidates talking about kids

We have another Federal issue that is threatening funds for children and families that you need to be aware of and decide if you want to take action and contact your legislators. Social Services Block Grants fund Montana’s foster care, child and adult protection services, and services for the disabled. This type of grant provides millions of dollars of funding that is critical to the state and to children and families who often are our most vulnerable citizens. Please look through the information below sent by the Alliance for Children and Families. There are very easy steps included to contacting your legislators.  Also, please share with others who would want to support this funding. Thank you for your time considering this issue.

— Todd Garrison, ChildWise Institute Executive Director

The kids are back in school, and you’ve given them everything they need to succeed. But has your school? Has the government?

As election season heats up, it’s time to ask what investments the candidates would make in improving the well-being of our children by addressing child poverty and education. Because new data shows that many students are still getting left behind.

Federal test score data shows that only around one-third of fourth graders can read proficiently. And it’s even worse for low-income students and communities of color. In Montana, seventy-seven-percent (77%) of fourth-graders from low-income families can’t read proficiently.

Few people would consider it right to have a child go hungry, though odds are, many do not consider the implications of such hunger beyond the discomfort of a growling stomach. However, the cumulative consequences of children growing up without proper nourishment are much more far-reaching and serious. Not only does the lack of proper nutrition lead to poor health, it also limits children’s long-term cognitive and socio- emotional development. In recent years, food insecurity and hunger have become problems faced by an increasing number of children, strongly impacting the health, academic performance, and employability of an entire generation.

According to  Montana’s partnership with Share Our Strength (, eighty-percent (80%) of teachers in Montana say children are coming to school hungry at least once a week. It’s no surprise when you consider that forty-four-percent (44%) of children in Montana under the age of eighteen live in moderate poverty (source:

So far the media and the candidates have largely glossed over these issues. And without voters voicing their concern, they have no reason to. Join us in demanding the campaigns give more time to kids!

Let’s be child-wise. Contact the Presidential  and local candidates in your area and tell them that the well-being of our children is the  most important thing on Earth, and you expect them to make children a priority, not a footnote.

Did you know only 1 in 3 fourth graders read proficiently? Tell the 2012 candidates we can do better! Mitt Romney; Barack Obama.

Low-income students are scoring much worse on reading tests. Why aren’t the 2012 candidates talking about this? Mitt Romney; Barack Obama.

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