Written by: Jennifer Holsman Tetreault, Board Chair of Valley of the Sun United Way
Every one of us has a child in our lives - a son, niece, cousin or student - who is struggling to adapt to our new reality. Even in the best of circumstances, children are dealing with anxiety, educational setbacks, and social isolation.
We all want safety, stability and positive well-being for our children.
But the truth is that over 1.5 billion students are out of school around the world. The job and income losses will increase rates of child poverty, human trafficking and exploitation. Lockdowns and quarantines also increase the likelihood of children witnessing domestic violence or suffering abuse.
In Arizona, our children are facing many challenges, including: (1) the inability to access licensed child care programs; (2) limited access to educational services or support; and (3) lack of access to quality food during this pandemic.
Families, schools, communities and policymakers have to work together. We have the power to rebuild our communities and reimagine a better future for our children if we work together to help young people struggling in the wake of this virus. As the Board Chair for the Valley of the Sun United Way and member of the Women United Global Leadership Council, I am committed to doing my part to fight for our children to be healthy, safe, emotionally connected, and learning during this difficult time.
Today, on International Children's Day, let's take a moment to spotlight the many, many children that have been affected by this pandemic. As the U.S. Congress currently negotiates a fifth economic relief package, join us in urging congressional leaders to keep children front and center.
Specifically, we ask that Congress:
The consequences of inaction could affect children’s health, academic success, and cognitive and social development for years to come.
Join us in advocating for children on International Children’s Day. There is no more important time or issue. Please take action today!
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