White House Summit on Early Childhood Education

12/09/2014
First Lady Michelle Obama visits a classroom

First Lady Michelle Obama visits a classroom

Early Learning

Expanding access to high quality early childhood education is among the smartest investments that we can make. Research has shown that the early years in a child’s life—when the human brain is forming—represent a critically important window of opportunity to develop a child’s full potential and shape key academic, social, and cognitive skills that determine a child’s success in school and in life.

Participation in high-quality early learning programs—like Head Start, public and private pre-K, and childcare—will provide children from all backgrounds with a strong start and a foundation for school success. These programs also generate a significant return on investment for society; numerous economic studies have documented a rate of return of $7 or more on each dollar invested through a reduced need for spending on other services, such as remedial education, grade repetition, and special education, as well as increased productivity and earnings for these children as adults.

President Obama’s comprehensive early learning agenda invests in and strengthens early childhood education, care, and development for our nation’s youngest learners. It helps to prevent achievement gaps before they start, and invests from an early age in children as our most critical national resource.

  • Preschool for All
  • Boosting the Quality of Child Care
  • Empowering Parents
  • Raising the Bar for Early Learning
  • Reforming and Expanding Head Start

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/early-childhood

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White House Announces Summit on Early Education

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, December 10, President Obama will host a White House Summit on Early Education. The Summit will bring together a broad coalition of philanthropic, business, education, advocacy and elected leaders, as well as other stakeholders who are committed to expanding access to high-quality early education. This summit builds on the President’s call in his 2013 State of the Union address to expand access to high-quality early childhood education to every child in America. As part of that effort, the President proposed a series of new investments that will establish a continuum of high-quality early learning for a child—beginning at birth and continuing to age five. This proposal includes extending and expanding evidence-based, voluntary home visiting, growing the supply of effective early learning opportunities for young children through Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, and providing Preschool for All. Since the President’s call to action, more than 30 states and cities have established new programs or expanded access to preschool. Studies show that for every dollar we invest in early childhood education, we see a rate of return of $7 or more through a reduced need for spending on other services, such as remedial education, grade repetition, and special education, as well as increased productivity and earnings for these children as adults.

During the summit, the President will announce the states and communities that will receive $250 million in Preschool Development Grants and $500 million in Early Head Start Child Care Partnership awards to enhance and expand preschool programs and to improve access to high-quality infant and toddler care in high-need communities. In addition to those grant announcements, the President will also highlight new private sector commitments to expand children’s early learning opportunities. Over the last several months, Senior Administration Officials have traveled across the country to hear from local officials, education experts, business leaders, and the philanthropic community about how to best advance the President’s agenda to expand access to high-quality early education for all Americans.

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Wednesday, December 10
President Obama hosts a White House Summit on Early Education
White House

Speaking Program:

8:25 AM         Opening Remarks: Valerie Jarrett and Cecilia Muñoz

8:40 AM         Panel 1: Public Investment Leadership to Expand Early Education

11:05 AM       Panel 2: Challenging Leaders to Invest in Early Education

11:50 AM       President Obama Delivers Remarks

1:40 PM         Panel 3: Promoting Quality in Early Education

2:40 PM         Vice President Biden Delivers Closing Remarks

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Congress Should RAISE THE WAGE

12/07/2014

Raise The Wage

Keeping Up [the Pressure] on [Raising] the Minimum Wage

Secretary Thomas E. Perez November 07, 2014 03:26 PM EST

It’s been almost two years since President Obama first called for an increase in the national minimum wage.

He believes more strongly than ever that no one who works full-time should have to raise a family in poverty. He believes that the current rate of $7.25 per hour undermines our basic bargain, failing to reward hard work with a fair wage.

But Congress hasn’t exactly seen it that way. Republicans have said “no” to even allowing a Senate vote on a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 — without adding any new taxes, spending, or bureaucracy — and meanwhile, public support only continues to grow. Bottom line: They’re not keeping up with the views of people around the country. In Tuesday’s election, a higher minimum wage went five-for-five. By convincing margins, voters in Alaska (69 percent), Arkansas (65 percent), Nebraska (59 percent), South Dakota (53 percent), and Illinois (67 percent) said loud and clear that they want to give hardworking people a raise.

Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota (all reliably red states, by the way) will implement changes in their state law, with a total of about 325,000 people set to get a raise. (The Illinois ballot measure was a non-binding resolution urging the state legislature to act.)

These results come on top of coast-to-coast grassroots progress in recent months. Since the beginning of 2013, 13 other states, plus the District of Columbia and several localities, raised their minimum wages, either through referendum or legislative action — with 7 million Americans set to get a raise from these actions. So that’s 17 total states that will now have taken decisive action on raising their minimum wages. And the President — as part of his year of action — signed an Executive Order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for federal contract workers.

US vs World's Minimum Wage Comparison

Also, the U.S. minimum wage isn’t keeping up with the rest of the world — we rank third-to-last among OECD nations (when you measure minimum wage as a percentage of median wage).

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/07/keeping-minimum-wage

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Minimum Wage by Stateshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_wage_in_the_United_States#State

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The Lives of People of All Colors DO MATTER

12/04/2014

Candle light

Thursday, December 4, 2014
Attorney General Holder to Hold Roundtable Meetings in Five More Cities as Part of Justice Department’s “Building Community Trust” Initiative

On the heels of President Obama’s national call to foster strong, collaborative relationships between local police and the communities they protect and serve, the U.S. Department of Justice announced today the upcoming cities where Attorney General Eric Holder will hold regional roundtable meetings as part of the department’s Building Community Trust initiative.  Those cities are: Cleveland, Memphis, Tennessee, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Oakland, California.

The roundtables will serve as an opportunity to bring law enforcement, elected officials and members of the community together to discuss next steps that the administration will take to improve relationships between law enforcement and the community, increase the integrity within our justice system, and share best practices for policing.

The Attorney General hosted the first such Building Community Trust roundtable meeting at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Monday.  There, he discussed President Obama’s announcement to create the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the federal review on the use of military-style equipment for local law enforcement, and the new Community Policing Initiative to fund up to 50,000 additional body-worn cameras for law enforcement agencies.  At a community town hall meeting held at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Attorney General announced that the department will soon release new guidelines on the use of racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies.

For more: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-holder-hold-roundtable-meetings-five-more-cities-part-justice-departments

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Building Community Trust Tour with Attorney General Eric Holder

Published on Dec 15, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder was in Memphis, TN. to lead the third of five planned “Building Community Trust” roundtable discussions. Born out of the President’s call for an increased effort to help rebuild trust in local law enforcement and the justice system, the Attorney General met with local leaders to discuss next steps to share best practices for community policing. Held at the Lorraine Motel, site of where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968 and home to the National Civil Rights Museum.

 

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In Oakland, The Disconnect Between Young People And Police

December 05, 2014 JOI SMITH – youthradio

Oakland has a history of tensions between police and the community. The police department there is under federal oversight for its use of force, among other problems.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some people are also seeking a way forward, as we hear from Joi Smith of Youth Radio.

JOI SMITH, BYLINE: Oakland has a long history of tensions between police and the community. In fact, the Oakland Police Department is under federal oversight for its use of force and its reporting of misconduct, among other problems. Twenty-five-year-old Alex Sipp says it feels like there’s no end in sight. He says in his neighborhood, he notices resentment towards police starting at a young age.

ALEX SIPP: Like, I’ve heard little kids, you know, point out the police coming down the street for no reason. It’s almost like a sense of fear, like, uh oh, here they come instead of – oh no, that’s the police. They’re here to protect me.

ARNOLD PERKINS: We make bogeymen out of people that you don’t talk to.

SMITH: That’s Arnold Perkins, the former director of the Alameda County Department of Public Health. He understands why people are reacting and taking it to the streets. But he believes both protesters and police have to hear each other out. Protests have turned violent in Oakland, and Perkins had been hoping for a more productive outcome.

PERKINS: What would happen if the group would have marched down to the police station and contacted the chief before and says, you know, we want to sit down and, you know, have a conversation. We keep tearing up our city. It leads us nowhere but more anger and more frustration.

SMITH: Olis Simmons is the founding CEO of East Oakland community organization Youth Uprising. She thinks Oakland can be a leader in raising a national dialogue about racial justice and relationships with the police.

OLIS SIMMONS: Holding young people who are at the epicenter of violence dearest to my heart has created a place where I’ve had to be in dialogue with the police department about their leadership, about their professional development, about their oversight.

SMITH: Simmons brings police officers to East Oakland to speak to the youth. She says when police and community members meet face to face, it can start to break down the tension.

For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2014/12/05/368640589/in-oakland-there-s-a-disconnect-between-young-people-and-police

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The Lives of People of All Colors DO MATTER

Hands of Color

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2014 National Christmas Tree & Holiday at the White House

12/02/2014

Natl_XTreeNational Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 4, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Ellipse in Presidents Park, Washington DC

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WASHINGTON (November 26, 2014) – Today, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation announced that actor and producer Tom Hanks and singer-songwriter, actress, and producer Rita Wilson will co-host the 92nd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. Wilson will also perform during the show. Additionally, multi Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and actor NE-YO, multiplatinum-selling artist Steve Miller, and country star Chely Wright will join pop phenomenon Fifth Harmony, Grammy-winning legend Patti LaBelle, pop world duo Nico & Vinz, and award-winning vocal group The Tenors in performing a collection of holiday favorites. Follow @TheNationalTree on Twitter and visit www.thenationaltree.org for the most up-to-date event information.

This year’s National Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on Thursday, December 4 on the Ellipse at President’s Park, one of America’s 401 national parks, in Washington, D.C. The ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. ET with the National Christmas Tree Lighting pre-show, co-hosted by 94.7 FRESH FM’s Tommy McFLY and ABC7/WJLA-TV’s Jummy Olabanji. The event will air on public television throughout the month of December.  For broadcast times, check local listings or the National Christmas Tree Lighting website.

Presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, and produced by Bounce AEG, the National Christmas Tree Lighting kicks off a four-week holiday celebration at President’s Park. This year’s ceremony marks the 92nd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting, an American holiday tradition started by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923.

Thanks to Google’s Made with Code, the premier sponsor of the 2014 National Christmas Tree Lighting, girls across the country will experience the beauty of code by lighting up holiday trees at President’s Park. Beginning on December 2, girls can head to madewithcode.com to code a design for one of the 56 state and territory trees. Girls can select the shape, size, and color of the lights, and animate different patterns using introductory programming language and their designs will appear live on the trees. Other event supporters are GE Lighting, Amtrak, Guest Services Inc., Hargrove, Hudler Carolina Tree Farms, Loews Madison, Nicolas Holiday, and Uber.

For more information about the event and its history, please visit www.thenationaltree.organd follow the National Christmas Tree on Twitter at @TheNationalTree. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #NCTL2014.

Find Your State Ornaments, Volunteers from across the nation have designed and created special ornaments to adorn the 56 small trees along the Christmas Pathway Of Peace: pathway-of-peace

2014 WH Holidays - Bo & Sunny

WH Holdays 20142014 WH Christmas Ornament

The holidays are a lovely time to be in Washington, and each year, the White House showcases the spirit of the season when the First Family decks the halls and opens their home to guests from all across the country.

The First Lady and her staff devote much of their time in December to decorating many of the rooms of the White House.

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Information on White House Christmas 2014

Décor

This year’s White House decorations also pay tribute to our Armed Forces and their families. The East Wing of the White House features a Christmas tree adorned with gold star ornaments, honoring the heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

The official White House Christmas tree, which stands 18 feet tall in the Blue Room, honors the courageous service of the troops, veterans, and military families, who all serve our Nation every single day. This year’s official White House Christmas tree comes to the White House from Crystal Springs Tree Farm in Leighton, Pennsylvania, and is trimmed with ornaments decorated by military children living on U.S. military bases all over the world.

The Holiday Tour Book

The White House Holiday Tour Book contains artwork created by students from the Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Washington, D.C. The 16-page booklet features descriptions of decorations in many of the White House’s rooms, histories of past White House holidays, a White House gingerbread cookie recipe, and a letter from President and Mrs. Obama welcoming visitors into their home for the holidays.

We have prepared a special activity for children who visit the White House this holiday season: the Holiday Tour Booklet instructs them to find ornaments of Bo and Sunny that the silly First Dogs “lost.” The ornaments are hidden throughout the White House rooms and show Bo and Sunny putting on their snow boots, dreaming of treats, building a snowman, singing holiday songs, and hanging stockings on the mantel. Download the Tour Book

2014 Holidays at The White Househttp://www.whitehouse.gov/about/inside-white-house/holidays-2014

Download the Bo Wrapping Paper

Download Your Own Bo & Sunny Gift Tags

Bake & Share Gingerbread Cookies from the White House Pastry Kitchen

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White House Tribal Nations Conference 2014

12/01/2014

WH Tribal Nations Conference

President Obama hosts the White House Tribal Nations Conference

Tuesday, December 2 – President Obama meets with tribal leaders ahead of the White House Tribal Nations Conference

Wednesday, December 3 – White House Tribal Nations Conference 2014

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November 3rd, 2014
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM EST
President Obama hosts the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference
Capital Hilton, Washington DC

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The White House Tribal Nations Conference provide leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs.  Each federally recognized tribe sends a representative to the conference. This will be the fifth White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama Administration, and continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Indian Country and to improve the lives of Native Americans.

Native_Amer_quote

The United States has a unique legal and political relationship with Indian tribes and Alaska Native entities as provided by the Constitution of the United States, treaties, court decisions and Federal statutes. Within the government-to-government relationship, Indian Affairs provides services directly or through contracts, grants, or compacts to 566 Federally recognized tribes.

To learn more about the US Department of the Interior Indian Affairs: http://www.bia.gov

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List of Native American Tribe Websites A-Z

 US Govt & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-2013 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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World AIDS Day 2014

11/30/2014

World AIDS Day, observed December 1 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. It is common to hold memorials to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS on this day. Government and health officials also observe the event, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_AIDS_Day

 

U.S. Office of National AIDS Policy http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/onap

* Download the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (PDF)
* Download the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Implementation Plan (PDF)
* Key activities ONAP has undertaken so far
* Next steps in developing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

* December 01, 2014 FACT SHEET: Focus, Partner, Achieve – the U.S. Commitment to Addressing HIV/AIDS


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Presidential ProclamationWorld AIDS Day, 2014

United Nations – World AIDS Day, 1 December

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National Day of Listening

11/27/2014

Natl Day of Listening

National Day of Listening

National Day of Listening: Friday, November 28th, 2014

The National Day of Listening is a new national holiday started by StoryCorps in 2008.

On the day after Thanksgiving, StoryCorps asks everyone to take a few minutes to record an interview with a loved one. You can use recording equipment that is readily available in most homes, such as computers, iPhones, and tape recorders, along with StoryCorps’ free Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide.

Celebrating the National Day of Listening provides a noncommercial alternative to “Black Friday” shopping sprees. Tens of thousands of Americans have participated in the National Day of Listening, and educators and community organizations have incorporated StoryCorps’ interviewing techniques into their programs.

For more: http://diy.storycorps.org/about/

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