When someone is asked, “Why not have Children’s Day?”, John Ross says the most frequent response goes like this:
“Every day is children’s day.”
But Ross, a resident of Batavia, says that’s just not true. Children throughout the United States and the world suffer every day, he says, and something needs to be done about it.
“Every day is NOT Children’s Day,” he said in a May 30 news release. “American families and the entire country need this day to love, evaluate, and commit to the betterment of our children.”
Ross says that, since 2007, the governor of the state of Illinois has proclaimed the second Sunday in June to be “Children’s Day.” The cities of Aurora, Batavia, Yorkville and others have issued past proclamations.
This year, Children’s Day in Illinois falls of June 9.
Ross is spearheading a movement via the website www.nationalchildrensday.us to make the second Sunday in June — Children’s Day — a national event.
By establishing a National Children’s Day in the United States, Ross believes these concerns can be brought forefront:
- Most nations of the world — a list of 86 countries — have a special day for children.
- Every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children (a referral can include multiple children). The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations, according to ChildHelp.org.
- More than 2.5 million children are now homeless each year in America, according to AIR.org. This historic high represents one in every 30 children in the United States.
- The U.S., which had some of the highest graduation rates of any developed country, now ranks 22nd out of 27 developed countries, according to fcd-us.org.
Ross notes that Children’s Day observations in the United States predate both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The day to celebrate children dates from the 1860s and earlier.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at the Methodist Conference of 1868 recommended that the second Sunday in June be observed annually as Children’s Day. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1883 designated the “the second Sabbath in June as Children’s Day.”
Chase’s Calendar of Events cites Children’s Sunday and notes that The Commonwealth of Massachusetts issues an annual proclamation for the second Sunday in June.
Numerous churches and denominations currently observe the second Sunday in June including the African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Reformed Church in America, and the Church of the Nazarene.
Ross said the Children’s Day website, www.nationalchildrensday.us, offers help and challenges parents, individuals, churches/houses of worship, schools/places of education, government/community and businesses to sign commitment cards directed at affirming America’s children.
They pledge to “commit myself (ourselves), in the coming year, to love, cherish, nurture (physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual needs), and affirm …”
“They also can make a commitment beyond America to the world’s children,” Ross said.
SOURCE: National Children’s Day news release