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December 21, 2014
It is Sunday evening as I write this from home with my daughter safely tucked into bed.
It being the holiday season and with the new year approaching, I can’t help but reflect on the successes and challenges of this year and the work awaiting me and CCC in the year ahead.
While there are many accomplishments to take stock in, such as UPK and after-school expansion, universal lunch for middle school students, added family court judges, and the commission to raise the age of criminal responsibility, I cannot help but feel restless and somewhat anxious about the future and 2015.
We live in a city where 1 in 3 children lives in poverty, 25,000 children are sleeping in homeless shelters each night, 700,000 children receive food stamps, and two-thirds of children are still reading below grade level.
I worry about these children, just as I worry about my daughter. While their immediate life circumstances are different, the hopes and dreams I have for them are the same. It is my hope that they benefit from a safe home and community, high quality early education and education, and good health, not to mention programs that allow them to explore their creativity and other interests. I hope as well that they develop not only the aspiration to seek a college education and pursue a career but have the opportunity and resources needed to make this path a reality.
Ultimately, like all parents and caregivers, I want for these children and my own child a life filled with family, good friends, and solid mentors – one in which they are respectful and respected and have the confidence and support needed to overcome the challenges that life presents.
While the hardships confronting so many of our city’s children are great, they are not unsolvable. We know after all that effective child advocacy can move mountains – shaping budgets, creating programs, and passing legislation in ways that have a profound and positive impact on child well-being.
And so as I reflect and plan for the coming year, it is my hope that you will join me and CCC in seeking change for NYC children. Let’s raise our voices together – documenting facts, engaging and mobilizing across communities, and advocating for change so that all NYC children are healthy, housed, educated and safe.
I hope you will consider making a year-end gift to CCC and I wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year.
Jennifer March, Executive Director