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The Every Child Matters Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization working to make children, youth, and families a national political priority.
We promote the adoption of smart policies for children and youth - including ensuring that children have access to affordable, comprehensive health care services, expanding early-care and learning opportunities and after-school programs, preventing violence against children in their homes and communities, alleviating child poverty, and addressing the special needs of children with parents in prison - by raising the visibility of these issues during the election cycle and urging the candidates to support greater investments in programs that address the needs of America's families.
We advocate for children and families by:
• Conducting candidate and policy-maker education.
• Undertaking earned & paid media including OpEds, letters-to-the-editor, billboards, radio ads, and newspaper ads
• Carrying out direct public education and outreach campaigns.
• Maintaining a website with state-specific data on the status of children and youth.
• Communicating via email with our network of tens of thousands of child advocates.
• Building strategic partnerships with state and local child advocacy and child-serving organizations.
Our Track Record
ECM was founded on the premise that children and youth policy issues are of great concern to the public and that elections offer an important opportunity to educate the public and policy makers about the needs of children.
In 2002, we ran our first campaign in Arkansas to test this proposition. We employed and refined the techniques that we have used in our campaigns since then, including polls, direct contact with the candidates, paid and earned media efforts, and public education and engagement campaigns. Every Child Matters then proceeded to conduct extensive public education campaigns during the presidential caucus in Iowa and the primary in New Hampshire.
In 2003/2004 ECM conducted candidate and public education campaigns during the presidential caucus in Iowa and the primary in New Hampshire --including eight forums we hosted on children and youth issues featuring one hour each with the presidential candidates.
Our evaluation showed significant increases in public awareness of children and youth issues and where the candidates stood on them after our work in Iowa and New Hampshire. For example, before-and-after-polling we conducted in Iowa showed that among parents with children under 18 in Iowa, the importance of the health, education, and protection of children increased significantly from May to January (from 62% to 81%). In May, more of these parents thought it was more important for the federal government to deal with the economy (71%). After the caucus, these parents thought the issue of children the most important, slightly higher than the economy (81% compared to 75%).
In 2004, we built state coalitions and conducted public education and engagement campaigns in Colorado, New Hampshire, Ohio, Maine, Washington, and West Virginia. In 2005 we conducted a similar campaign during Virginia's elections. In 2006, we ran similar campaigns in Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Washington State.
2008 and beyond
We are running a campaign to highlight children and youth issues in the the 2008 Presidential election. We ran successful state campaigns in the early primary and caucus states, and field offices in key battleground election states will lead our efforts through November 4. By drawing attention to children and youth issues during the Presidential campaigns, we are striving to elevate children and youth issues into a major theme of the 2008 election season.
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