June 1 is the second annual Stand For Children Day organized by the Childrens Defense Fund. At last years event, nearly 300,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C., and thousands others participated in local events. As honorary co-chair Mrs. Rosa Parks says, "If I could sit down for justice, you can stand up for children!"
In the United States, 10 million children (90 percent of whom are in working families) lack health insurance. This years Stand For Children focuses on fostering healthy children, emphasizing health coverage and community conditions. Events are planned in all 50 states, including those organized by 170 Childrens Action Teams (CATs). May 25-June 7, visit the Virtual Stand For Children at www.stand.org and sign a petition for healthy children.
Write Stand For Children, 1834 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009 (e-mail: tellstand@stand. org) for an organizers kit, information about events in your community, or guidance on forming a CAT, or call 1-800-663-4032.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN
How do we teach our children about topics like justice, nonviolence, simple living, and the role of women in our society? Here are some unique ideas.
Manna and Mercy is a wonderful, cleverly illustrated 93-page storybook whose author, Daniel Erlander, said he was inspired by years of reading Sojourners. Designed for ages 12 and up, it tells biblical stories in 16 chapters and stresses themes of mercy, peace, inclusiveness, and the place of creation. Order from Daniel Erlander, P.O. Box 1059, Freeland, WA 98249; (360) 331-4066. Cost is $8 each for one to four copies, $6.50 each for five or more, postage paid.
The Children Against Violence Project of the Episcopal Church produces TREASURE, a colorful 20-page magazine for children ages 5-13. The current issue is "Kids for Peace: Making a Non-Violent USA." A leaders guide divides the stories, games, and activities into five teaching sessions. The magazine and leaders guide are priced at $1 each with a flat $5 postage fee. Order by mail only from Episcopal Parish Services, P.O. Box 269, William Penn Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19105-0269. For more information, call 1-800-903-5544.
Seeds of Simplicity is a program of the Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social Policy at Cornell University. Resources, including five core curriculum packets, teach children, parents, and others how to step off the vast consumer treadmill and join the voluntary simplicity movement. Materials are free with a $25 annual membership, but no one is turned away for lack of funds. For a free brochure, write to P.O. Box 9955, Glendale, CA 91226; phone/fax (818) 247-4332.
Here are two books to help grassroots organizations increase their effectiveness. Let the World Know: Make Your Cause News is a practical, easy-to-use handbook to help grassroots non-profit organizations deal with the media. Topics include staging media events, writing press releases, booking guests on talk radio, contacting reporters, and more. Available for $10 plus $3.50 shipping from Rocky Mountain Media Watch, Box 18858, Denver, CO 80218, or call (303) 832-7558.
Grassroots Grants: An Activists Guide to Proposal Writing, includes four complete sample proposals plus suggestions from 40 foundation staff who fund groups working for social justice, human rights, and environmental conservation. It goes beyond "how to write a grant" to discuss how a grant proposal can also form the groundwork of an organizing plan. Priced at $25 plus $2 shipping, order it from Chardon Press, P.O. Box 11607, Berkeley, CA 94172; e-mail Chardn@aol.com; or call (510) 704-8714.