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Top Summer Kid Care & Activities: Brought to You by MomsRising Members

***UPDATED***

We texted and you responded -- see below for the summer activity wisdom of members like you!

 

School’s out and summer is here! As a kid, that meant sunshine, long days full of fun, and all the perks of summer: BBQs, popsicles, swimming, summer camps, and no homework! As an adult and as a soon-to-be parent, it leaves me with more questions than anything!

 

Figuring out what to do with little ones can be fun and stressful. Fear not! Below are some great resources to help families find care for kids during the summer months while school is out.  And as an added bonus, our fabulous MomsRising.org members have generated a full and fun list of things to do with kids this summer!

 

Please keep adding to our growing list below by adding in the comments! The more, the merrier!

 

Great resources to kind childcare:

G is for Greens: Cooking with Collards

Collards are a gift. Truly. They are easy to grow, really tasty to eat and they are FULL of nutrients (they have more nutritional value than broccoli and spinach! That's saying a LOT!). 

Yet, cooking collards can seem daunting, because in the store the leaves seem large and tough. And make no mistake: if you don't cook them down well, they will be chewy.

But it's not hard to cook collards correctly. Here's how:

  • Wash the leaves, and remove the stalks and stems. Chop them into 1/2" wide strips (easiest is to roll a bunch of leaves together and chop. I also use scissors). 
  • Boil a couple of inches of water or broth in a skillet, add the collards, cover and cook for about 8 minutes. This will break the leaves down. Drain.
  • Sautee! There are so many options. Cooking the pre-cooked leaves in olive oil and garlic is an easy one. You can also add mushrooms, leeks or other veggies for more flavor. Add the cooked collards to your new ingredients, cover and cook for a minute or two.
  • Serve and enjoy!    

G is for Greens! Growing Mesclun and Collards

Greens get a bad rap, and it's not fair. Because they're easy to grow, they taste awesome, and they're really good for you, too! I'll admit: getting kids to eat greens can be particularly challenging, as they're something of the epitome of the "vegetable". But drawing them into the process of planting, growing, cooking, eating and, yes, crafting, can help. I'm going to share tips for bringing greens into your life, from seed to plate.

First, let's look at growing greens. Here's how to get started. 

There are lots and lots of types of greens out there - from tender-leafed salad greens to the more robust collards and kale. A first step is to think about what your family will eat. Will you have more success serving a raw or cooked variety? Can you incorporate cooked greens into some dishes you already make? Do you have space in a garden bed, or will you grow your greens in a container? Here are tips on growing two varieties on either end of the general spectrum.

Mesclun greens!

House Set to Vote on Child Tax Credit Improvement* Act (*Improvement Not Included)

Improvement.  It’s a subjective word, I guess.  Otherwise how does H.B. 4935 get to call itself the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014?  The House is set to vote on the bill this week, and although it sounds like a winner, for millions of low-income working families it is exactly the opposite. 

CHIP'ing Away At Getting Kids Covered

Take Action

I’ve written extensively about my experiences with febrile seizures. From the first one that rocked my world to the latest just a few short months ago.

What I haven’t discussed is the backend. The trips to the pediatrician, the cost of the ER visits. The toll that having those hefty bills could’ve had on my family.

Since my frog princess was born, I’ve woven in and out of insurance coverage. Two employers covered me first, Medicaid covered her when I lost my job, then her dad covered her until he lost his benefits at work and recently, CHIP covered her as I wasn’t making enough to get her covered on my own.

Although I myself went a couple of years without coverage, I was lucky enough to have been able to count on Medicaid and CHIP to cover my daughter while I settled myself into a business.

What Is CHIP?

Appeals Courts Split On Legality Of Subsidies For Affordable Care Act

Two U.S. Appeals Courts Tuesday reached opposite conclusions about the legality of subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, a key part of the law that brings down the cost of coverage for millions of Americans.

Great news! Kids like healthier school meals!

The data is in: students like new, healthier school meals! This is a major victory for families and schools everywhere!

The updated nutrition standards for school meals went into effect at the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year. Created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the new meals include more whole grants, low-dat dairy, fruits and veggies, and less sugars, fats and sodium.

Seems like an easy win, right? Well, not so fast. It took some time to get kids used to the healthy changes. That was to be expected of course, and many advocates for the healthy changes promoted tips for getting kids to try new foods, for making it profitable for cafeterias, and much more. 

Now two new studies show that kids actually like the new meals. By the spring of the 2012-13 academic year, school administrators in public schools across the U.S. reported that the majority of students liked the new meals, at least to some extent.

More specifically: 

The Next Effort to Gut Health Reform – A Tale of Two Decisions

By Dania Palanker, Senior Counsel, National Women's Law Center

Today, two circuit courts ruled on whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows individuals enrolled in health insurance through the Federally Facilitated Marketplace to receive federal subsidies to help with health insurance costs, specifically premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld these subsidies, finding that the IRS interpretation providing subsidies through the Federally Facilitated Marketplace is “permissible construction of the statutory language.”

Seven months later... It's time NOW for fair pay!

Take Action!

It was on Sunday that the average earnings of Black women in the United States FINALLY equaled the average earnings of white men in 2013.

It is July. We’re now 7 months into 2014 – in fact, it’s almost August. That means Black women had to work for more than 19 months to earn what white men earned in 12 months because Black women currently make only 64 cents to a white man's dollar.

That's not fair. And it's most certainly not okay.

Your voice is needed now to bring this issue forward. The more of us who speak up, the faster we'll get to solutions.

We need the Paycheck Fairness Act to help close the women and mothers’ wage gap—and we need it yesterday. Tell your members of Congress that you want them to support this vital economic security legislation: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/fairpay_2014/

Domestic workers and their allies in Massachusetts passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.

Take Action!

They did it!  

Domestic workers and their allies in Massachusetts passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. This is fourth Domestic Workers Bill of Rights to pass in four years, following New York, California, and Hawaii. It reflects a growing recognition from workers, employers and allies that domestic work is real work and deserves real protections.

This new bill is the most comprehensive Domestic Workers Bill of Rights yet, providing clear guidelines for employers.  It provides domestic workers with the right to a written contract, just cause termination, and maternity leave.

Domestic workers were on the frontline of this win; it was their leadership, experience and stories that changed the landscape for this low-wage workforce.  Domestic workers -- overwhelmingly women of color and immigrants -- are transforming our democracy with their leadership on economic issues.

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