Menendez And The National Latino Children's Institute Celebrate 'El Dia De Los Ninos'

Menendez And The National Latino Children's Institute Celebrate 'El Dia De Los Ninos'

Senators Menendez, Hatch, and Casey also introduce resolution to mark holiday

Washington - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was joined by the National Latino Children's Institute (NLCI) and Hispanic youth from around the country to commemorate El Día de los Niños, Celebrating Our Youth. To recognize this special day, Senators Menendez, Hatch, and Casey also introduced a resolution to mark the celebration and declare it a national holiday. During the event, Menendez highlighted the importance of giving children the tools they need to be successful, including quality early education, adequate health care and proper nutrition. After concluding his remarks, Senator Menendez read a story to children from the DC area and was given an award by a student from New Jersey for his work on behalf of our nation's youth. Observed today April 30th and originally adapted from a Mexican Holiday, El Día de los Niños is celebrated throughout the world, particularly in the Western Hemisphere.

"Today we commemorate El Día de los Niños and honor our children as the center of our families and the future of this great nation. As Chair of the Hispanic Task Force, I have made it a priority to ensure our children have the resources they need to be healthy and safe, so that they can grow up to become contributing members of our society. Nothing is as important as ensuring every opportunity is available for them to reach their highest potential. Their success is our nation's success."

"Utahns have long revered and cherished their youngest people. This celebration of the lives of children and young people is a poignant reminder that our future lies in very small hands." said Senator Hatch. "America's youth represent the hopes and dreams of our nation, and the importance of families in the economic, cultural, and physical prosperity of our democracy. I am happy to join with many families who are paying tribute on this day to the next generation."

"Our children are our greatest resource. As a public official, I have strived to do all I can to improve the safety of our children and to ensure they have the proper care and education so that they may reach their greatest potential," said Senator Casey. "It is my privilege to commemorate El Día de los Niños to recognize children as the heart of families and the key to the future of our country."

"With one in five public school children being Latino it is imperative that all children succeed in school; so today the National Latino Children's Institute and it's Promesa network and youth were proud to meet with Senator Menendez to bring attention to issues impacting young Latinos, to celebrate and honor children on El dia de los ninos-celebrating young americans. It is imperative that we stand together and include youth in the conversation that is going to impact them." Said Josie F. Garza, Executive Director of the National Latino Children's Institute (NCLI).

Today, Latino children represent one in five our public school students nationally and are the fastest growing segment of any racial or ethnic group. However, they are less likely to have access to high quality early education and only 55% will complete their secondary education on time and receive a regular diploma. Hispanic children are also more likely to live in poverty and experience food insecurity than White non-Hispanic children. And when it comes to health coverage, Hispanic children are three times more likely than non-Hispanic White children to have no form of health insurance.

Click here to read the resolution: http://menendez.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Dia de los Ninos 2010.pdf

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