Robert Menendez

US Senator for New Jersey
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Menendez and the National Latino Children’s Institute Celebrate “El Día de los Niños”

To mark holiday in honor of our children, Senator Menendez also introduced a bipartisan resolution

April 26, 2012

Washington – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), was joined today by the National Latino Children’s Institute (NLCI), CentroNia bilingual charter school, and Hispanic children to commemorate “El Día de los Niños: Celebrating Our Youth”.  Menendez discussed the importance of giving children the tools they need to be successful and productive adults, including quality early education and adequate health care. After finishing his remarks, Menendez read a short story to a group of 40 children from CentroNia bilingual school in Washington DC.

Observed on April 30th and originally adapted from a Mexican Holiday that is widely celebrated in the Western Hemisphere, “El Día de los Niños” reminds us of the importance of our investing in our children as the center of our families and our country’s future generation.

To recognize this special day, Senator Menendez also introduced and passed by Unanimous Consent a resolution to mark the celebration and declare it a national holiday.

Click here to read the resolution: http://menendez.senate.gov/download/?id=229845fc-4675-4209-8c90-113597cabe95


Senator Menendez (D-NJ) celebrates Children’s Day with a group of students from the Washington, DC bilingual charter school CentroNia. (Washington DC, April 26 2012)

View a gallery of photos of the event: http://www.menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/galleries/gallery/?id=1e43bbca-3fa8-48a2-9bbb-d707d236421b

“On El Día de los Niños we recognize the importance of providing our children with the resources they need to reach their full potential,” said Senator Menendez. “Given that Hispanics will account for three-quarters of the growth in our nation’s labor force by 2020, it is in our national economic interest to ensure all they are successful. As someone who would not be a United States Senator without the educational opportunities I was given, I have made it my priority to provide all our children with a world-class education so that they too can realize the power of education and become the next generation of leaders.”

“I thank Senator Menendez for highlighting the importance of our nation’s children and his advocacy on their behalf. As a grandfather of sixteen and father of five, I know the importance of a healthy childhood for our nation’s future. Latino children account for twenty-five percent of all children under age five in the United States, and thirty-three percent in Nevada. However, many of these children may not reach their full potential if we fail to invest in them today.” Said Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid (D-NV). “Thanks to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, insurance companies cannot deny coverage to Latino children because of pre-existing conditions, and the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance means more young Latinos can see a doctor today. However, we have a lot more to do. Right now Democrats are fighting to stop federal student loan interest rates from doubling this summer. I hope my Republican colleagues decide to work with us to expand investments in the future of our children,” he added.

“NLCI is honored to continue our work with Senator Menendez to bring attention to issues impacting young Latinos, to celebrate and honor all children on El Día de los NiñosCelebrating Young Americans. NLCI is proud to have established this day as one where we can look at our communities and see the future,” Josie F. Garza, NLCI’s Executive Director said. “Latinos know that the center of the family, of the community, is its children. Without children, the community will eventually die. But we also know that much needs to be done to improve the conditions in which they live. NLCI is committed to shining that spotlight not only on the challenges, but also the contributions of young Latinos. El Día de los Niños is a day of celebration, a day to honor all children and the gifts they bring; this is why we are excited to be participating with one of NLCI’s La Promesa partner-CentroNia/ DC Bilingual Public Charter School.”

 

***ON BACKGROUND***

Latino children represent more than one in five our public school students nationally, yet only 58% of Hispanics complete high school. Hispanic children also comprise the largest group of children living in poverty. And when it comes to health coverage, nearly one in five Hispanic children are uninsured.

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