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Big News…Really BIG News – Aug 6, 2021


PCCY Puts “Children First” Officially

For 40 years, Public Citizens for Children and Youth has put children first. Now it’s official with our new name: Children First. This is more than a name change; it is a fitting and timely recognition that the needs and new challenges of today require a stronger, focused effort.

Born in a city of so many firsts, Children First has led the charge for children by considering all their needs and the many substantial risks and challenges they are forced to face in order to succeed. We know that generational poverty, structural racism, and lack of resources have created enormous barriers. When we put our children first, we tear down those barriers.

By packaging the past 40 years of PCCY success and strength under the new name Children First, we are issuing a directive, setting a tone, and igniting a rally cry for the next 40 years: “Policy makers, politicians, and presidents – put children first!”  

That was our rally cry yesterday when, surrounded by 350 playful children at Kids Game Day, we made our official name change announcement. The children’s smiles and laughter inspired us and renewed our commitment to building a better future for them. 

Thaddaeus Paey, II, an emerging youth advocate, roused the crowd to commit to a better future for children. “Pennsylvania leaders must step up to the plate, put children first, and fulfill their constitutional obligation to provide for public education. When the system doesn’t set students up for success, how can they succeed?”

Yesterday was also the anniversary of the passage of the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), landmark legislation that has provided nearly ten million children with health care they need to thrive. CHIP is based on PA’s pioneering children’s health insurance program, which PCCY played a critical role in getting enacted.

Under our new name, we will blaze the trail for more substantial policy changes like CHIP that will make a lasting difference for children and families.  

Our new name succinctly describes our 40-year past and future of putting children first.  Same strength and same commitment combined with new opportunities and a new name. Children First.

Thousands of PA kids are poisoned by lead but only 20% of children get tested so it could be startlingly higher. Let’s get kids tested and let’s rid homes of lead dangers. Join the Lead-Free Promise Project here.  

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Read the poll report.

WHYY host and reporter Cherri Gregg is asking, “Are you for or against mandatory masking for school kids? Would you keep your kids home if forced to wear a mask? Or if kids were allowed to go mask less? Does age matter? What are kids saying about it?” Tweet her your thoughts @cherrigregg.
“We’re looking for programs that expand access to community-based trauma services, build relationships to promote mental and emotional well-being, [and services] to help individuals highly at risk to be able to obtain and keep a job.”

– Mayor Jim Kenney on applications for anti-violence program funding