Friday, April 20, 2012

Stand up and speak out for DC's youth RIGHT NOW!

If you care about young people—how they develop, their social and emotional stability and growth, being and feeling safe, how well they are developing their sense of self—then the time is NOW to stand up and speak out.

On Monday, April 23 at 10:00 am, Ward 1 CM Jim Graham, chair of the Committee on Human Services, is holding a budget hearing on the Children and Youth Investment Fund (that funds the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation).   We expect the CM to hammer the Trust representatives with questions about internal changes, outcomes for youth, what capacity building efforts have yielded, and more.   Naturally, this all results from that thieving SOB known as Harry Thomas, Jr. who stole money the Trust had granted to a nonprofit.

I believe that DC's children and youth deserve better than bearing the brunt of bad decisions made by adults.   If you agree with research that shows children and youth who are actively and appropriately engaged in OST have better short- and long-term outcomes, then STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT NOW.   Please email your Ward CM and all the At-large CMs and urge them to leave the Trust alone.   The $3 million will help thousands of young people across the city who need a chance to learn and grow and achieve with the help of caring and well-trained adults.

Now there is little question that the at-the-time executive director made some bad decisions.   Were the appropriate systems in place to prevent such illegal and otherwise questionable activity?   Clearly not.

But who suffers if the DC Council unfunds the Trust in FY 2013?   Thousands of children and youth between the ages of 5 and 21.   As it is, only about half of the young people in the city participate in out-of-school time (OST) activities.

The fact is that the Trust was making strides to improve the quality of OST programming across the city, expand access east of the Anacostia River where a huge population of youth live, and implement evaluation practice.   If the DC Council eliminates funding for the Trust in FY 2013, all of this good work for the city's young people is gone.   Poof.   Into thin air.

I believe that DC's children and youth deserve better than bearing the brunt of bad decisions made by adults.

Please share this post and the call to action flier and send those emails today.   Time is of the essence.

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