Join the team!  Children First is now hiring for our K-12 Education Team.  Learn More.

Chipping away at lead poisoning–March 4, 2016

PowerPoint Presentation

Kudos: Mayor Kenney Delivers on 2 Promises to PCCY

As a mayoral candidate, Jim Kenney was an early signer of Pledge for Philadelphia’s Children, a PCCY led effort backed by 26 of the most respected youth-serving organizations in the city. As Mayor, he wasted little time setting an ambitious agenda for his nascent administration, delivering on two major promises: Universal pre-k and upgrading public recreation centers.

During his first budget address, Mayor Kenney made accessibility to pre-k for all the city’s children his first order of business.

Kenney described the game-changing initiative as not only a moral imperative, but a fiscal one as well, saving millions by reducing the need for services like special education and fueling long-term economic growth.

The Mayor pointed out that in addition to helping kids break out of a vicious cycle of poverty, universal pre-k “could save [the school district] approximately $5.6 million per grade” (or, $72 million over the length of a grade cohort’s K-12 years).

“A report frequently cited by the Economy League found that for every $1 spent on pre-k, at least $1.79 is generated in local spending,” he added.

The Mayor also announced his plan for recreation centers as part of a larger vision to upgrade facilities that comprise the largest after-school programming available to Philadelphia kids. The $600 million neighborhood plan, one of the largest public investments in the country, includes sprucing up parks and libraries.

“If we ever want the Mayor’s budget address to be about something other than our failing school system and its repercussions, then we need to implement serious, radical, ambitious policies,” Kenney said.

Mayor Kenney also pledged resources to create 25 community schools.

“As many of you are already aware, community schools are public schools, where a dedicated coordinator directly integrates existing social services into the school, so students can access them easily,” Kenney said, adding that many of those same services are available to the public, elevating schools into community hubs boosting parental engagement and neighborhood buy-in.

If you’re keeping score, that’s two promises of the seven in The Pledge…after just two months on the job. This bodes well for his administration and, thanks to the raucous reception his budget address received, Mayor Kenney knows it.

Check out the Pledge here.

Chipping away at lead poisoning

What’s the difference between the way government handled childhood lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan and Philadelphia?

In Flint, children were poisoned by the direct actions of state government.

In Philadelphia, local government has a long-standing commitment to protect children from lead hazards—but they have not put enough resources into it, and neither has the state or the federal government.

Did you know PCCY spearheaded a two-year campaign to make Philadelphia’s lead law a reality? Find out more!

Ending childhood lead poisoning dictates a housing solution because it’s primarily lead-based paint in homes that poison kids. Getting lead out of houses is expensive, but the cost pales in comparison to paying for poisoned kids’ health care, special education and juvenile delinquency bills – and does not touch the cost of human potential lost by the ravages of a poisoning we know how to prevent.

Here are 3 things YOU can do today to keep kids safe from lead:

  1. Advocate for more funding for the Pennsylvania Healthy Homes Program to educate families on lead-paint based home hazards, assess homes for hazards and connect families to available resources.  Click here to send a letter to your state legislators.
  2. Push for increased federal funds for HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes program to provide lead hazard screening and lead hazard remediation in older homes occupied by low-income families.  Click here to send your Congress members a letter.
  3. Advocate that the City enforce its lead law requiring landlords to test their properties for lead hazards where children age six and younger live and provide proof that the house is lead-safe. Click here to send letters to the Departments of Health and Licenses and Inspections.

For more information about lead poisoning prevention, check out the Department of Health’s FAQ.


advocate and serve

MARCH 8: Join PCCY’s first Capitol Caravan of 2016 to tell our legislators they must pass the Education budget Pennsylvania desperately needs. Reach Shirlee: 215-563-5848×32     LEARN MORE


hashtag seriously

“I wasn’t being held hostage.” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie responds to wide speculation that he appeared exceedingly uncomfortable standing behind GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump Super Tuesday night.  READ MORE


socially speaking

PCCY’s Smile Day phone bank opens on MONDAY (3/7). Click the link and share our flyers. Help us connect uninsured kids to free dental care. March 22-25.   MAKE A DIFFERENCE


they got it right

While the merits of pre-k are clear, some ask how Philly will pay for it. “And with all due respect that’s simply the wrong question. The only question is how can we afford not to pay for it,” Comcast VP David L. Cohen responded in an Inquirer commentary, while urging businesses to help fund the initiative.  READ THE COMMENTARY