Children

$5 For A Safe Birth in Yemen

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Your DGB for today is to send a couple of dollars to the UNFPA

https://www.unfpa.org/delivering-world-where-every-childbirth-safe.

With the holidays, the recent elections and the ongoing chaos of the Trump administration it’s easy to overlook the goings-on outside the U.S. border (and we didn’t even mention the border situation). DGB-ers, the situation in Yemen is dire. After years of civil war, sanctions from Saudi Arabia and an unstable government the country is on the very brink of famine. You can read more about it here:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29319423

A safe birth kit assembled by the UNFPA can provide sterile supplies to local midwives and volunteers for only $5. These kits can and do save the lives of delivering mothers. Make your donation here:

https://give.friendsofunfpa.org/campaign/safe-birth-even-here-yemen/c214153?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Carousel&utm_term=Engaged&utm_content=Safe_Birth_Kit&utm_campaign=Yemen

Grab your PayPal or debit card information and help a mother give birth safely.


Link a Child to Music

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Your DGB for today is to support MusicLink and help a kid get music lessons. Musical education is extremely beneficial for humans of any age but especially for the developing minds of children. The cost of lessons and instruments can price out families that don’t have the extra money to spend. You can help by offering your skills, time, an instrument you don’t use or a couple of dollars.

MusicLink connects kids to music instructors that are willing to donate or discount their skills and time. If you can support them that way go here:

https://www.musiclinkfoundation.org/partcpat.php4

Do you have a playable instrument laying around collecting dust? Find out how to help that way here:

https://www.fundmusiclink.com/instrument-donation-1

And of course, cash is always the right size, always the right color:

https://www.fundmusiclink.com/donate

No parent should miss out on the opportunity to hear songs they once liked played poorly over and over and over until they beg for mercy. Grab that old tuba from your glory days and send it to a kid in need.

Separated Children

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Happy Monday, there are still hundreds of immigrant children living in tent cities after being separated from their parents this past summer. Your DGB for today is to help KIND to advocate for these traumatized little ones.

Kids In Need of Defense has been helping migrant children in many ways over the past decade, but one of their core missions has become crucially necessary in recent months. Founded by Microsoft and Angelina Jolie, KIND’s network of legal experts make sure each unaccompanied child has excellent representation in court. Their educational resources are extensive, which you can find here:

https://supportkind.org/resources/

If that’s too overwhelming (it’s been a tough weekend, we know) you can simply donate here:

https://donate.supportkind.org/give/188892/#!/donation/checkout

Countdown to Midterm Elections: 29 Days

Plug The Pipeline

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One of the keystones of systemic racism here in the United States is the School to Prison Pipeline: a descriptor for the way minorities are funneled into prison starting with the way the are treated by their public schools and districts. The Department of Education now has a searchable database that allows you to see just how your own school or district is handling things like gifted and talented (G&T) enrollments and disciplinary situations. Ideally, the percentages will roughly reflect the enrollment data. So for example, if your school or district is 85% white, 5% Black, 5% Latinx and 5% Asian, your G&T and suspension rates will shake out into similar numbers. Sadly, this is often not the case. One DGB staffer noted that although her school of reference contained 4.8% Black students they made up over 9% of the out-of-school-suspensions.

Folks, this is not acceptable. Black and other minority students are regularly punished more often and with greater consequences than white students, yet there is no data that illustrates they are breaking the rules more often.

 

Please read more about this database and how to use the information here: https://www.colorlines.com/articles/heres-how-find-out-how-racist-your-kids-school

 

And look up your school(s) and district(s) here: https://ocrdata.ed.gov/DistrictSchoolSearch

 

Use this information to grab our students out of the prison pipeline.

 

Supply Some Supplies

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Summer is drawing to a close but before you bust out your puffy vests and PSLs, pitch in and help make this time of year a little less stressful for parents of school kids. As state and local budgets are cut to the bone, schools are tasked with keeping the buildings safe, the lights on and the teachers paid with less and less money. And as these budgets shrink, school supply lists grow, placing the burden of filling the gap on parents and teachers. These supplies are relatively inexpensive but when money is tight, you have multiple children, and your school has asked for extras like toilet paper and cleaning fluid, it quickly adds up.

Your DGB for today is to donate some pencils, paper, highlighters or something to a school supply drive. There are a few ways you can do this:

Find a drive near you. This time of year there are probably several. Just plug in “where can I donate school supplies” and the magic of Google will suggest a local donation spot.

Drop some off at your local school. If you go this route may we suggest you focus on things like cleaning wipes, paper towels, copier paper...stuff that will help keep the building and administration going. These items are often overlooked by local drives and charities.

The Kids in Need Foundation collects both cash and bulk products to distribute to schools in need across the country. Their donation page is here: https://www.kinf.org/donate/

 

 

Grab back-to-school!

 

Dirty, Shameful Money

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Your DGB for today is to understand who is profiting from child detention centers.

The following article is a long read, but a critical one, tying the contractors incarcerating children to the banks behind them. Make no mistake, there is big money in private detention facilities, with CEOs of firms making close to a million dollars a year on internment camps. There is value in learning the names of such contractors, as they are not widely known, and also in understanding the role of common household name banks assisting them, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Be sure to read all the way to the graphic showing the web of money, including exact amounts.

https://news.littlesis.org/2018/06/21/who-is-profiting-from-incarcerating-immigrant-families/

One of the important actions you can take, if you use one of these major banks, is to move your money to a local bank or credit union. Switching banks is a huge pain in the ass, but so is being part of a structure of government that forces three year-old kidnapped children to appear alone in immigration court.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/child-immigrants-us-court-border-family-migrant-immigration-trump-latest-melania-a8422101.html

 

 

Find Your March

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Your DGB for today is to get ready to march to keep families together.

As you likely know by now, our government spent the last month separating children from their parents, siblings, and even loveys, at our southern border.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kids-toys-border_us_5b2a629ce4b05d6c16c99fd7

After weeks of claiming that they were helpless to stop the self-imposed humanitarian crisis, Trump signed an executive order yesterday that ended the policy. What the order didn’t do, however, was dictate how to handle the more than 2,300 children already taken from their parents. No one is sure when, how, or even IF these kids, now spread in shelters across the country, will be reunited with their parents.

Find your local Families Belong Together march here:

https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together_attend1/search/

And take to the streets on June 30th.

 

Who We Are

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Your DGB for today is to learn about America’s history of forcibly dividing families of color. The horrific new Trump administration “zero tolerance” immigration policy has resulted in criminalizing immigrants fleeing violence and seeking asylum at our border, with roughly 2,000 frightened kids being removed from their families by force or trickery and placed in detention centers.

When reading commentary on these actions, you may have seen the sentiment, “This is not who we are!” You may have even said it yourself. Unfortunately, this is not true. America has a long history of cruelly separating children and babies of color from their parents. This sobering WaPo piece describes the policy as it was enacted during the years of chattel slavery, and later, as Native American children were forced into Orwellian boarding schools.

As a country, we cannot effectively stop or prevent these human rights abuses from happening if we don’t acknowledge what has come before. If the awful Trump administration policy is in part “who we are,” it is also true that “who we are” can be a country that learns from the past and insists on doing better.

 

Full for the Summer

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Your DGB for today is to find, support and/or spread the word about your local Summer Feeding Program.

Schools across the country are letting out for the summer. While lazier, warmer, and more relaxed days are ahead for many children, this season brings fewer meals for those that rely on free meal programs during the school year. That’s where summer feeding programs come in. We would like you to locate one for the children in your area, support it monetarily with a small donation, share information about it or consider sponsoring a site if you have the resources and discover a need.

About the USDA program: https://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/summer-food-service-program

Locate a site here: https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks

Information about sponsoring a site: https://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/how-become-sponsor

Many non-profit organizations have summer meal programs so don’t give up if nothing in your immediate area shows up in the USDA finder. Here are some links to check out:

Feeding America: http://www.feedingamerica.org/our-work/hunger-relief-programs/summer-food-service-program/

Focus North America: https://focusnorthamerica.org/programs/summerfeeding/

You can also get information from your state’s department of education as many states have their own programs.

Grab back and help a kid eat this summer!

 

Rosa Maria Hernandez

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Your DGB for today is to help a child with special needs get back home.

The story of Rosa Maria Hernandez is about as heartbreaking as they come.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/26/health/undocumented-child-federal-custody-surgery-trnd/index.html

She arrived in the United States illegally from Mexico with her parents at three months old. Now ten years old, she has cerebral palsy and has the mental capacity of a five year-old. Wait, it gets worse. Recently requiring emergency gallbladder surgery, she was being transported by ambulance in Texas, when border patrol intercepted her at a checkpoint. It gets even worse. Agents followed the ambulance, waited outside her hospital room until discharge, and then detained her instead of letting her go home to her parents in Laredo. Trump’s America is a place where disabled children are detained for seeking medical care.

Rosa Maria is in a juvenile shelter in San Antonio awaiting deportation proceedings, which have yet to be scheduled. The facility is run by the Office Of Refugee Resettlement, a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services, which can be reached at 202 401 9246 and told to immediately place Rosa Maria back with her parents or another family member.

 

Pay Off School Lunch Debt

Your DBG for today is to help erase school lunch debt.

Despite the fact that summer sun and heat is still blazing, kids are heading back to school or will be within a few weeks. For the fellow parents of school age children out there: Congratulations, you made it! Whether you are a parent, non-parent, grandparent, generally fear and avoid children, or all of the above, we can all agree that hungry children and stressed parents are a bad combination for learning and growth. That’s why we love the public school lunch program. Feeding hungry kids is an absolute good. Public school lunch programs do it cheaply and well, providing food to 30 million kids of all incomes across the country.

Cheap does not equal free, however. School lunches are free to those that fall below certain income levels, but still cost money for those that don’t qualify. When you’re living on an income between poor and comfortable, that ~$2 a day adds up, especially if you have multiple children. When parents fall behind on paying for lunches, most schools continue to feed kids. Over time, this creates a deficit, causing problems for both the school and parents.

It’s simple and inexpensive to help with this situation. Just donate at least $2 to your local school for use on an overdrawn lunch account. Use this link to find your local school:  https://www.greatschools.org/school-district-boundaries-map/, then call or email them to say you want to help with payoff of an overdue lunch bill.

Help a kid grab a lunch!

 

Summer Camp

Your DGB for today is to help send a kid to camp.

Whether it be band, drama, 4H or just regular, summer camp is a fun tradition. It allows kids to build new friendships, learn new things and spend large amounts of time outside. For Lindsay Lohan and Haley Mills, it even meant reuniting with your long-lost twin sister that your parents had inexplicably separated you from, following a presumably nasty divorce. That you didn’t even know happened. But we digress. At any rate camp can be a truly magical experience that is too often reserved for kids of parents able to shell out several hundred dollars. Opportunities to expand horizons and be part of a community should be for everyone.

Today, we ask that you consider making a small donation to help support a program that sends children from low income families to camp experiences. We have listed a few below.

 

Happy Camper Foundation (South Florida): http://happy-camper.org/index.html

 

United in Harmony (Southern California):

http://unitedinharmony.org

 

Fresh Air Fund (NYC area):

http://www.freshair.org

 

American Camp Association (national):

https://www.acacamps.org/donate


 

There’s elbow macaroni somewhere, waiting to be made into a necklace. Help it find a child!

 

Trump’s Education Budget

Your DGB for today is to call your Member of Congress and encourage him or her to say “NO” to Trump’s budget, for the reason that it is screamingly bad for education in the United States.

Trump’s budget recommends cutting $9B from the Dept. of Education, and those cuts would hurt the working class, the very people he claimed he’d “never ever forget.” Trump’s budget also slashes medicaid, which will impact students with special needs, as well as economically disadvantaged students, who rely on certain health care screenings through school programs. Other initiatives that are at risk under this budget are after-school care, teacher training, and public service loan forgiveness. This budget must be approved by Congress, which is why we’re asking you to call your rep about this mess.

Don’t know who your member of Congress is? Text your zip code to (520) 200-2223 to get the names and phone numbers for your senators, MoC, and even state legislators; or check out DGB’s handy-dandy government resources page (see “Find Your House Representative”). Now contact your MoC and let him or her know that you do NOT support Trump’s budget because it will hurt vulnerable Americans.

Maybe Trump would value education more if he had paid attention in school when his teachers were covering things like the US Constitution, what NATO stands for, and spelling.

 

Donors Choose

Your DGB for today is to check out and donate to a school listed on Donors Choose.

Donors Choose was started by a history teacher, and helps fund tools and experiences for students who attend grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 in US public schools. You may have heard about the organization when Oprah Winfrey highlighted it on her show in 2003. Teachers still need our help, and we at DGB think this organization deserves an A (and some cash) for effort.

On the website, you can click on “most urgent projects” or find a school in a high poverty area. There are over 73,000 schools for you to choose from. You can also check to see if a local school in your area is listed. If you can give, please do so, as every little bit counts. A donation of just five dollars can go toward a classroom’s art project, technology, books, a field trip, and much more.

When members of the community work together to promote the well-being and learning of all students, we send a message to children that they matter. If you are able to donate, help a teacher out.

 

After School Clubs: They DO Matter

Your DGB for today is to write a letter, postcard, or send a donation to an organization that supports after school clubs.

President Trump’s Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, stated that, “There’s no demonstrable evidence they’re [after school clubs] actually helping results, helping kids do better at school.”

We at DGB disagree, and Harvard research shows that after school clubs DO make a difference when there is sustained participation and proper adult supervision. The benefits include better academic performance as well as social-emotional, prevention, and health and wellness outcomes.

Below is a short list of after school clubs that DGB members have participated in or heard about:

Bedtime Math & Crazy 8s Math Club: All proceeds from the Bedtime Math Books go to support the Crazy 8s after school math clubs. All materials and lesson plans are free. Any parent can use them to start a K-2 or 3-5 club at your local school or library. If you aren’t able to volunteer, you can purchase one of their books to support the organization.

Girls on the Run: This after school club focuses on girls in grades 3-8, and allows parents and teachers to get fit with daughters, grandaughters, nieces, and other school-aged girls after school hours. What a great way to spend some time together.

Let Me Run: This is the counterpart to girls on the run. Let Me Run is for 4th - 8th grade boys, and supports building relationships and living a healthy lifestyle.

Do you have other ideas? Please share them on our Facebook Page. We at DGB would love to hear how after school clubs definitely ARE making a difference.

 

Tell Highlights Magazine You Dig Their Designs On Diversity

Your DGB for today is to contact Highlights to express support for their plan to include LGBTQIA families. In September, a lesbian couple who subscribed to Highlights for their one year old daughter contacted them regarding their lack of representation of Queer families. They pointed out that while many other diverse family types were represented, their own family was starkly missing. The magazine’s initial response was unsatisfactory and the public wasn’t having it. The publication reevaluated their message and have promised to be inclusive of all family types, starting with an illustration featuring two dads in the February issue. Let them know it’s important to you to “diversify your kids’ bookshelf”. If you don’t have children, maybe you’re like us and have fond memories of leafing through Highlights as a kid and want to tell them you’re glad they’ve evolved. They will surely face some backlash for this, so let’s build up the positive feedback.

 

You'll contact Highlights via Twitter, Facebook, email: customerservice@highlights.com, or by phone: (888) 372-6433, using your own or this DGB suggested message:

 

I’m contacting you to thank you for including a wide array of families in Highlights. Your publication’s reflection of the diverse lives of real children is greatly appreciated.


 

 

Multicultural Book Donation to Preschools

Your DGB for today is to defeat implicit bias by donating a book featuring black or brown lead characters to your local Head Start Preschool.

While some adults may be beyond the reach of examining their attitudes towards race, children are receptive, teachable, and capable of shaping the future into the integrated and open world we desire for them. Media being predominantly white, bias begins early and white normalcy is something we need to combat. Children of all races need to see themselves and others in the media they consume; representation matters. This alone will not fix racism, a complex issue embedded in the fabric of our society, but it’s one of the places you can start or continue your work dismantling white supremacy.

Read more about the importance of public preschool here.

Find your local Head Start Preschool here.

Browse a list of books with black and brown protagonists for children of all ages here.

Or use one of our DGB suggested books for toddlers and preschoolers, which you can find used and new here, and a board book for those little ones who devour literature in a literal and not just figurative sense here.

And don’t forget to use AmazonSmile if shopping this way!