So what’s the Point?

Children SabbathChildren’s Sabbath
Sunday, September 28, 2014

The statistics and other information are taken from  Please look beyond the statistics to the real faces of children in your community, in your state, in your country who are under-served and under-loved. They are the innocents who suffer for the madness of humanity. They are caught in webs of drug abuse, child abuse, poverty, neglect, circumstances they cannot control or change. We have the power to do something, even if we only manage to help one child – that is one child who will be saved.

Children’s Sabbath 2014
“So what’s the Point?

  • Lots of statistics – remember that statistics have faces
  • We tend to “see” the children in our church, in our families, those like us
  • Children at risk are less visible to us and we need to look more closely
  • Today I am asking you to become more aware
  • Going forward, our church may be asked to do more, to help more, to be more involved in problems that are much bigger than we are
  • Please pray, not only for our kids’ names on those slips of paper you will pick up, but for all the children of Oklahoma and of America who will:
    • sleep outside tonight
    • go to sleep hungry
    • wake up with no food for breakfast
    • will be hit by one of their parents
    • who will be left sitting on the steps of a casino
    • who will be left home alone
    • not know if anyone loves them
  • Today is our Children’s Sabbath; we have celebrated the work of our children’s ministry and enjoyed the work of our kids. We blessed our church school workers and we praised God for the children we have to cherish. Today is also an International Day of Remembrance and Prayer for children everywhere who are not as lucky as our children are. Today is a day to pray, reflect, and imagine what we might do to really make a difference in the young lives in our community.

Greenless Child by Ann Weems

I watched her go uncelebrated into the second grade,
A greenless child,
Gray among the orange and yellow,
Attached too much to corners and to other people’s sunshine.

She colors the rainbow brown
And leaves balloons unopened in their packages.

Oh, who will touch this greenless child?
Who will plant alleluias in her heart
And send her dancing into all the colors of God?
Or will she be left like an unwrapped package on the kitchen table —
Too dull for anyone to take the trouble?

Does God think we’re her keeper? Who will touch the greenless children? We are called to covenant with God and with one another. God will be with us as we help all children, especially the greenless children, to learn, succeed and fulfill their God-given potential.

Thanks for listening.

January 2014 – Moments in America for Children

  • Every 2 seconds during the school year a public school student receives an out-of-school suspension.*
  • Every 9 seconds during the school year a public high school student drops out.*
  • Every 20 seconds a baby is born to an unmarried mother.
  • Every 21 seconds a child is arrested.
  • Every 30 seconds during the school year a public school student is corporally punished.*
  • Every 32 seconds a baby is born into poverty.
  • Every 47 seconds a child is abused or neglected.
  • Every 62 seconds a baby is born into extreme poverty.
  • Every 70 seconds a baby is born without health insurance.
  • Every 1-and-a-half minutes a baby is born to a teen mother.
  • Every 1-and-a-half minutes a baby is born at low birthweight.
  • Every 3-and-a-half minutes a child is arrested for a drug offense.
  • Every 8 minutes a child is arrested for a violent offense.
  • Every 22 minutes a baby dies before his or her first birthday.
  • Every hour a child or teen dies from an accident.
  • Every 3 hours and 15 minutes a child or teen is killed by guns.
  • Every 4-and-a-half hours a child commits suicide.
  • Every 5-and-a-half hours a child is killed by abuse or neglect.
  • Every 11 hours a baby’s mother dies due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth.

January 2014 – Each Day in America

  • 2 mothers die in childbirth.
  • 4 children are killed by abuse or neglect.
  • 5 children or teens commit suicide.
  • 7 children or teens are killed by guns.
  • 24 children or teens die from accidents.
  • 66 babies die before their first birthdays.
  • 187 children are arrested for violent crimes.
  • 408 children are arrested for drug crimes.
  • 838 public school students are corporally punished.*
  • 847 babies are born to teen mothers.
  • 865 babies are born at low birthweight.
  • 1,241 babies are born without health insurance.
  • 1,392 babies are born into extreme poverty.
  • 1,837 children are confirmed as abused or neglected.
  • 2,723 babies are born into poverty.
  • 2,857 high school students drop out.*
  • 4,028 children are arrested.
  • 4,408 babies are born to unmarried mothers.
  • 16,244 public school students are suspended.*

*Based on 180 school days a year

Children In the State of OKLAHOMA

Child Population

  • 937,363 children lived in Oklahoma in 2012; 44.7 percent were children of color.
  • 55.3 percent were White
  • 9.3 percent were two or more races
  • 15.0 percent were Hispanic
  • 10.4 percent were American Indian/Alaska Native
  • 8.2 percent were Black
  • 0.2 percent were Pacific Islander
  • 1.7 percent were Asian

Child Poverty

  • Nearly 1 in 4 (24.1 percent) of Oklahoma’s children were poor in 2012, a total of 221,623 children.1
  • Oklahoma ranked 35th in child poverty among states.
  • More than 1 in 10 children lived in extreme poverty at less than half the poverty level.
  • The youngest children were the poorest age group. Nearly 3 in 10 children under age 6 were poor; nearly half of these poor children were extremely poor.

Children of color in Oklahoma are disproportionately poor.

  • More than 2 in 5 Black children, nearly 2 in 5 Hispanic children, and nearly 3 in 10 American Indian/Native Alaskan children were poor in 2012, compared to more than 1 in 6 White children.

Child Hunger and Homelessness

  • Child poverty in Oklahoma leads to unacceptable child homelessness and hunger.
  • More than 21,000 Oklahoma public school students were homeless in 2011-2012, 157 percent more than before the recession.
  • In 2014, nearly 2 full-time minimum-wage jobs are necessary to be able to afford a fair market rent two-bedroom apartment in Oklahoma and still have enough left over for food, utilities and other necessities.
  • More than 1 in 4 children lived in households that lacked access to adequate food in 2012. More than 1 in 3 children ages 10-17 were overweight or obese in 2011-2012. Oklahoma ranked 37th out of the 50 states in child food security and 39th
  • More than 3 in 10 Oklahoma children relied on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to meet their nutritional needs on an average month in FY2011. in child overweight and obesity.
  • Only 3.6 percent of Oklahoma children receiving a free and reduced-price lunch during the school year participated in the Summer Food Service Program – ranking Oklahoma 50th
    Child Health of 50 states in ensuring that children have adequate summer nutrition.

Although the majority of Oklahoma’s children have access to health coverage, that does not guarantee enrollment in coverage, jeopardizing their education and their future.

  • In 2011, 84.8 percent of eligible children participated in SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s expanded Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In FY2012, a total of 548,190 Oklahoma children ages 0-18 were enrolled in SoonerCare due to Medicaid funding, and an additional 125,889 thanks to CHIP funding.
  • 1 A family of four was poor if it was living on less than $23,492 a year, $1,958 a month, $452 a week and $64 a day, and extremely poor if living on less than $11,746 a year, $979 a month, $226 a week and $32 a day.
  • 2 The state ranked 1st is the best for children for that outcome and the state ranked 50th is the worst for children.
  • More than 94,000 Oklahoma children ages 0-17 (10.1 percent) were uninsured in 2012, ranking Oklahoma 43rd
  • In 2011, 65,000 uninsured children ages 0-18 were eligible for SoonerCare but not enrolled. among states in percent of children insured.

Early Childhood and Education

  • Lack of early childhood investments deprives children of critical supports in the early years and reduces school readiness.
  • In 2011, the average annual cost of center-based child care for a 4-year-old was $5,397 – 100 percent of the cost of in-state college tuition.
  • Two-fifths of Oklahoma’s 3- and 4-year-olds were enrolled in public or private preschool in 2009-2011.
  • Oklahoma’s state-funded preschool program met 9 of the 10 quality benchmarks set by the National Institute for Early Education Research in 2012-2013.
    Oklahoma’s schools fail to educate all children, closing off a crucial pathway out of poverty.
  • In 2013, 70 percent of Oklahoma’s fourth grade public school students were unable to read at grade level and 64 percent were unable to compute at grade level.
  • 86 percent of Black fourth graders could not read at grade level and 86 percent could not compute.
    § 83 percent of Hispanic fourth graders could not read at grade level and 79 percent could not compute.
  • Nearly 4 in 5 Oklahoma public high school students graduated on time in 2010, placing Oklahoma 33rd
  • The state spent $2,117 less per student in its poorest districts than recommended to adequately support poor students in 2007-2008. among states. 66 percent of Black students and 78 percent of Hispanic students graduated on time compared to 80 percent of White students.
  • Students who are suspended or expelled are more likely to drop out of school. During the 2009-2010 school year 7.7 percent of Oklahoma public school students received at least one out-of-school suspension, placing Oklahoma 30th
    Children Facing Special Risks among states. For Black and Hispanic students, the percentages were 18.3 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively.

Many vulnerable children need treatment, services and permanent families.

  • In Oklahoma, 9,627 children were abused or neglected in 2012 – 10.3 out of 1,000 children.
  • On the last day of FY2012 there were 9,133 Oklahoma children in foster care.
    Too many Oklahoma children are involved in the juvenile justice system.
  • 18,743 children were arrested in Oklahoma in 2010– a rate of 4,627 out of 100,000 children ages 10-17.
  • 576 children and youth were in residential placement in 2011. 39 percent of the children in residential placement were Black, 9 percent were Hispanic, and 38 percent were White. 17 Oklahoma children were in adult jails in 2011.
  • Oklahoma spent 2.3 times as much per prisoner as per public school student in 2009-2010.

Oklahoma ranked 35thout of 42 ranked states in child and teen gun deaths.

  • A total of 48 children and teens were killed by guns in Oklahoma in 2010—a rate of 4.6 out of 100,000 children and teens.