April 30, 2004

Día de los Niños

April 30, 2004

WASHINGTON D.C. - The Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) join in the national celebration of children’s spirit, hope and promise, on El Día de los Niños.

The traditional Latin American holiday has been observed nationally since U.S. Senate Resolution 278 passed on April 30, 1998. Throughout the nation, Hispanic communities come together and host festivals, school activities and other events that celebrate the youth of America.

“Our children are the future of our nation” said Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez, Chair of the CHC. “For the benefit of everyone, our kids need to be equipped to reach their full potential and ready to face the world.”

Long time advocates of issues that have a direct effect on children’s everyday lives, and paying particular attention to issues that disproportionately affect Hispanic children, the CHC continues to push for changes in education and healthcare, key issues of concern.

In education, the CHC has specifically requested additional funding for migrant and seasonal head start, bilingual and immigrant education, drop-out prevention and full funding of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Looking to the future, the CHC fully supports the bi-partisan Student Adjustment Act, which would permit undocumented students who have lived in this country for at least five years and who are of “good moral character” to obtain in-state college tuition assistance and legal permanent residency.

On the healthcare front, the CHC has requested additional funding specifically for the Office of Minority Health and for research on diabetes, which currently afflicts a growing rate of Hispanics. Increased funding is also needed for nutrition, physical activity and obesity research and assistance. Currently, Latino boys are the most overweight, and Latina girls are the second most overweight group of children in the U.S., potentially increasing future health risks.

“Adequate educational resources and access to healthcare are the pillars to success in life for our children,” said Rodriguez. “These two areas have a direct impact on so many other aspects of life that we must make sure we do all we can to make it a positive impact.”

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