Raising Our Voices for Early Learning, Child Health and in Celebration

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An Update from the Maine Children’s Alliance

November 2015

October was a busy month for the Maine Children’s Alliance. Highlights included, the Champions for Children Celebration, which was an overwhelming success and the release of a Georgetown report, which found no improvement in Maine’s rate of uninsured children. Learn more below!

Getting Their Story Right: the Giraffe Awards

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Members of the Pihcintu Multinational Chorus at the Giraffe Awards!

Last week, the Maine Children’s Alliance held the annual Champions for Children celebration featuring the 2015 Giraffe Awards at the Green Ladle in Lewiston. This year’s Champions for Children Celebration was all about raising our voices and sharing the stories of Maine kids.

From the host and keynote speaker to the Giraffe Award presenters and winners, everyone had a story to share, reminding us that these kids are more than just numbers, they are children, with names, faces and futures.

In her keynote address, Maria Padian talked about her role as young adult fiction writer, drawing inspiration from kids and getting their stories right. Her most recent novel, Out of Nowhere, was inspired by real events and people in Lewiston. She impressed upon the crowd how despite all odds, children can become unlikely champions for themselves and others.

The event culminated with the 2015 Giraffe Awards, which continued the recurring theme of storytelling as winners spoke about moments and actions that inspired them. Sue Mackey Andrews, Judy Feinstein, Jim Wellehan, Nakia Dana, John Woods & Full Plates, Full Potential, My Place Teen Center and Don Sanders were honored for “sticking out their necks” for Maine children, youth and families.

A huge thank you to all who attended the event. Nominations for the 2016 Giraffe Awards open January 1st.

No Gains in Health Coverage for Maine Kids

NoGainsforUninsuredMEKidsA Georgetown University report released last week found that Maine is not making significant improvements in efforts to address the number of uninsured children in the state. According to the report, while the number of uninsured children declined by 16 percent nationally and 25 states experienced significant decreases, the number stayed relatively static in Maine.

Maine has the highest rate of uninsured children in New England at 6.3% and the report estimates that 16,000 children living in Maine lack healthcare coverage.

Researchers at Georgetown University say accepting the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid option would be the single most effective policy change Maine could make to keep pace with other states in helping more children get health care coverage.

In addition to not expanding Medicaid to many parents, the state’s decisions to rollback parent eligibility in Medicaid has alas had a negative effect on coverage for children. Research shows that there is a concrete link between parent healthcare coverage and child healthcare coverage.

Many uninsured children may already be eligible for free or low-cost health coverage through MaineCare.

Families who would like help enrolling should call 1-855-797-4357 or visit MyMaineConnection.

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Click the help button to act now!

Over the next 30 days, Congress will be finalizing the budget for fiscal year 2016. The next 30 days provide a crucial opportunity to invest in critical learning programs that work. Act now to voice your support for Maine kids!

Research shows that early learning programs are good for Maine kids and families, the workforce and the economy, and our community. Right now, there is unprecedented bipartisan support for these programs. The moment to act is now! 

Share this action alert with your family and friends. Together, we can give kids a voice!


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