Thursday, May 18, 2006

Even Start Family Literacy

Yesterday was a SAD day at family lit. It was the last day with my morning group. We had a pool party, which was fun, but it was sad to see everyone go. My time with family literacy is winding down--only two weeks left. I look back and wonder how can our current government believe that programs like this are NOT beneficial and why they are being slated for budget cuts.

Thankfully, Wautoma is a pretty community minded town. It looks like many of the organizations that were our partners are going to help keep some type of family literacy program running there. It won't look anything remotely like what is there currently, but at least there will be something.

Family literacy programs are about helping families break the poverty cycle and become self suffient. They are about developing family unity and helping children "do better" in school (in quotes because "do better" currently means score higher on tests with no child left behind in effect). These are worth while programs--please support them in your communites!


Here is our most current legislative update. . .
Subject: Legislative update - Platts-Simmons and Miller-Kildee letters sent to committee 5-12-06
National Even Start Association Legislative Update May 16, 2006

The Platts-Simmons and Miller-Kildee “Dear Colleague” letters requesting that funding for Even Start be reinstated to the $225 million level were sent to the members of the House Appropriations Full and Subcommittees last week. The Platts-Simmons letter had 48 signatures and the Miller-Kildee letter had 66 signatures. Twenty-two Representatives signed both letters. Please check National Even Start Page to see if your Representatives are signers; if they are, please write a letter to thank them and encourage them to continue their support by talking with their colleagues on the House Appropriations subcommittee.

We anticipate that the markup of the Labor, HHS, Education bill in the House Subcommittee will take place on Wednesday, June 7th. This is less than one month away and includes a short break for the Memorial Day holiday. The Memorial Day break (May 27th thru June 5) could give constituents time to impact Members while they are in their home Districts.

The Full Committee markup of the bill is scheduled for Tuesday, June 13 with House Floor action tentatively set for Wednesday and Thursday, June 21 and 22. The House has not reached agreement on an overall budget, so this deadline may not be met because of conflicts over funding.

With all 435 House seats up for re-election in November, it is a critical time for Even Start practitioners, partners and collaborators to inform their Congressional leaders about the impact of Even Start in their communities and the impact the cuts to this year’s budget will have on services to families. Please invite them to visit your programs and talk with your families. We cannot assume that we have their support; we must make sure each member of the House has adequate information about Even Start to make an informed decision about the funding of this program.

NOW IS THE TIME!!! Together we can make a difference!
Susan C. Henry CEO

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