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Trump now wants Putin to visit the White House this fall; Also on the Friday rundown: health insurance rates to rise by almost 9 percent in California; and as the climate crises reaches “Zero Hour” young people take a stand.

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A Child’s View for IL - “Step Up for Kids” Today

September 17, 2008

Springfield, IL - A fair opportunity to succeed for all Illinois children is the focus of "Step up for Kids" in the state today. Voices for Illinois Children president Jerry Stermer says the goal of the non-partisan event is to focus candidates' attention on what's best for the next generation, and the effort goes beyond candidates "kissing babies."

"There's a lot riding on this election. How we approach education, our ideas on health care, and how we ensure strong families for our kids are all very serious issues."

Stermer says children need to move to the front of the class on the campaign trail. About 30 organizations are endorsing "Step up for Kids" today in Illinois.

Springfield Head Start director Matt Blakey says early childhood education is another area that needs attention because Head Start constantly struggles to give kids a quality education.

"We need better funding for programs and services, better facilities, better equipment, and new computers in the classroom."

Blakey says that while the state is on the right track with "Preschool for All," there are still tens of thousands of children who don't have access to pre-kindergarten programs.

Deborah Smith/Steve Powers, Public News Service - IL