LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- "Kids Count Day" is a chance for children to meet their legislators, and an opportunity for advocates to push for changes they think will improve the lives of Arkansas kids.
Nearly 100 child advocates from around Arkansas gathered in the rotunda of the state capitol Thursday.
Rich Huddleston is the Executive Director for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and also took part in the event, speaking on behalf of educational needs and health care needs for families and kids. He said the goal for Thursday was twofold-one of which was to engage a new generation of child advocates.
"But, also, it's to remind legislators that whenever they make decisions, it has to be about what's in the best interest of children and families, especially our most vulnerable children and families," Huddleston said.
According to the latest Kids Count data, Arkansas ranked 42nd in child well-being across the nation, including a 12 percent increase of children living in poverty since 2005. The number of children who have parents that are unemployed, had increased by 13 percent since 2008.
The 2013 Kids Count Report will be released this summer.
The annual report, which outlines the quality of kids' lives in Arkansas, is put out each year by the Annie E. Cassie Foundation.