By Tim Leeds
There will be a rally held in Pepin Park Thursday, June 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Pepin Park for the National Stand for Children Day.
The rally will highlight programs and activities available in Havre for the children of the community.
There will be children's activities for all ages from 11 a.m. to noon. From noon to 1 p.m., Mayor Phyllis Leonard, Pastor Steve Flateau, HRDC Director Tom Bolan and representatives from the police department and HELP will speak about the many opportunities for the children of Havre.
Marit Ita of the HRDC Child Care Link invited everyone to bring the whole family in and enjoy tacos from the Taco John's Taco Cart at $1.00 per person.
The first Stand For Children Day, the largest gathering for children in American history, was on June 1, 1996, when more than 300,000 Americans gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
People came hoping to create an awareness of and better children's issues in the nation.
Since that first day, Stand for Children has become a national membership organization with a mission to organize a powerful citizen voice to give all children the opportunity to grow up educated, healthy, and safe.
The theme for this year's Stand for Children Day is building safer and healthier communities for all children.
Some of the issues the organization wants to promote awareness about and improve in the nation include:
Health insurance The number of uninsured children (18 years of age and under) was 11.9 million in 1998, or 15.6% of all children. (U.S. Census Bureau, 1999)
Nutritious Food Low-income children who participated in a breakfast program achieved higher standardized test scores than low-income children who did not participate in the program. The program also helped to decrease tardiness and absenteeism among participants.
Quality child care More than 40 states and Washington, D.C., do not require a single hour of early childhood training for child care providers prior to serving children in their homes. (The Center to Career Development in Early Care and Education, 1998)
Safe place to play In the summertime, when Phoenix basketball courts and other recreational facilities are kept open until 2:00 a.m., police calls reporting juvenile crimes drop by as much as 55%. (Children's Defense Fund, 1999)
Schools free from guns, drugs, and violence Some 6,093 students were expelled during the 1996-97 academic school year for bringing firearms or explosives to school. (Department of Education, 1998)
Educational and fun after-school and summer activities Students who spend one to four hours per week in extracurricular activities are 49% less likely to use drugs and 37% less likely to become teen parents than students who do not participate in extracurricular activities. (CDF, 1999)
Safe homes In 1998, the U.S. Conference on Mayor's survey of homelessness in 30 cities found that children under the age of 18 accounted for 25% of the urban homeless population. (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 1998)
Adult support Young people in mentoring programs are 46% less likely to start using drugs, 27% less likely to start drinking, and 33% less likely to hit someone. They skip fewer classes, get better grades, and have better relationships with others. (US Department of Justice, 1999)
If you have a program or activity you would like to have represented at the Havre rally, please call Ita at 265-6743.