The Update | July 14
School is out and summertime is in full swing! Whether planning vacations, time with friends and family, or enjoying the weather, the season is packed with things to do.
We are even taking a step back to catch our breath. Last week, the DC Action team came together in person for our annual staff retreat. We spent time reviewing campaign plans and looking ahead to Fall activities while reflecting on our work so far this year. Advancements are happening, but we continue to navigate the systemic racial disparities affecting Black and brown District residents and the need for further investments in resources for our children and youth. Our discussions furthered our resolve and strengthened our commitment to ensure they feel safe, heard, and respected.
Under 3 DC is working to spread the word to the early learning community and beyond about OSSE’s impending launch of the early educator Pay Equity Fund application process. The coalition fought hard to get child care teachers increased compensation. We will work alongside OSSE and AidKit, the company managing the program, to promote the availability of the educator pay supplement, encourage educators to apply, and answer lingering questions.
States like New Mexico and Texas are following suit to promote and uplift their early childhood educators. Advocates and policymakers are working to solve retention problems and create a space where these essential providers can thrive beyond their classroom.
As we work to build a more robust early education system for the District’s youngest, it is a dangerous time for youth. This past year alone, we have seen instances of young people involved in crime skyrocket. DC Action continues to lead and participate in activities and conversations with youth about what they need to feel safe and engage in their community.
Out-of-school time programs like We Own the Night – a late night basketball league – are critical. These programs are both a safe haven and a place of exploration for youth to have fun, learn new skills, gain confidence and explore their interests.
We are spotlighting two organizations this month, Urban Adventure Squad and Project Create. Both are members of our DC OST Coalition who are doing the work to empower youth throughout the District.
Check out the latest OST Voices blogs
Urban Adventure Squad
Living in the city doesn’t mean you can’t play in the woods, catch (and release) frogs, or learn to love nature. In this installment of our OST Voices series, young people from Urban Adventure Squad talk about what they love about the program.
Art can be more than picking up a paintbrush or drawing a picture. At Project Create, art is also making music, dance, beats, and most importantly a path to healing. Read more in this episode of our OST Voices series, by Project Create Executive Director Christie Walser.
DC Action in the News
D.C. is the most expensive place in the U.S. for child care, Axios, July 8, 2022
READ WATCH LISTEN
Read this article from Chalkbeat and Columbia University Teachers College: "Overturn of Roe v. Wade could add to child poverty", which explains the far-reaching economic, educational, and health implications of the recent Supreme Court decision
Watch the first episode of Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness, a new documentary series on PBS that chronicles the current crisis of mental health struggles among young people, emphasizing the importance of empathy and awareness among parents, educators, and others.
Listen to The Evangelical Vote, an episode of Throughline that explores how the evangelical movement has become a political force, providing historical context for the recent overturn of Roe vs. Wade.