2017 KIDS COUNT in Colorado! Communicators’ Toolkit: Sample Content & Talking Points

2017 Kids Count in ColoradoDear communications partner,

Each year we’re so grateful to all our partners and supporters who help us get the word out about our annual KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report. Thank you for taking a few moments to read our 24th edition and sharing the most relevant information with your audiences, networks and supporters.

The report is a bit different this year, and we thought it might be helpful to provide some talking points and suggested newsletter and social media content. We appreciate anything you’re able to share—and please let me know if we can help in any way.

In addition to the materials below, you can find the full report, county-by-county data profiles, a press release, and images for use in social media at www.coloradokids.org/data/kids-count-archive/2017-kids-count/.

As always, please let us know if you need any help customizing content for your audiences. There’s a lot in the report!

In the coming months, we’ll also offer a facilitator’s guide to hosting community discussions about racial and ethnic disparities, including exercises and presentation templates.

Gratefully,
Tara and Jacy

 

SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT

SUGGESTED HASHTAGS

#coleg             #KIDCOUNT                 #cokids                        #edcolo

#ececo             #cohealth                    #equity                        #equityecco

TWITTER

New #KIDSCOUNT report examines the cause and context of racial disparities among #cokids: http://bit.ly/2oFc2QI #coleg

#KIDSCOUNT data show racial disparities among #cokids; community voices tell us why: http://bit.ly/2oFc2QI #coleg

If some of our #cokids aren’t doing well, what does that say about Colorado? Read more in #KIDSCOUNT report http://bit.ly/2oFc2QI #coleg

Policies and practices drive racial disparities among #cokids–they can also *undo* them: http://bit.ly/2oFc2QI #KIDSCOUNT #equity

Coloradans work together on behalf of kids. #KIDSCOUNT identifies areas where we can/must do better http://bit.ly/2oFc2QI #equity #coleg

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FACEBOOK/LINKEDIN

We all want our kids to inherit a bright and vibrant future. Whether our family has been here for generations or we’re brand new Coloradans, we all hope to leave our children a better world than the one we inherited. If we want this future for our own children, we must work to make it a reality for all Colorado children. Too many Colorado kids face barriers to opportunity because of their race or ethnicity. Learn more in the newest report from the Colorado Children’s Campaign: http://bit.ly/2oFc2QI

This year’s KIDS COUNT report delves into disparities in child well-being based on race and ethnicity to show us where we can, and must, do better at creating equitable opportunities for children. Although we have been shaped by the past, we are not powerless in changing the future. In fact, this report shows us that intentional public policy decisions created these disparities—and they can end them. Learn more in the newest report from the Colorado Children’s Campaign: http://bit.ly/2oFc2QI

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INSTAGRAM

The 2017 #KIDSCOUNT in Colorado! report from @ColoradoKidsOrg asks, “What is driving disparities between children of color and white children?” #cokids #edcolo #ececo #datanerds #cohealth #coleg

“Although we have been shaped by the past, we are not powerless to change the future.” Inspiring quote from @ColoradoKidsOrg’s 2017 #KIDSCOUNT in Colorado! report. #edcolo #ececo #cohealth #equity

So compelling to see insights from Coloradans in their own words alongside data on child well-being in @ColoradoKidsOrg’s 2017 #KIDSCOUNT in Colorado! report. #edcolo #coleg #ececo #cohealth #datanerds #equity

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SAMPLE NEWSLETTER — SHORT

New KIDS COUNT report elevates equity issues among Colorado children

The Colorado Children’s Campaign recently released its 2017 edition of KIDS COUNT in Colorado! In addition to the timely, accurate data that has always been part of the report, this year KIDS COUNT asks, “What is driving disparities between children of color and their white peers?” and includes the perspectives of Coloradans in their own voices. The report – along with data on child well-being for every county in the state – is available on the Children’s Campaign’s website at http://bit.ly/2oFc2QI.

 

SAMPLE NEWSLETTER — LONG

New KIDS COUNT report elevates equity issues among Colorado children

Whether our family has been here for generations or we’re brand new Coloradans, we all hope to leave our children a better world than the one we inherited. Unfortunately, too many Colorado kids face barriers to opportunity because of their race or ethnicity. This year’s KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report from the Colorado Children’s Campaign delves into disparities in child well-being based on race and ethnicity to show us where we can, and must, do better at creating equitable opportunities for children.

The 2017 KIDS COUNT report draws on the voices and experiences of Coloradans across the state to tell the story of how a complex history of policies and practices has created barriers to opportunity for children and families of color. These voices, combined with research and data, open a window into a new way of looking at how disparities in health and education are the result of past public policies. Coloradans have a history of working together on behalf of kids and, although we have been shaped by the past, we are not powerless in changing the future. In fact, this report shows us that intentional public policy decisions created these disparities—and they can end them.

Colorado’s future depends on the well-being of our state’s child population, which is growing and becoming increasingly diverse each year. By focusing KIDS COUNT on the question, “What is driving disparities between children of color and their white peers?” the Colorado Children’s Campaign is starting an important conversation about equity that calls upon us to lean into our discomfort and to let our values guide us. Join us in reading KIDS COUNT in Colorado! on the Children’s Campaign’s website at http://bit.ly/2oFc2QI, then let’s work together to find bold solutions that ensure every child in Colorado has access to opportunity.

 

TALKING POINTS

Summary of report:

  • We all want our kids to inherit a bright and vibrant future. Whether our family has been here for generations or we’re brand new Coloradans, we all hope to leave our children a better world than the one we inherited.
  • If we want this future for our own children, we must work to make it a reality for all Colorado children. Too many Colorado kids face barriers to opportunity because of their race or ethnicity.
  • Data and research show that many Colorado kids face challenges such as attending a high-poverty school, lacking access to culturally relevant health or children care, struggling to find affordable housing and more. These trends often fall along racial and ethnic lines.
  • This year’s KIDS COUNT report delves into disparities in child well-being based on race and ethnicity to show us where we can, and must, do better at creating equitable opportunities for children.
  • Although we have been shaped by the past, we are not powerless in changing the future. In fact, this report shows us that intentional public policy decisions created these disparities—and they can end them.

How this KIDS COUNT is different:

  • In recent years we’ve tracked the explosive growth of childhood poverty in Colorado after the Great Recession. As the growing rate slowed, then declined, we dug deeper into the data to see that the trends were different for white children than for children of color. We wanted to know why.
  • This year’s report draws on the voices and experiences of Coloradans across the state to tell the story of how a complex history of policies and practices has created barriers to opportunity for children and families of color.
  • These voices, combined with research and data, open a window into a new way of looking at how disparities in health and education are the result of past public policies.
  • Understanding this history is critical to changing systems to improve the lives of all Colorado kids. As one Alamosa resident told us: “How can you really understand or do anything if you don’t really understand the history?”

How this edition of KIDS COUNT was developed:

  • We asked Coloradans to help us understand what’s driving the differences in health and education outcomes for children of color.
  • We held community dialogue sessions in four areas of Colorado: Denver, Alamosa, Fort Morgan and La Plata County. We heard separately from community leaders and community members in two-hour sessions facilitated by the Denver-based OMNI Institute.
  • These sessions helped us understand the link between the experiences of Coloradans and their families to past and current public policies and practices.
  • There are many, many examples of how policy and practices have limited the potential of children of color throughout our society. The examples highlighted in the 2017 KIDS COUNT report were frequently cited as barriers that impacted Coloradans in our focus group sessions. We hope to explore other areas as we travel the state in the coming year.

Top Highlights:          

Highlights from the research about family economic security:

  • Historical policies and practices that helped white Americans purchase homes or attend college, while excluding many Americans of color, have created a racial and ethnic wealth gap that persists today.
  • Rising rents and housing prices across the state are stretching family budgets and limiting affordable housing options. More than one third of all Colorado children live in families that are burdened by housing costs, and housing cost burden disproportionately affects Colorado kids of color.
  • Policy choices have created communities that are often segregated along racial or economic lines, concentrating many children of color in areas of high poverty, regardless of their own family income. Due to racial and economic segregation, an American Indian child in Colorado whose family income is above the poverty line is more likely to live in a high-poverty area than a poor white child.
  • Due to policies that have created or maintained inequitable opportunities in areas such as housing and employment, poverty affects children of color at higher rates than white children.

Highlights related to health of children:

  • Although health insurance coverage has improved for kids of all races and ethnicities, barriers to coverage remain for Latino and American Indian children in particular. As of 2015, 3 percent of white children in Colorado were uninsured, compared to 6 percent of Latino children and 13 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native children.
  • Children with family members who are undocumented immigrants face barriers to enrollment, even when they are eligible for health insurance coverage.
  • Many women of color face barriers to health coverage and services that can impede access to early prenatal care.
  • Health care disparities, economic barriers, and historical discrimination lead to an infant mortality rate for black babies that is more than twice as high as any other group. This is true regardless of the income of the mother.
  • Fewer than half of working parents in Colorado have access to unpaid family leave protections, and even fewer can afford to take unpaid leave when they do qualify for it. Just one-quarter of Hispanic parents, about one-third of Asian/Pacific Islander or Black parents and 43 percent of white parents are eligible for, and can afford to take, unpaid family leave from work.
  • Discrimination, social isolation, and barriers to health coverage and care contribute to higher rates of pregnancy-related depression among women of color.

Highlights about early childhood learning and development:

  • Across Colorado, only about half of all young children are enrolled in preschool, nursery school or kindergarten. Barriers to preschool enrollment, including affordability and the disproportionate use of suspensions and expulsions, are more likely to affect children of color.
  • Exclusionary discipline practices, including suspension and expulsions, deny many young children of valuable learning time in early years. These actions aren’t applied equally to all students. Boys, particularly black boys, and students with disabilities face disciplinary action at disproportionally higher rates.

Findings about K-12 education:

  • Housing policies and practices that have isolated many families of color in high-poverty neighborhoods have driven significant educational disparities. Colorado students of color are more than six times as likely to attend a high-poverty school than their white peers. Across the state, 5 percent of white students attended a school in which at least 75 percent of students qualified for free or reduced price lunch, while 32 percent of students of color attended one of these high-poverty schools.
  • Racial segregation within school districts, as well as between neighboring school districts, is a driver of achievement gaps in public schools. Teachers in highly segregated schools are more likely to be new to the teaching profession, uncertified, and absent for a significant portion of the school year. Highly segregated schools are also less likely to offer opportunities for advanced coursework in many subjects.
  • The average student of color in Colorado attends a school in which 14 percent of teachers are uncertified. That’s nearly two and half times higher than schools attended by the average white student.