2012 ADVOCACY AGENDA
FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
We are FOR access to high-quality early learning programs, especially for children from low-income homes who need extra enrichment so they can enter kindergarten ready to learn.
We are FOR access to high-quality out-of-school time programs for school-age children, which give youth a safe place, mentoring opportunities, academic support, and daily active play – in a nutshell, something better to do during those critical times when high-risk behavior is most likely to occur. For example, YReads! provides one-on-one and small group literacy support for identified students in kindergarten through third grade.
We are FOR access to summer enrichment and education activities, programs that help combat the “learning loss” that many youth - especially low-income and minority youth - experience during the summer months when school is out and learning, for many, takes a vacation. We advocate programs that will enable us to close the achievement gap and create a rich learning environment for all children.
FOR HEALTHY LIVING
We are FOR programs that combat childhood obesity, which today threatens the current and future health of at least 1 in 3 Florida youths. Overweight children are likely to become overweight adults, leading to a lifetime of health challenges. Programs that encourage regular active play and healthy eating are key to reversing this trend.
We are FOR chronic disease prevention programs that promote quality of life for all while relieving our health care system of the costly burden of caring for those battling heart disease, cancer and diabetes – all of which can be positively affected with prevention efforts.
FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
We are FOR programs that prevent accidental death due to drowning, the leading cause of death in Florida for children under age 5. With a rate double the national average, and with six near-drowning incidents for every death, our state can benefit from the life-saving swim programs offered by the Y.
VOLUNTEER AND STAFF BACKGROUND SCREENING REQUIREMENTS
We are FOR amending a background screening law passed in 2010 (HB 7069). While we agree with its intent, this law created unnecessary and unintended burdens on small non-profits. Amending the law can keep its positive intent while removing the burdens.