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Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule of Services -- Updated 11/25/2014 10:55:23 AM
All City of Alexandria government offices will be closed on Thursday, November 27, and Friday, November 28, in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Residential trash and recycling will be collected on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, beginning at 6 a.m.
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Page updated Nov 25, 2014 4:45 PM
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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. 

Subscribe here. Make inquiries here. Youth Topics is posted online here. 

 

In the November 25 Edition: 

Events
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 10)
Alexandria Holiday Invitational Cheer Competition (December 13)
The Role of Communities in the Protection of Minority Children (December 16)

Careers/Volunteerism 
ACPS Strategic Plan Survey
Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards
National Missing Children’s Day Awards
Annual Fatherhood Solutions Conference Seeking Proposals
Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities
MACPAC Requests Comments on Children’s Health Care Coverage
ACAP eNewsletter
SAPCA Newsletter

Grantsmanship
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: ACPS Budget
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 Rights
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 Spray?
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 Well-Being
Creating Opportunity for Families
Raising a Reader Builds Evidence Base for its Parent Engagement and Early Literacy Program
Screen Sense: Setting the Record Straight
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 Unhealthy Neighborhoods
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 Video
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 Magnet

Workshops & Webinars 
Navigating the Juvenile Justice System (December 4)
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 (On Demand)

Events

Induction 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.

Torpedo 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 House is free.  

Mentoring 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).

Recognition 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.

Art 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.

Alexandria 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.

The 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.

Careers/Volunteerism 

ACPS 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.

Diller 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 December 14.

National 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.

Annual 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.

Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities
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.

MACPAC 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.

ACAP eNewsletter
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.

SAPCA Newsletter
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.

Grantsmanship

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

Experimental 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.

Superintendent’s 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 channel.

George 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.  

Bullying 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.

U.S. 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”.  

Convention 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.  

U.S. 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.

District’s 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 $157,000.  

Black, 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.  

Should 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 daily duties.  

In 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 belief 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” school shooter.

Adam 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 mother.

Connecticut 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.  

Parents 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.  

The 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 adolescent well-being.  

Creating 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.  

Raising a Reader Builds Evidence Base for its Parent Engagement and Early Literacy Program
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.  

Screen 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 that activity.  

Brain 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.

Sustaining 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.  

Report 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 available.  

Minority 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.  

Carbon 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.  

Using 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.  

Prevention of Post-Sexual Assault Stress Video
“Prevention of 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.  

The Art of Yoga Project
Because incarcerated teen girls warrant age-appropriate, gender-specific, and culturally sensitive rehabilitative services, the Art of Yoga Project 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.  

Achieving 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”.  

Better 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.  

How 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

Navigating the Juvenile Justice System (December 4, 2 – 3 p.m.)
The webinar will discuss strategies that help families better understand and navigate the juvenile justice system and access important services.  

Engaging 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 audience.  

Reaching 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.  

From 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 Discipline”.   

Engaging Families in the Justice System (On Demand)
The web-based training 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.

 

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