Andrew Cooper, 10, had more serious issues on his mind, “I would want him to end the war like he promised and make sure the soldiers come home safely and also create more jobs so parents can take care of their kids properly.” Andrew’s uncle is serving in the military.
Bryon Perkins wanted to celebrate the occasion with his two boys, 18-months William and 3-year-old Matthew, and said Pres. Obama’s election has opened doors for his children that his generation has only dreamt about. “Our children will never know a glass ceiling,” he said, adding they can dream big, work hard; and know their race, heritage—socioeconomic background will have no barriers to the success they can achieve.
Stephanie Moore brought her daughter Ixchel Aguilar, 5, from Los Angeles to be a part of history. “She has been really excited about Obama from the very beginning,” she said. Moore was impressed by Obama’s Education plan and said there is a fundamental need for bilingual teachers, more funding for after-school programs; he wants to see changes in test-based learning. “He will do his best under the circumstances and that is really what we can ask for,” Moore said.
The Every Child Matters Education Fund (ECMEF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on making the needs of children and youth a national political priority and promoting the adoption of smart policies for children, youth, and families—including stopping child abuse, helping working families with child care, expanding pre-school education and after-school programs, and ensuring that children receive good health care and parents were encouraged to question their state representatives and demand proactive solutions and proper investment in the future.
ECMEF’s report “Homeland Insecurity” details the need for action with daunting statistics: 8-million children in the United States are uninsured, without access to basic medical care. And three-million cases of reported abuse, while 13 million live in poverty and 14 million have inadequate supervision after school.
ECMEF President Michael R. Petit said, “Even very young kids have an enormous capacity for understanding and caring about their communities and they want to make sure that other children have food and shelter, good schools and healthcare, too. As a nation we can cultivate that sense of citizenship and cooperation in our children—and the Children’s Inaugural Ball, while celebratory and festive, is meant to help remind us all of that.”
During story time, author Charisse Carney-Nunes read aloud her book, ‘I am Barack Obama’ which also includes letters from children around the nation and their thoughts on the new president. Guests received the limited inaugural edition autographed book along with memorabilia and coloring books in their welcome packets.
The event also featured a special history display called “President’s Helping Children” about presidential accomplishments on improving child well-being over the past century, beginning with Theodore Roosevelt’s first Conference on Children to President William Clinton’s State Children Health Insurance Program.
For more information about Every Child Matters, visit: www.everychildmatters.org