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Paycheck to Paycheck, The Disaster Waiting to Happen

On Monday, March 17, you can watch The Shriver Report’s new documentary “Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert” on HBO.  This film traces the daily frustrations of a single mother of three kids who works as a direct care aide in a nursing home.  While the film drills down into the details of Katrina’s life, the point of the whole film is that 42 million women in the US are walking a high wire every day.  Working at low wage jobs, they put off their own needed health care or filling their prescriptions in favor of putting gas in the car or paying for child care.  Missing a day of work to stay home for a vomiting child is not an option.  There’s no paid vacation, no health insurance, no workplace flexibility, and the raises in pay, when they come, are so small they make no difference in the stretched family budget.  It’s not an easy film to watch, but it is a necessary film to watch, and to talk about.

ICYMI: Cavity-Free Kids Webinar

Did you know that your child’s dental health is critical to their overall health, their success in school, and more? Did you know that getting your child’s dental health off to a great start begins as early as prenatally?

In case you missed it, MomsRising teamed up with the Washington Dental Service Foundation and their superstar educator Tammy Questi, for a super-charged webinar on cavity-free kids! Check out the recording of the webinar here to get caught up on the ins-and-outs, the tips and tricks on how to get your kids to brush their teeth and keep cavities at bay!

Part 1: http://cc.readytalk.com/play?id=dywqf5

Poor Job Quality Cripples Nation’s Ability to Provide Quality Long-Term Care

When the Shriver Report wanted to put a face on the 42 million low-income working women and the 28 million children who depend on them for its HBO documentary, Katrina Gilbert, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and single mother of three young children, was the perfect choice.

Gilbert, featured in Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life & Times of Katrina Gilbert, works fulltime in a Tennessee nursing home, often picking up extra shifts and working on holidays to bring home a bigger paycheck. Yet despite her tireless efforts to earn a decent living to support her family, with an hourly wage of $9.63, she cannot make ends meet.

Sweet kids without the drinks

Why knowing the risks of sodas and sugary drinks should have parents limiting the amount their children consume.

Just yesterday, as my kids and I made our way through the checkout lanes at our local Target store, my seven year-old self-proclaimed “soda lover” walked up to the beverage cooler that sits just two steps away from the check stand conveyer belt, and he stared with wide, glazed-over eyes. He stood close to the sliding doors and peered longingly at the numerous offerings–chilling in bottles and cans before him.

As his warm, post-school day breath put a little circle of fog on the glass, he looked up at me with puppy dog eyes and questioned, “Pleeease, Mom…can I get one today?” This much is certain, he wasn’t thirsting for water, even though he had the look of a guy who’d been shuffling through the Sahara and suddenly stumbled upon an oasis! My child was asking (OK, pleading) if we could purchase one, out of the six or so choices of sugary drinks stocked—seemingly countless rows deep—in the cooler.

New tool helps identify smart snacks in the cafeteria!

Schools will soon begin implementing the new Smart Snacks in Schools Guidelines! This is an exciting time for everyone. Kids will have better and healthier choices in vending machines and a la carte lines. Parents can rest easier knowing their kids have better access to healthy foods that will get them through the school day. And all of us can take pleasure knowing that together we’re raising healthier kids and families.

There are sure to be lots of healthy changes in the cafeteria. Not sure if that donut makes the cut? What about the dried fruit? Or pasta salad? A new tool from our partners at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation makes it easy to determine if your snack, side dish or entree meets the new guidelines. Check out the tool on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation website.

The Maryland minimum wage raise is in danger!

The bill to raise the minimum wage in Maryland is quickly moving along but we’ve reached a major crisis moment: The House version of the minimum wage bill leaves tipped workers behind, cutting their wages by freezing them at $3.63 per hour.

This means that those workers who earn a tipped wage (waitresses, bartenders, valets etc.) would be left out completely of the raise. And who are these tipped workers?

Two in three tipped workers are women. One in three are parents. Moms need to stand up for tipped workers now!

Right now, the Senate is considering their version of the minimum wage bill. Join me and tell Maryland Senators that they must raise the minimum wage for all Maryland workers:

http://action.momsrising.org/sign/Marylandtippedwage/

Women’s Economic Agenda Explored in Los Angeles

“When Women Succeed, America Succeeds.” This was the chant heard in the room during a special program by Congresswoman Judy Chu’s staff on Monday, March 10 at California State University, Los Angeles. Speakers highlighted an economic agenda for women and families, and encouraged audience members to continue working on these issues in their own communities. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Judy Chu, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, and California State Senator Holly Mitchell were just a few of the individuals who made remarks during the event. They also tackled questions regarding immigration reform, fair pay and education. Following the speeches, attendees ventured out to a courtyard where there was a women’s resource fair with dozens of organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the American Association of University Woman (AAUW). Check out a few of the photos from the event in this album on the MomsRising Facebook page.

 

High Quality Pre-K Gets the Spotlight in Pennsylvania

One of the best places to be in my state on any given day is in the classroom of a high quality pre-k program.
There you will hear laughter and intriguing conversation.
There you will see smiles and brows furrowed in curiosity.
There you will reassured and valued for your unique gifts.
There you will be encouraged to learn from mistakes and given a chance to try again and again and again and…
There you will receive invitations to play, learn, explore, and grow.
When you leave this classroom you will be ready to succeed.

Sadly, not every child has such a high-quality early learning experience.

After twenty five years in the field, I voluntarily left such a classroom.
For twenty-five years teaching and leading in the early childhood education field, I have explained on a shoe string budget (if the program was lucky enough to have a healthy budget), why this work was important. Why this work that is so often dismissed as “babysitting” has value to every corner of our local community as well as to the security of our country.

TAKE ACTION: I have something to say to Senator Cruz…

I’m a MomsRising member from Fort Worth, Texas. I recently graduated with a PhD in History and teach a full load of courses as an adjunct professor. I love my job, but being an adjunct faculty member also means that I don’t get health coverage from my employer. Not having health coverage isn’t an option for me. As a Type 1 diabetic, I am healthy but need daily treatment to prevent major problems. Thankfully, the Affordable Care Act came just in time for me, and I was able to sign up for affordable coverage on the exchange without being denied because of my pre-existing condition.

I’m not alone. An estimated 6.4 million Texans are uninsured.

HealthCare.gov Answered My Prayers

I am a Hmong-American woman, an entrepreneur and a medical interpreter. I’m a single mom of six children, ages 12 through 25. For the past eight years, my children and I were uninsured because we could not afford health insurance.

 

Living in the one of the richest countries in the world without health coverage can be very stressful. Every night I prayed that my children wouldn’t get sick because we did not have health insurance. I would tell my children not to run around too much to avoid getting injured because we did not have health insurance.  When my children participated in school sports, I told them not to play too hard for fear that they might get injured and I wouldn’t have the money to pay for the medical bills. Can you imagine, as a mother, telling your children not to play?

 

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