Youth Topics is a service of the Center for Children and Families, Department of Community and Human Services, City of Alexandria. It is produced by Jacqueline Coachman, DCHS Office of Youth Services.
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In the November 25 Edition:
Induction of Inaugural Class of ACPS
Athletic Hall of Fame (December 5)
Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Open
House (December 6)
Mentoring Muslim Youth (December 6, 7)
Recognition and Treatment of Depression
in African American Adolescents Exposed to Negative Life Events (December 9)
Art Uniting People Reception (December
Alexandria Holiday Invitational Cheer
Competition (December 13)
The Role of Communities in the
Protection of Minority Children (December 16)
ACPS Strategic Plan Survey
Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards
National Missing Children’s Day Awards
Annual Fatherhood Solutions Conference
Children’s Mental Health Research &
Policy Conference Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities
MACPAC Requests Comments on Children’s
Health Care Coverage
DCHS Office of Youth Services Listing of Grant Opportunities
Research & Resources
Experimental High School in Virginia
Struggles to Teach Surge of Border Kids
Superintendent’s Community Conversation:
George Washington Girls Rise Before Dawn
to Talk With Their Afghan Peers
Bullying Prevention in ACPS
U.S. Supreme Court Declines Review in
School Bullying Case
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Calls for Abolishment of Corporal Punishment
U.S. in Poor Company on Children’s
District’s Social Media Monitoring Led
to Expulsions of Mostly Black Students
Black, Latino Students
Disproportionately Disciplined in Massachusetts Schools
Should Boston School Police Carry Pepper
In Washington School Tragedy, Shooter
Defies ‘Typical’ Stereotype
Adam Lanza’s Mental Problems ‘Completely
Untreated’ Before Newtown Shootings
Connecticut Supreme Court Examining
Long, Mandatory Sentences for Juveniles
Parents Turn Pain into Policy
The Family Environment and Adolescent
Creating Opportunity for Families
Raising a Reader Builds Evidence Base
for its Parent Engagement and Early Literacy Program
Screen Sense: Setting the Record
Brain Gain: Implications for Programs
for Children and Youth
Sustaining Momentum: Improving
Educational Stability for Youth in Foster Care
Report Analyzes State Policies to
Promote College Readiness and Success
Minority Children More Likely to Live in
Carbon Monoxide Safety and Alarms
Using Data Can Put a Laser-Like Focus on
Efforts to Reduce Teen Births
Prevention of Post-Sexual Assault Stress
The Art of Yoga Project
Achieving Collective Impact Starts with
Asking Hard Questions
Better Together: A Resource Directory
for Afterschool System Builders
How to Make Your Nonprofit a Volunteer
Workshops & Webinars
Navigating the Juvenile Justice System
Engaging Youth and Young Adults through
Social Media (December 9)
Reaching Eligible Families Through
Community Partners (December 11)
From Discipline to Dialogue: Engaging
Student Voice (December 16)
Engaging Families in the Justice System
of Inaugural Class of ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame (December 5)
The inaugural class of the ACPS Athletic
Hall of Fame will be inducted at halftime of the annual Parker-Gray versus
Hoffman-Boston (T.C. Williams versus Wakefield) basketball game, which will
take place at 7:30 p.m. in the T.C. Williams High School gymnasium.
Factory Art Center Holiday Open House (December 6)
The Torpedo Factory Art Center will be a
festive destination for visitors before and after the Holiday Boat Parade of
Lights on the Potomac. Artists from the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association
will be keeping their studios open from 4 – 9 p.m. to accommodate shoppers who
want to buy unique, handmade jewelry, ceramics, paintings and other original
works of art as gifts for the holidays. Admission for the Holiday Open
Muslim Youth (December 6, 7)
“Understanding Muslim Youth Development”
is an interactive workshop from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on December 6 that highlights
the varying factors that impact youth development, and uses case studies to
help fine tune the ability of youth workers to recognize these factors.
“Counseling Muslim Youth” (9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on December 7) covers basic
counseling skills to aid youth workers in improving their ability to advise
young Muslims. The training will be
held at the MAS Community Center (6408 Edsall Road).
and Treatment of Depression in African American Adolescents Exposed to Negative
Life Events (December 9)
The Family Center at the Kennedy Krieger
Institute Trauma Training Academy is hosting the training from 8:30 a.m.
– 4:30 p.m. at their campus in Baltimore (3825 Greenspring Avenue). Factors that complicate accurate diagnosis of depression
in this population, and practical intervention approach to assessment and
treatment of depression in African American adolescents who are exposed to
negative life events will be discussed. The
deadline for registration is December 1.
Uniting People Reception (December 10)
Art Uniting People exhibits art work by
community artists that reflects the artists’ experiences with mental illness,
addition and recovery. Attend the
reception at the Durant Arts Center (1605 Cameron Street) from 6 – 7:30 p.m.
and view the work.
Holiday Invitational Cheer Competition (December 13)
The Alexandria Department of Recreation,
Parks and Cultural Activities will host the Alexandria Holiday Invitational for recreation level cheerleading
teams at 11 a.m. The event will be held at T. C. Williams High School (3330
King Street). Admission is free for children under 4, $5 for ages 5-12, and $10
for ages 13 and up.
Role of Communities in the Protection of Minority Children (December 16)
The National Center for Missing &
Exploited Children is hosting a panel discussion on how communities, media,
clergy, and others can impact missing and exploited children’s issues in
communities. Panelists will share best practices as well as advice on
integrating initiatives to increase awareness around these issues. The
discussion is scheduled for 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (1133 19th Street NW,
Suite 850). Online registration is available.
Strategic Plan Survey
The Alexandria City School Board has
begun the process of drafting a new five-year Strategic Plan that will set
goals for our community's K-12 public schools for the period 2015-20. In
preparation for setting goals, the Board is asking ACPS stakeholders -
community residents, teachers and administrators and students - to take a brief
survey, available online in English y
en Español through Monday, Dec. 15. Results reflecting your views will help
guide the strategic planning process by focusing on issues that are of greatest
concern to the citizens of Alexandria. Participants will remain anonymous;
additional input from individuals and groups is also welcome. Complete the survey.
Teen Tikkun Olam Awards
Based on the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, or “repair of the world”,
the awards seek to recognize teens who are exceptional role models in their
communities and beyond. The awards celebrate teens who have demonstrated
remarkable leadership and are actively engaged in projects that embody the values
of tikkun olam. Teen projects may
benefit the Jewish community or the general community. Up to fifteen teens –
five from California and ten from other communities across the country – will be
acknowledged for their visionary actions with an award of $36,000 to be used to
further their philanthropic work or education. Nominees must be between the
ages of 13 and 19 at nomination, working to repair the world in a leadership
capacity, volunteering without any compensation, and self-identified as Jewish.
Anyone is eligible to nominate a teen except members of his/her family. Teens
are welcome to apply without a nomination. The deadline for nominations/applications is
Missing Children’s Day Awards
Each year the U.S. Department of
Justice, through of Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention,
recognizes individuals, organizations, and agencies that have made a difference
in recovering abducted children and protecting children from exploitation. The
department recognizes awardees at the annual National Missing Children’s Day
ceremony in Washington, D.C. Nominations are being accepted until January 19,
2015 for four awards: Missing
Children’s Law Enforcement Award; OJJDP
Administrator’s Citizen Award; Missing
Children’s Child Protection Award; and the 2015 Attorney
General’s Special Commendation Award.
Fatherhood Solutions Conference Seeking Proposals
Children’s Institute, Inc. is seeking
workshop proposals for its annual conference in Los Angeles on June 19, 2015.
The goal of the conference is to educate, train and create dialogue on the
impact of fathers in child welfare systems, foster care, early childhood
education, school readiness, and child wellness/resiliency. The deadline for proposals is December 19.
Mental Health Research & Policy Conference Sponsorship and Exhibit
The Department of Child and Family
Studies at the University of South Florida has been a leader in promoting the
expansion of the research base essential to improved service systems for
children with mental health challenges and their families. Each year
researchers, evaluators, administrators, policy makers, planners, advocates and
family members gather for the Research and Policy Conference on Child,
Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health. Sponsorship and
exhibitor request forms are available online.
Requests Comments on Children’s Health Care Coverage
The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access
Commission (MACPAC) is interested in learning the views of stakeholder
organizations on policies that help ensure affordable and adequate health care
coverage for children. To submit comments, email Joanne Jee on or before Noon on December 19.
The latest edition of the eNewsletter of the
Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy features the article “Sexting is
the ‘New Normal’ for Teens, Study Shows”. The researcher found that sexting was
not associated with risky behaviors in many cases and was more of an indicator
of general sexual activity.
E-cigarettes may increase the risk of
addiction to cocaine and other drugs, according to a study featured in the New
England Journal of Medicine, and discussed in the newsletter of the
Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria.
DCHS Office of Youth Services Listing of Grant Opportunities
The DCHS Office of Youth Services compiled a listing of grant opportunities on November 10.
Research & Resources
High School in Virginia Struggles to Teach Surge of Border Kids
The international high school model was founded
in New York City in the 1980s during an influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants.
Its mission is to integrate foreign youths into U.S. society, teach them basic
English, and provide a solid high school education, all at the same time. The International
Academy at T. C. Williams opened in 2011. The surge of nearly 3,000
unaccompanied minors who reached the Washington area from the border this year –
including 150 enrolled in the Alexandria academy – has put unprecedented
strains on its staff, facilities and unique educational philosophy.
Community Conversation: ACPS Budget
ACPS Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley and
his leadership team held an evening of conversation regarding the 2016 ACPS
budget on November 12. The Budget Forum was recorded in its entirety and can be
viewed on ACPS-TV channel 71 on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m.,
and Mondays and Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. The forum may also be viewed online any
time on the ACPS-TV YouTube
Washington Girls Rise Before Dawn to Talk With Their Afghan Peers
During a video-conference between
seventh-grade girls from George Washington Middle School and their counterparts
from a school in Kabul, Afghanistan, they discussed difference and similarities
between the schools, their clothing, and how they socialize. They also talked
about their impressions of each other’s countries and their views on the war.
Prevention in ACPS
The ACPS Office of Equity and Cultural
Competence, in conjunction with the Office of Student Services, provides programs and staff that promote healthy,
caring, and responsible behaviors among students. The office’s new “Bullying
Prevention in ACPS”
webpage addresses the various forms of bullying (including cyberbullying) as well
as resources for preventing bullying.
Supreme Court Declines Review in School Bullying Case
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear
the appeal of three
Pennsylvania families who charged the Gettysburg Area School District and
various school officials “intentionally denied assistance to the boys and their
parents, refusing to supervise and/or respond to confrontational dangerous
situations even though future acts of bullying and injuries were predictable”.
on the Rights of the Child Calls for Abolishment of Corporal Punishment
Many people and cultures throughout the
world condone the practice of using corporal punishment to discipline children.
UNICEF’s Convention on the Rights of the Child called for the abolishment of
parents’ and caregivers’ right to use physical punishment on children. In
celebration of Universal Children’s Day, an infographic highlights the
consequences of corporal punishment.
in Poor Company on Children’s Rights
Over a century ago, the United States
led the world in extending rights to children by creating the world’s first
juvenile court. More than 100 years later, the U.S. lags behind as one of the last nations to ratify the
universally acclaimed Convention on the Rights of the Child. The only other two
nations that have failed to ratify are Somalia and South Sudan.
Social Media Monitoring Led to Expulsions of Mostly Black Students
The Huntsville, Alabama school district
expelled 14 students last year based on the findings of a private contractor
who monitored students’
social media as part of greater school security efforts. A former FBI agency
was hired as a contractor to help administer security programs at a cost of
Latino Students Disproportionately Disciplined in Massachusetts Schools
A report by the Lawyers’
Committee for Civil Rights School Discipline found that a majority of disciplined
Massachusetts public school students are suspended or expelled for relatively
minor offenses, and black and Latino students receive harsher punishment than
white students. Other findings were that students with disabilities receive a
disproportionate amount of discipline than their peers, and charter schools are
more likely than traditional schools to suspend students.
Boston School Police Carry Pepper Spray?
School police in Boston are holding
public hearings to obtain input on a proposal to carry pepper spray during their
Washington School Tragedy, Shooter Defies ‘Typical’ Stereotype
The student who shot five students in
Washington before turning the gun on himself did not fit the widely held
that school shooters typically are socially isolated white males who spend a
lot of time playing violent video games. Experts on school violence say that
divergence underscores a too-often-overlooked fact when educators and
communities rush to find answers to such tragic acts: there is no “typical”
Lanza’s Mental Problems ‘Completely Untreated’ Before Newtown Shootings
According to a new study, medical
experts at Yale University had called for drastic measures to help Adam Lanza
in the years before he shot and killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary
School in Newtown, Connecticut. Those calls “went largely unheeded” by his
Supreme Court Examining Long, Mandatory Sentences for Juveniles
Seven years after a group of teens were
gunned down in Hartford, the Connecticut Supreme Court will decide whether the
gunman should have a chance for parole.
Turn Pain into Policy
The son of Arlene Ward was killed because
of a misunderstanding involving a jacket. When she decided to use her son’s
murder to change policy, she joined dozens of parents across New York City who
made the same commitment. They saw an
opportunity to create change.
Family Environment and Adolescent Well-Being
There were 25 million children ages 12
to 17 in the United States in 2013: 66% of adolescents live with both parents
(biological, step, or adoptive), 25% are in single-mother households, and only
5% live with a single father. A research brief by Child Trends
highlights several key areas of interaction between the family environment and
Opportunity for Families
Nearly half of the nation’s families
with young children struggle to make ends meet. A new KIDS COUNT policy report makes the case
for creating opportunity for families by addressing the needs of parents and
their children simultaneously.
a Reader Builds Evidence Base for its Parent Engagement and Early Literacy
A brief by Child Trends
summarizes the research base for family literacy programs and the emerging
evidence base for Raising a Reader, a national nonprofit literacy organization
which helps to develop sustainable home literacy routines essential to language
and literacy development.
Sense: Setting the Record Straight
A new guideline for parents
about children’s “screen use” dissects the available research and warns that
many of the “2-D” experiences provided by TV, tablets, and smartphones do not
provide the kind of social interaction and real-world learning that proves
especially beneficial to infants and toddlers – unless parents are engaged in
Gain: Implications for Programs for Children and Youth
Nutrition, physical activity, nurturing
care, and environmental toxins (which include interpersonal violence and
emotional stress) all have the potential to alter the brain, either positively
or negatively. As outlined in a Child Trends brief, the
implications are huge for work with children and youth, particularly those who
have experienced the neurobiological effects of trauma.
Momentum: Improving Educational Stability for Youth in Foster Care
Entering the foster care system can
catapult a youth’s academic career into a devastating tailspin marred by too
many new-kid-in-the-classroom transitions. The report highlights the
Annie E. Casey Foundation’s four-year effort to counter such educational
instability, the key lessons learned, and specific recommendations.
Analyzes State Policies to Promote College Readiness and Success
A new report from the Education Commission of
the States provides a snapshot of what states are doing to promote college
readiness and success. The Denver-based nonpartisan policy organization tracked
the implementation of 10 key high school and higher education policies in all
50 states. A searchable data portal is also
Children More Likely to Live in Unhealthy Neighborhoods
The “Child Opportunity Index” is a surveillance
system that gauges neighborhood-based opportunities conducive to healthy
development. Researchers scored neighborhoods using nineteen indicators,
ranging from the presence of quality early-childhood education, to poverty, to
proximity to parks and healthy food. The newly released issue of Health Affairs reports that across the
one hundred largest metropolitan areas, 40% of black children and 32% of
Hispanic children reside in the lowest-opportunity neighborhoods within their
metropolitan areas, compared with 9% of white children and 12% of Asian and
Pacific Islander children.
Monoxide Safety and Alarms
Carbon monoxide (CO) can come from many
sources, including cars, malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances, and
engine-powered equipment. The only way to detect CO is with a working CO alarm.
Resources made available by the National Fire Protection Association and the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission include a fact sheet in English and Spanish as well as an
easy to read hand-out.
Data Can Put a Laser-Like Focus on Efforts to Reduce Teen Births
For many teens in the District of
Columbia, it would appear geography equals destiny. Based on recent estimates from Child
Trends, more than 1 in 3 teenage females living in the District’s poorest
neighborhoods will become a mother before age 20, compared with 1 in 10 in
other areas of the city.
of Post-Sexual Assault Stress Video
Post-Sexual Assault Stress” is a video
designed to help prepare sexual assault victims for the post-sexual assault
medical exam as well as provide information about coping strategies that may
help reduce anxiety and distress following sexual assault. The video is also
designed to help adolescents and young adults cope with emotional reactions
commonly experienced after a sexual assault.
Art of Yoga Project
Because incarcerated teen girls warrant
age-appropriate, gender-specific, and culturally sensitive rehabilitative
services, the Art of Yoga
has developed an innovative gender-responsive intervention that combines yoga
and creative art. The focus on yoga gives young women safe ways to push limits
and test boundaries. It helps balance the intense hormones and powerful
emotions of adolescence, offering healthy alternatives to violence, self-harm
and substance use. The program builds trust in a circle of supportive peers and
women elders, which is especially effective for young women with histories of
physical and emotional abuse.
Collective Impact Starts with Asking Hard Questions
Communities across the country are
embracing the collective impact approach as a way to move the needle on complex
problems. At the heart of this approach is the idea of shared measurement. In a
blog for Youth Thrive in Wake County,
North Carolina, Forum for Youth Investment CEO Karen Pittman shows how collecting
good data is just the start because it “should prompt questions that can’t be
easily answered with more data”.
Together: A Resource Directory for Afterschool System Builders
The comprehensive directory identifies over
50 organizations offering resources and tools on afterschool system building.
It catalogues the leading tools, information, and resources.
to Make Your Nonprofit a Volunteer Magnet
What distinguishes the best volunteer
programs from the rest? Leaders of youth organization point to five key elements.
Workshops & Webinars
the Juvenile Justice System (December 4, 2 – 3 p.m.)
will discuss strategies that help families better understand and navigate the
juvenile justice system and access important services.
Youth and Young Adults through Social Media (December 9, 1:00 – 1:55 p.m.)
The webinar presents the
latest research and statistics on how youth and young adults are using social
media, how an organization can strategically use social media to engage with
youth and young adults, and what platforms youth and young adults are using and
how to create a simple social media strategy to more effectively reach this
Eligible Families Through Community Partners (December 11)
Low-income families often rely on
trusted community organizations for help applying for valuable benefits like
the Earned Income Tax Credit, nutrition assistance and home energy assistance.
Partnering with such programs can help extend the reach of Medicaid and CHIP outreach
and enrollment efforts. The webinar will discuss
potential partnerships and strategies to reach and enroll more eligible
children and parents in Medicaid and CHIP.
Discipline to Dialogue: Engaging Student Voice (December 16, 1 – 2 p.m.)
How do opportunities for dialogue
between teachers and students change school discipline? During the webinar, the American
Youth Policy Forum will present key themes form the recently published blog
series “From Discipline to Dialogue: Changing the Conversation about Classroom
Families in the Justice System (On Demand)
highlights practices to help juvenile justice professionals build partnerships
with families. Participants will learn how to describe meaningful family
engagement based on recent research with families; identify specific practices
used nationwide to increase family engagement; and use the FAMILY model that
the Campaign for Youth Justice developed as well as other resources to build
partnerships with families.