March 12, 2009


WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), today received the Congressional Voice for Children Award from the National PTA for his advocacy on behalf of children.   Also receiving awards from the National PTA were Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-IL).  


Senator Cardin was honored for his long history of giving a voice to voiceless children.   In 1999, as a member of the House, he championed additional services for youths aging out of the foster care system.   Most recently, Senator Cardin offered an amendment that was included in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act prohibiting states from incarcerating children with status offenses such as truancy or running away from home. Studies have shown there are better alternatives than confinement in these cases, and advocates across the country had been trying to phase out this practice in favor of family-focused options.


"I am honored to receive the National PTA's Congressional Voice for Children Award. We share a commitment to creating a better environment where all children can learn," said Senator Cardin. "Through effective federal, state and local partnerships, we will ensure communities have the infrastructure in place to provide children in need adequate support services rather than face incarceration or other severe penalties."

The National PTA comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education health, and welfare of children and youth.