Last week we wrote about child poverty in the US, which has not changed significantly since 2010 but has grown over the past 10 years. New Census data released yesterday show that child poverty remains at 30% in DC, despite economic gains citywide and shrinking poverty rates among other age groups.
To grow up strong, smart and healthy, children need proper nutrition at every stage of their development. Before birth and during the first years of life are especially critical periods. These early years set the foundation for healthy bodies and readiness for learning, as brain architecture develops and children cross important developmental milestones.
New Census data show that 22% of US children lived in poverty in 2011. Of the 16 million children in poverty, almost half are living in extreme poverty.
Nationally, these numbers represent no statistically significant change in the child poverty rate from 2010 to 2011. Preliminary data suggest the same pattern will hold for in DC, where the child poverty rate is nearly one in three.
Twenty years ago five women: Diane Bernstein, Marion Guggenheim, Cynthia McGrath, Elizabeth Siegel and Susan Zox Smith had an incredible vision to raise their collective voices on behalf of children and youth. These five amazing and visionary women were drawn together to get involved in helping DC’s children and youth because they knew it was the right thing to do.
DC Mayor Vince Gray released his One City Action Plan last month, setting objectives for the city’s economic development, education and quality of life. The plan zeroes in on data by linking some of these objectives to measurable indicators and by promising a regular report card on progress.
Data play an extremely important role in my everyday practice as a physician. My choice of antibiotics, medications and therapy are all guided by up-to-date research and data. This practice is called evidence-based medicine. The purpose of evidence-based medicine is to remove subjectivity from the clinical decision making process by applying information gained through studies and scholarly work to medical practices to ensure quality and consistency of service delivery. It strikes me this might be a good approach to advocacy.
Our city’s prosperity rests on the shoulders of our children. They are the next generation teachers, parents and civic leaders. If they don’t succeed, we all have a dimmer future.
We like to encourage our children by telling them that they can be anything they aspire to be. Unfortunately, the success of far too many children in DC seems predetermined by their ZIP codes, instead of their gifts and abilities.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about why third grade is a turning point for student success. According to my research on third grade proficiency for an upcoming DC Action issue brief, experts agree that high-quality early education is a key stepping stone to proficiency by third grade.