U.S. Presidents and their Commitment to Children

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By: J. Glenn Hopkins, President/CEO

 We are blessed as a nation to have political leaders who, despite the many issues that compete for their attention, have shown great interest in the wellbing of our children.  Over the years, U.S. Presidents have done much to improve the lives of children.  
Every Child Matters Education Fund has just published a booklet that reminds us of the enormous challenges faced by children in America: Over 7 millon are without health insurance; nearly 3 million yearly are reported abused and neglected; nearly 2 million have a parent in prison; nearly 16 million live in poverty; as many as 15 million are without adequate supervision after school while their parents are at work; and, 5 million 3- to 5-year olds are unable to take advantage of school readiness programs like Hopkins House.
During this Presidents' Day, we thought it appropriate to share with you some of the things our nation's leaders have done for our children:
- THEODORE ROOSEVELT held the first White House conference on children.  This conference led to the creation of programs like the Frontier Nursing Program, which allowed nurses to visit pregnant women and sick children in remote areas of the country. 
- FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT signed into law the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which set minimum age standards in the work place and prohibited the employment of children in dangerous environments.  His 1935 Social Security Act included grants to states for maternity, infant, and child care.  
- HARRY S. TRUMAN signed into law the National School Lunch Program Act, through which over 170 billion meals have been served to children since it was enacted. 
- LYNDON B. JOHNSON established the Head Start program as part of his "War on Poverty".  The program provides early education to over 560,000 children annually.
- RICHARD M. NIXON signed into law legislation creating the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.  WIC provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, and referrals to free health and social services to pregnant, postpartum and lactating women.
- WILLIAM J. CLINTON created the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to help states provide coverage to uninsured children who parents' incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid.

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Very interesting. Thank you for this.
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