April 5, 2016

Capitol Corner: 3rd Grade Reading Bill Moves to Conference Committee

In today’s Capitol Corner report, President & CEO Matt Gillard discusses the 3rd Grade Reading Bill and what’s needed to move the needle on literacy in our schools.  The bill passed the Senate last week and is now heading to a state conference committee to work out key differences between House and Senate versions. Read Capitol Corner and learn what must happen next to ensure all students have access to interventions and supports needed to reach reading proficiency in their early academic life.
Read our Issues report, Improving Third Grade Reading in Michigan.

Spotlight Series: Family Reunification

Jacob and Celine of Flint are enjoying their home life with their easy-going 20-month-old son in ways most young families do – playing together, taking long walks and making family dinners.  The parents are today proud participants of a rigorous “baby court” program in Genesee County focused on family reunification. Over the past year, the program strengthened their parenting skills and provided mental health services following their child's placement in foster care. Read our latest spotlight story on this court-based family reunification program, one of just a handful across Michigan.

Read our other Spotlight on Parenting stories.

April is Prevention Awareness Month

Prioritizing the needs of Michigan’s most vulnerable children is needed now more than ever with the rise of confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect.  To raise awareness among lawmakers and other policymakers, child advocates from across Michigan will meet with legislators on April 19, 2016 for a Legislative Action Day aimed at educating them on the importance of child abuse and neglect prevention activities. 
The Children’s Trust Fund will also sponsor its eighth annual Prevention Awareness Day rally beginning at 11 a.m. that day on the Capitol steps. Speakers will include Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, state Sens. Arlan Meekhof and Jim Ananich, and Detroit Medical Center infant head trauma physician specialist Dr. Dena Nazer. There will be a procession down Michigan Avenue and the “planting” of a pinwheel garden in a nearby traffic circle.
At Michigan’s Children, we urge policymakers to learn the facts about the need for improved policies and budget considerations to better benefit children, youth and families. Between 2006-2014, the rate of children living in families investigated for child abuse and neglect increased by 52 percent and the rate of confirmed victims rose by 29 percent, according to the 2016 Kids Count Data Book. Click here to read county-specific data from the Kids Count report in your area.
Michigan’s Children works closely with the Children’s Trust Fund of Michigan and together the organizations lead the Michigan chapter for Prevent Child Abuse America.

Advocacy tips to help you stand up and speak out for Michigan children. 
To advocate for improved programs to help children learn to read by 3rd grade, direct your lawmakers to reading proficiency rates in your community and urge them to support additional resources for the work. County-specific proficiency rates are included in the 2016 Kids Count report.  Here's how to contact your lawmakers.

Direct Quotes
“For the past twelve years, Michigan’s reading proficiency has been steadily declining, while almost every other state has improved.”
 -- Third-Grade Reading Workgroup Report to Gov. Rick Snyder
June 3, 2015


Speaking for Kids is Michigan's Children's twice-a-month e-bulletin that offers public policy and budget information relating to children, youth and families in our state. 

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