I first heard about Giving Tuesday last year. It was the Monday after Thanksgiving and I was listening to NPR on my way to work. The next day I was posting about it on this blog, and talking to my friends about it on social media. Last year, I was a little late to the party. So this year I want to help build awareness early.
Giving Tuesday is a movement to create a National Day of Giving to kick off the holiday season. It happens the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, so after shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the giving starts December 3rd this year.
The movement was started by the 92nd Street Y (92Y), a nonprofit community and cultural center in New York City. It has grown to include thousands of partners including the United Nations Foundation.
The idea behind Giving Tuesday is to encourage people to Continue Reading »
Posted in Innovation, Stories | Tagged 92nd Street Y, Giving Tuesday, National Day of Giving, Thanksgiving, United Nations Foundations, Unselfie | Leave a Comment »
I’m sure many readers remember my CAP co-worker, Elizabeth, the former writer for this blog. A few weeks ago, Elizabeth forwarded me a link to “Five Numbers to Remember About Early Child Development.” It is a quick multimedia guide put together by Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child in order to drive home the importance of early learning.
All of the information on Harvard’s site is worth discussing. However, it was the second fact on their list that really stuck with me, because it highlights how disparities in children’s vocabulary begin to appear at 18 months of age. After I visited the Harvard site, I seemed to keep running across new studies and initiatives based on this language gap.
Researchers have long known about this gap in a child’s language skills and its connection to a family’s socio-economic status. In 1995, Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley published a well-known study showing children in low-income families heard 30 million fewer words by age 3 than their peers in higher income families with more education.
Their study is detailed in the book Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children. The authors conclude that the amount of talk going on between infants and their caregivers plays a crucial part Continue Reading »
Posted in Early Childhood Education, Research & Data | Tagged Zero to Three, Harvard Center on the Developing Child, Language Gap, Thirty Million Words, Early Literacy | Leave a Comment »
This guest post was written by Monica Barczak, Director of the Innovation Lab.
Here’s a question we don’t get to ask ourselves all that often in the not-for-profit world: “What if anything were possible?” Frankly, it probably isn’t asked very often in the for-profit world, either. But it’s a terrifically powerful question underlying a problem-solving approach called Design Thinking. And it’s one of many notes I’ve jotted down since I began the “Design Thinking for Business Innovation” class on Coursera.
As an innovative agency, CAP Tulsa is continually interested in producing better outcomes for the families we serve. We’ve gone about this in various ways: we research best practices; we work with academic experts; we survey the families and create focus groups.
Last year we worked with a leading design agency called IDEO.org, which was our first, unwitting step into the world of design thinking. It was an eye-opening experience – fast-paced and, to tell the truth, uncomfortable. Now that I have the opportunity to learn about the steps involved in design thinking, however, I am excited about the possibilities of using it to tackle some of the complex problems we’re working on.
Here are some of the takeaways that have stood out so far: Continue Reading »
Posted in Innovation, Resource | Tagged Coursera, Design Thinking, IDEO.org | Leave a Comment »
As I write this, we are less than 3 days away from dramatic spending cuts for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nearly 48 million Americans rely on SNAP benefits, and every one of them will see a decrease in monthly benefits beginning November 1st.
Dottie Rosenbaum, writing for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ (CBPP) Off the Charts blog, puts the real life cost into perspective.
A household of three, such as a mother with two children, will lose $29 a month — a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014…That equals about 16 meals a month for a family of three based on the cost of U.S. Agriculture Department’s “Thrifty Food Plan.”
Of course, the potential for further cuts does not end at the first of November. The much debated Farm Bill is still being considered Continue Reading »
Posted in Food and Nutrition, Jobs/Workforce, Policy | Tagged Farm Bill, Food Insecurity, HungerClif.org, SNAP, TANF | Leave a Comment »
Every year, the U.S. Census Bureau issues a report on annual poverty data from the American Community Survey. Last month, the Census Bureau reported the poverty rate for 2012 was 15%, virtually unchanged since 2011. For Oklahoma, the rate was 17.2%, also the same as last year.
When the current poverty rate is measured against the historically low rate of 11.1% in 1973, the news seems disheartening. Yet, as Sheldon H. Danziger points out in a recent New York Times opinion piece, comparing 2012 to 1973 without further context can give people the wrong idea about the true state of the war on poverty.
One thing to keep in mind is that poverty measures do not capture all the relief provided to low-income families under current safety net policies. Non-cash benefits, Continue Reading »
Posted in Jobs/Workforce, Policy, Poverty, Research & Data | Tagged American Community Survey, Census Bureau, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Poverty Rate, Safety Net Programs, Unemployment Insurance | Leave a Comment »
Health and education are more related than some may think. Researchers have long noted the connection between a person’s level of education and health outcomes. Generally, more education leads to a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to the National Poverty Center.
However, the link between education and health outcomes is complicated, with a host of factors causing mortality rates to differ depending on the highest grade or degree a person completes. Still, there are proactive steps we can take to address both issues. Through public policy, we can link education and health in a way that clearly benefits both causes.
The idea that has policymakers and advocacy groups buzzing is the possibility of connecting early childhood education to strategies that reduce tobacco use. These two goals were brought together in the President’s 2014 Budget proposal, which seeks to expand access to high quality preschool programs and fund the initiative with an additional tax on tobacco products.
Nine organizations focusing on early learning or public health have come together to release a report supporting the proposal, Raising Smart, Healthy Kids in Every State. Organizations behind this effort include the American Heart Association, Save the Children Continue Reading »
Posted in Early Childhood Education, Health, Policy, Research & Data | Tagged Anti-Smoking Policy, Raising Smart Healthy Kids in Every State, Tobacco Tax | Leave a Comment »
Work support programs are designed to sustain low-income earners and encourage work. In this they have been successful, as SNAP alone lifted an estimated 3.9 million Americans out of poverty in 2009. And according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ blog “public programs lifted 40 million people out of poverty in 2011, including almost 9 million children.”
Most of us know families must fall below certain income limits in order to qualify for government benefits. In many cases, individual states administer federally funded safety net programs and often set certain eligibility requirements for benefits such as SNAP or child care subsidies. For some benefits, the state or federal government also sets asset limits, meaning in some states even a modest savings account can disqualify families from receiving assistance.
Yet another harsh side effect of eligibility guidelines is called the “Cliff Effect.” It refers to situations where a small increase in income leads to an abrupt end to a critical benefit. Two work support benefits often associated with income limits are child care assistance, which makes daycare affordable for working parents, and food assistance, which often includes work requirements.
The dilemma posed by cliff effects is that it penalizes people who are slowly working their way out of poverty and into higher income brackets. As income increases, Continue Reading »
Posted in Economic Security & Advancement, Jobs/Workforce, Poverty, Stories | Tagged Child Care Subsidies, cliff effects, Crittenton Women's Union, Losing Ground: The Cliff Effect, Rocky Mountain PBS, SNAP | Leave a Comment »