Report On Our Children

Each day, the report on the health and wellness of our children is staggering. While issues of hunger, obesity, school readiness and academic performance receive some headlines, our children are not receiving the priority they deserve. Consider what happens each year to our children:

Children in the World

  • Today, over 24,000 children under the age of five died due to poverty, hunger, easily preventable diseases and illnesses and other related causes (UNICEF).
  • When including children over the age of 5 (6-18), this number almost doubles. This means that today almost 50,000 children will die from mostly preventable causes.
  • Each year, over 150 million children are engaged in child labor. This means one in six children in developing countries is engaged in child labor.
  • 15 million children are orphaned each year due to HIV/AIDS. This number escalates when taking into account children orphaned by war, natural disasters and poverty.

In America

  • More than 17 million children are at risk for hunger
  • More than 700,000 children were reported abused or neglected in 2009. The numbers are suspected to be much higher—these reflect actual reports.
  • A child is abused or neglected every 41 seconds; 71 percent of them are victims of neglect. Infants are the most likely to suffer from maltreatment. Almost 40 percent of child victims receive no post-investigation services and many more receive far less than they need.
  • 1,200 children enter foster care each day remaining there on average more than two years. Thirty-one percent of the children in foster care are Black, double the percent of all children who are Black.
  • About two-thirds of public school 4th graders cannot read at grade level; 6 out of 10 cannot do math at grade level.
  • Well over 500,000 children remain in foster care each year.
  • More than one in eight preschool children live with a parent who abuses alcohol or other drugs or is dependent on them.

In Arkansas

  • 174,000 children are food insecure-over 25% of the children in Arkansas.
  • 7,400 children are in foster care, 1,300 were adopted or placed into guardianship.
  • 248 children aged out of foster care and are trying to navigate life alone.
  • 9,180 children are victims of abuse and neglect according to reported cases.
  • 71 % of fourth graders read below grade level
  • 63 % of fourth graders are below grade level in math

Statistics are from UNICEF and Children’s Defense Fund. http://www.childinfo.org/facts_archives.html. Children’s Defense Fund on State of Children in America, www.childrensdefense.org/stateofamericaschildren.

The sad reality is that while we receive daily news regarding natural disasters, government reforms and financial news, these stories rarely manage to receive coverage. Each day children quietly die in some of the poorest villages on earth, are displaced from their families, go hungry, are removed from homes, and we wake up, not knowing this happened. We have two choices: to turn our head and say that the numbers are too staggering or to roll up our sleeves and get to work. We choose the latter.

"I am a huge fan of Champions for Kids because it has strong, passionate leadership and it is built on a powerful concept that if we can activate large numbers of people to become Champions for Kids in their communities, they can transform the lives of millions of children. CFK and its corporate partners promise to become that booster rocket.", David Gergen, CNN Senior Political Analyst, Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard

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