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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 October 9 Edition: 

Events
Help Your Child Succeed: Building a Strong Relationship with Your Child’s Teacher (October 9)
Parents Empowered Educational Support Group (October 7 – December 9)
Art Safari Returns to the Torpedo Art Center (October 11)
Family Literacy Night: A Title I Event (October 14)
Youth Voice Alexandria (October 15)
JobLink Open House (October 15)
Free Practice Tests for the ACT and SAT College Entrance Exams (October 15)
Anti-Bullying and Peace-Building Forum (October 16)
T.C. Williams Offers SAT Prep Classes in October (October 18)
Mayor’s Campaign  to End Bullying Kick-Off Event (October 20)
Understanding the IEP Process (October 21)
Night of Science for ACPS Families (October 23)
College Survival 101 (October 25)
Toast to Hope (October 25)
Wildwood Alpacas Open Farm Days (October 25, November 22, December 13)
College Night Virginia (October 28)
Volunteers Are the Heart of Alexandria (November 6)
Reunification Workshop at Sandburg Middle School (November 10, 17, 24 and December 1)
Managing Anxiety (November 19)
National Mentoring Summit (January 28-30)

Careers/Volunteerism 
Help Titan Entrepreneurs Win ‘Elevator Pitch’ Contest
Fostering Futures Fall Coat Drive
Parent Leadership Training Institute Accepting Applications
Alexandria School Board Soliciting Applications for Stakeholder Committee
ACPS Seeks Members for Honors Review Committee
SAPCA Newsletter
Child Advocates Law Scholarship
National Kind Teacher Award
Call for Abstracts for Weight of the State 2015 Conference
Community Innovation Awards
Leavey Awards for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education

Grantsmanship
DCHS Office of Youth Services Listing of Grant Opportunities
 

Research & Resources 
New Principal Brings ‘Fresh Hope’ to Struggling Alexandria School
Building a Blueprint to Improve Youth Outcomes
Building Resilient Children, One Story at a Time
New Mobile Art Lab
ACPS Announces 2014-25 Accreditation and Federal Accountability Results
Census: Nearly 1 in 5 Children in U.S. in Poverty
Federal Spending on Kids to Increase Only 2 Percent Over Next Decade
Children’s Rights Groups Against Giving School Cops Military Hardware
Congressman Calls Federal School ‘Bake Sale’ Rules ‘Abuse of Government Power’
Report Identifies States with Highest Rates of Obesity Among High Schoolers
Report Shows Variation in How States Stack Up Against International Standards
“Leaders and Laggards”: A State-by-State Report Card on K-12 Educational Effectiveness
States Far From Uniform in Commitment to Kindergarten
Map: Kindergarten Requirements Nationwide
CDC: Nearly Eight in Ten Children Miss Developmental Screenings
Keeping 9th Graders on Track Can Move Grad Rate
Results First Clearinghouse Database
Student-Centered Practices for Underserved Youth
Growth of Online Reading Fuels New Achievement Gap
‘The Rule’: Documentary Looks at Newark Private School Run by Monks
Arne Duncan Says Adults Let African-American Students Down, Seeks Advice
Arne Duncan: Schools Must Give Poor and Minority Students Equal Access to Resources
Tupelo, Miss. District to Rework School Discipline Under Civil Rights Agreement
Discipline Debates Turn to Broad Terms Like ‘Defiance’
Making College Access a Local Reality
Helping Families Protect Themselves From Recurring Trauma
Trauma Informed Care: Perspectives and Resources
Family Dinners May Help Teens’ Mental Health
Teaching Teenagers That People Change May Help Prevent Depression
Measuring Social and Emotional Development
Exercise Before School Can Ward Off ADHD Symptoms
Fiction Teachers Students Empathy, Research Shows
Delving Into Tough Questions About Teen Pregnancy
Toolkit to Incorporate Adolescent Relationship Abuse Prevention Into Existing Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Programming
Student Newspaper Editor Suspended for Not Printing ‘Redskins’ Nickname
‘Friday Night Lights’ Author Warns Against Allowing Children to Play Football
Minnesota Tallies Concussions Among H.S. Student-Athletes
A Second College Quarterback Calls It Quits Due to Concussion-Related Concerns
New NFL, NCAA Statistics Paint Scary Picture About Football and Brain Damage
Marvel to Release Special Anti-Bullying Comic Editions
KnowBullying
Cyberbullying Increases as Students Get Older
America’s Young Adults: Special Issue, 2014
“A Walk in My Shoes: First Generation College Students”
America’s Hispanic Children: Gaining Ground, Looking Forward
Five Things to Know About LGBTQ Youth
Health Care Sector Guide on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking
Law Enforcement Response to Child Abuse
Expungement App Tries to Help Erase Minors’ Records
Justice Department Announces National Effort to Build Trust Between Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve
Only 15 States Have Drug Amnesty Laws to Protect Overdosers, Friends
New Principal Brings ‘Fresh Hope’ to Struggling Alexandria School
Building a Blueprint to Improve Youth Outcomes
Building Resilient Children, One Story at a Time
New Mobile Art Lab
ACPS Announces 2014-25 Accreditation and Federal Accountability Results
Census: Nearly 1 in 5 Children in U.S. in Poverty
Federal Spending on Kids to Increase Only 2 Percent Over Next Decade
Children’s Rights Groups Against Giving School Cops Military Hardware
Congressman Calls Federal School ‘Bake Sale’ Rules ‘Abuse of Government Power’
Report Identifies States with Highest Rates of Obesity Among High Schoolers
Report Shows Variation in How States Stack Up Against International Standards
“Leaders and Laggards”: A State-by-State Report Card on K-12 Educational Effectiveness
States Far From Uniform in Commitment to Kindergarten
Map: Kindergarten Requirements Nationwide
CDC: Nearly Eight in Ten Children Miss Developmental Screenings
Keeping 9th Graders on Track Can Move Grad Rate
Results First Clearinghouse Database
Student-Centered Practices for Underserved Youth
Growth of Online Reading Fuels New Achievement Gap
‘The Rule’: Documentary Looks at Newark Private School Run by Monks
Arne Duncan Says Adults Let African-American Students Down, Seeks Advice
Arne Duncan: Schools Must Give Poor and Minority Students Equal Access to Resources
Tupelo, Miss. District to Rework School Discipline Under Civil Rights Agreement
Discipline Debates Turn to Broad Terms Like ‘Defiance’
Making College Access a Local Reality
Helping Families Protect Themselves From Recurring Trauma
Trauma Informed Care: Perspectives and Resources
Family Dinners May Help Teens’ Mental Health
Teaching Teenagers That People Change May Help Prevent Depression
Measuring Social and Emotional Development
Exercise Before School Can Ward Off ADHD Symptoms
Fiction Teachers Students Empathy, Research Shows
Delving Into Tough Questions About Teen Pregnancy
Toolkit to Incorporate Adolescent Relationship Abuse Prevention Into Existing Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Programming
Student Newspaper Editor Suspended for Not Printing ‘Redskins’ Nickname
‘Friday Night Lights’ Author Warns Against Allowing Children to Play Football
Minnesota Tallies Concussions Among H.S. Student-Athletes
A Second College Quarterback Calls It Quits Due to Concussion-Related Concerns
New NFL, NCAA Statistics Paint Scary Picture About Football and Brain Damage
Marvel to Release Special Anti-Bullying Comic Editions
KnowBullying
Cyberbullying Increases as Students Get Older
America’s Young Adults: Special Issue, 2014“
A Walk in My Shoes: First Generation College Students”
America’s Hispanic Children: Gaining Ground, Looking Forward
Five Things to Know About LGBTQ Youth
Health Care Sector Guide on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking
Law Enforcement Response to Child Abuse
Expungement App Tries to Help Erase Minors’ Records
Justice Department Announces National Effort to Build Trust Between Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve
Only 15 States Have Drug Amnesty Laws to Protect Overdosers, Friends

 Workshops & Webinars 
Giving Voice to the Last Silent Victims (October 16)
Collective Impact for Policymakers: Working Together for Children and Youth (October 22)
Too Much Collective, Too Little Impact (November 5)     

Events

Help Your Child Succeed: Building a Strong Relationship with Your Child’s Teacher (October 9)
The workshop will help parents discover tools to assist in advocating for their children, navigating the school system, creating a home environment that is conducive to learning, and conducting successful parent-teacher conferences. It will take place in the cafeteria of Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology (3600 Commonwealth Ave.) and will include a light dinner, child care, and interpreter services.  

Parents Empowered Educational Support Group (October 7 – December 9)
The support group is a place where parents can share their daily parenting frustrations and triumphs in a supportive environment and learn new strategies for addressing these challenges. The group will meet every Tuesday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Ladrey High-Rise (300 Wythe St).  

Art Safari Returns to the Torpedo Art Center (October 11)
Resident and visiting artists will lead young visitors in creative activities across a variety of media, including clay, paper mache, fiber, and printmaking. Children should wear clothing that can get a little dirty. All activities are free and most are appropriate for children age 5-11 (some activities require parental assistance). The event will take place at the Torpedo Factory (105 North Union Street) from 12-4 p.m.   

Family Literacy Night: A Title I Event (October 14)
School literacy specialists and teachers will share skills and strategies to assist reading and writing learning at home. The first 300 families to RSVP will receive free reading kits and supplies for kids. The event from 6-8 at Jefferson-Houston School (1501 Cameron Street) is for Title I School families only (Cora Kelly STEM, John Adams, Jefferson Houston, Patrick Henry, and William Ramsay).  

Youth Voice Alexandria (October 15)
The first meeting of Youth Voice Alexandria, an initiative of the City of Alexandria, is scheduled for 4-6 p.m. at Lee Center (1108 Jefferson St.). The objective of Youth Voice Alexandria is to help youth ages 14-21 succeed by improving the mental health, child welfare, education and juvenile justice systems. For more information and to RSVP, contact Jeremy Long (703.470.0506).  

JobLink Open House (October 15)
Get a “Behind the Scenes” look at the Workforce Development Center, find out why over 300 employers choose JobLink for their staffing solutions, and meet with certified workforce development staff and program managers at an Open House from 4-5:30 p.m.  at 1900 N. Beauregard St., Suite 300.  RSVP by October 13 to reserve a seat.

Free Practice Tests for the ACT and SAT College Entrance Exams (October 15)
The tests will help students decide which exam to take and prepare them for dramatic changes the College Board is making to the SAT, effective 2016. The free practice exams will be administered during class. The Scores Feedback/Analysis session will be conducted on November 19 in the T.C. Williams Auditorium. (5:30 p.m. for juniors and 6:30 for sophomores).  

Anti-Bullying and Peace-Building Forum (October 16)
Middle School students and their parents are invited to participate in courageous conversations about what bullying looks like, the discouraging impact of bullying on the school community, and strategies for eliminating bullying while fostering peace, cooperation and friendship. The workshop will take place from 6-8 p.m. at Jefferson-Houston School (1501 Cameron St.).

T.C. Williams Offers SAT Prep Classes in October (October 18)
T.C. Williams is offering two SAT prep classes. “SAT Boot Camp” includes 12 hours of class of classroom instruction, two full-length practice exams, and unlimited access to online resources. The classes meet on Saturday mornings and the cost is $150 ($25 with proof of free/reduced lunch eligibility). “SAT Complete” includes 18 hours of classroom instruction, four full-length practice exams and unlimited access to online resources. Classes meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and practice exams are on Saturday mornings. The cost is $300 ($50 with proof of free/reduced lunch eligibility). Complete and return the online registration form with payment (checks payable to T.C. Williams HS) to Marianne Hetzer in the College and Career Center, Room A114.  

Mayor’s Campaign  to End Bullying Kick-Off Event (October 20)
The purpose of Mayor William D. Euille’s Campaign to End Bullying is to energize and mobilize the community to take action to end bullying. The kick-off event begins at 5 p.m. at T.C. Williams High School and includes dinner, discussion, and a screening of the film, “Bully”.  Please RSVP by October 14.  

Understanding the IEP Process (October 21)
The workshop from 10-11:30 a.m. in Room 134 at the Minnie Howard Campus is designed to give parents new to ACPS Special Education services a basic understanding of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. To register, contact Janet Reese, Parent Support Specialist (703.824.0129).  

Night of Science for ACPS Families (October 23)
The focus of the free family event at T.C. Williams is science, including programming robots and launching rockets. Bilingual workshops will be also offered to help parents learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, college admission, and financial aid. 

College Survival 101 (October 25)
The free interactive workshop from 9:30 a.m.– 4:00p.m. at Exploratory Hall at George Mason University (4699 Mattaponi River Lane in Fairfax) is geared towards preparing high school students for college. The day will begin with continental breakfast and entertainment for the students followed by a keynote speaker, a series of college readiness workshops (How to Select a Major, Stress Management, Entrepreneurship, Choosing a College, Science Technology Engineering and Math, Campus Life, Managing Your Finances and Social Life), lunch, a mini-college fair, a student panel discussion. Three participants will receive $500 book scholarships.   

Toast to Hope (October 25)
SCAN’s 12th annual Toast to Hope will take place from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Artisphere in Arlington (1101 Wilson Boulevard). Enjoy great food and company while making a difference in the lives of local children.  

Wildwood Alpacas Open Farm Days (October 25, November 22, December 13)
Wildwood Alpacas is a small, hands-on farm in Caroline County, just south of Fredericksburg, VA. Open farm days provide the opportunity to come out to the country and see the alpacas up close.  

College Night Virginia (October 28)
The free college-planning event begins at 6 p.m. will include free pizza, college-planning tips, and a chance to win one of three $500 scholarships. Experienced professionals will take the mystery out of financial aid and guide students through the process of planning and paying for college. College night can help students and parents see college as an affordable, attainable goal, and provide the tools to get there. College Night Virginia is co-sponsored by the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, the T.C. Williams College and Career Center, the ACPS Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Center, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Building Better Futures and ECMC. For more information, contact College Advisor Margaret Feldman at 703.824.6730.  

Volunteers Are the Heart of Alexandria (November 6)
Volunteer Alexandria will honor its community volunteers with a gala at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (401 Dulany St.) from 6-8:30 p.m. Contact staff of Volunteer Alexandria (703.836.2176) or visit the website for more information.  

Reunification Workshop at Sandburg Middle School (November 10, 17, 24 and December 1)
SCAN is sponsoring Reunification Workshops for immigrant families who have been reunited with their children after years of separation. The workshops will help parents and their teens, pre-teens and children open up about the challenges of reuniting as a family, develop health family communication around the sense of loss and frustration, and prepare the whole family for working together in the challenges of family life. There are no eligibility requirements and child care is provided. Workshops are scheduled for 6-8 p.m. at Mount Vernon High School (8515 Old Mt Vernon Road).  

Managing Anxiety (November 19)
A workshop sponsored by the ACPS Office of Special Education Services (703.619.8023) will provide parents with strategies that help their children manage anxiety and stress, cope with disappointment, and maximize their strengths. Registration closes November 12.  

National Mentoring Summit (January 28-30)
Early Bird registration ends October 3 for the summit in Washington, D.C. hosted by the National Mentoring Partnership. In accordance with the summit theme “Expanding the Mentoring Effect”, workshop sessions will focus on how mentoring can support youth in reaching positive outcomes.

Careers/Volunteerism 

Help Titan Entrepreneurs Win ‘Elevator Pitch’ Contest
T.C. Williams High School senior Abby Hamilton and recent graduate Emma West are competing to win $2,500 from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). To help them win, vote for the elevator pitch for their business, Patriot Portraits (located in the middle of the third row on the voting page). Once you vote, you must go to your email to confirm so that your vote is counted. Patriot Portraits provides discount photography sessions for military families. The business pairs student photographers with military families wanting photo sessions. Abby and Emma came up with the idea for their business in their T.C. Williams Entrepreneurship class.  

Fostering Futures Fall Coat Drive
The Fund for Alexandria’s Child is hosting its annual coat drive to help ensure that children in foster care or at risk of abuse and neglect are able to keep warm through what promises to be another bitter winter.  The coat drive runs from October 1 to November 26. The Fund is also participating in ACTion Alexandria’s “Fall into Giving” from October 6 to October 31.  

Parent Leadership Training Institute Accepting Applications
The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) is currently accepting applications for its 20-week program in leadership skills, community building, civics, public policy, and practical democracy action. Applications will be accepted until October 15. PLTI coursework is aimed at parents, grandparents, and caretakers of children who want to learn how to advocate effectively for the future of their children. Many graduates have already won awards and recognition for their community projects and their service on city, school, and community advisory boards and committees. The program is free to class participants. Dinner, childcare, the Children’s Leadership Training Institute, and translation services are provided at no charge if needed. For more information and to request an application, contact PLTI, visit the website, or call Adrienne Fikes, Executive Director (703.739.0233)  

Alexandria School Board Soliciting Applications for Stakeholder Committee
The Alexandria City School Board is soliciting applications for membership on the Stakeholder Committee that will draft a new Strategic Plan for the Alexandria City Public Schools. The Strategic Plan is the foundation document for all of the actions of the school division. It directs the actions that the division takes in meeting the goals and aspirations of community, and guides the activities of employees and leaders as well as the expenditure of all funds entrusted to the School Board. Please direct any questions to Dr. J. Michael Korff, Coordinator of Strategic Planning and Policy.  

ACPS Seeks Members for Honors Review Committee
ACPS invites interested members of the community to consider participating in an Honors Review Committee to address such key questions as “How can we ensure maximum student access to and success in ACPS Honors coursework at both the middle and high school levels?’ The committee will be comprised of 20 members, including community representatives, administrators, teachers and Central Office personnel. Online registration is available.  

SAPCA Newsletter
Read about the Alexandria Fire Department’s Youth Explorer Program in the September edition of the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria.  

Child Advocates Law Scholarship
The law firm of Steinger, Iscoe & Greene is accepting applications from child advocates or abuse survivors seeking a law degree. A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to one applicant. The deadline for applications is November 30.  

National Kind Teacher Award
Each year the Humane Society of the United States Foundation recognizes an outstanding teacher who consistently incorporates humane education into his or her curriculum and/or motivates students to get involved in community services for animals. Nominees must be a preK-12 classroom teacher who includes humane lessons in the curriculum or inspires students to act on behalf of animals. Self-nominations are accepted. The deadline for nominations is February 15, 2015.  

Call for Abstracts for Weight of the State 2015 Conference
The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth and Prevention Connections are seeking plenary and concurrent session presenters for the Weight of the State 2015 conference (April 20-21, 2015). Proposed sessions should focus on developing, implementing and evaluating policy, systems and environmental changes, and highlighting replicable strategies for communities throughout Virginia. Abstracts must be submitted by October 15.  

Community Innovation Awards
Connect 4 Mental Health will issue four awards to U.S. based community groups exhibiting innovative work in the four C$MH pillars – early intervention, creative use of technology, continuity of care, and service integration (one winner in each pillar). Each of the winners will receive a $10,000 award and access to a one-on-one mentorship program featuring exemplary community-based programs with expertise in the four C4MH pillars. The deadline is October 3.  

Leavey Awards for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education
The Freedoms Foundation promotes the ideals and principles of a free society and encourages all Americans to embrace both their rights and their responsibilities. The foundation’s Leavey Awards for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education honor outstanding educators at the elementary, junior high school, high school, and college levels for innovative and effective techniques in teaching entrepreneurship and the free enterprise education. Up to twenty cash awards of $7,500 each are made annually. One award of $15,000 may be made for an outstanding entry. The application deadline is November 1.

Grantsmanship

DCHS Office of Youth Services Listing of Grant Opportunities
 The DCHS Office of Youth Services compiled a listing of grant opportunities on August 13

Research & Resources

New Principal Brings ‘Fresh Hope’ to Struggling Alexandria School
Chris Phillips took over as principal at Jefferson-Houston on September 22. He is the third principal in four years.  

Building a Blueprint to Improve Youth Outcomes
The feature article in the latest edition of the national newsletter of Ready by 21 highlights the Alexandria Children & Youth Master Plan.  

Building Resilient Children, One Story at a Time
SCAN has published its first white paper for child and family professionals. A resource focused on building resiliency in children through books, it includes research, directives, references, and calls to action.

New Mobile Art Lab
The City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities launched a new Mobile Art Lab. Working in collaboration with local and regional artists, the Mobile Art Lab provides arts access throughout Alexandria by going directly to the people. The Mobile Art Lab up-fitted with a surplus truck from Arlington with art supplies and equipment that will enable quality, engaging arts programs to happen anywhere in the city. To find out where the Mobile Art Lab will be next, follow on Twitter@alexArtLab or contact Deputy Director Diane Ruggiero (703.746.5590).  

ACPS Announces 2014-25 Accreditation and Federal Accountability Results
The Virginia Department of Education released statewide results for the Accreditation and Federal Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) accountability systems. Concurrently, VDOE updated and released all school, division and state report cards on the VDOE website. Fifteen of the 16 schools within ACPS were accredited based on the 2014 data. Four of these schools were accredited with warning in one or more content areas. As a combined school, George Washington Middle School is fully accredited for the 2014-15 school year. In addition, ACPS has made available the ACPS Assessment Update: 2013-2014 Preliminary Results.  

Census: Nearly 1 in 5 Children in U.S. in Poverty
According to new Census figures, nearly one in five children in the United Stated lived in poverty last year, with a much higher proportion of poverty among African-American and Hispanic children. Overall, the number of children living in poverty declined slightly from 21.8% of all children (16.07 million) in 2012 to 19.9% (14.66 million) in 2013. Nearly 37% of African-American children and just over 30% of Hispanic children lived in poverty in 2013.   

Federal Spending on Kids to Increase Only 2 Percent Over Next Decade
According to a new report from the Urban Institute, children’s programs are projected to receive only 2 cents on every dollar of a $1.4 trillion increase in federal spending over the next decade. During the same period, overall federal spending is projected to increase a whopping 41%, to $4.8 trillion, owing largely to spending on programs for the elderly, the national debt and higher interest on it. Spending on children will rise by about $26 billion, or just 2%, between now and 2024, as compared with an increase of about 10% on federal children’s spending from 2003 to 2013.  

Children’s Rights Groups Against Giving School Cops Military Hardware
More than 20 national education and civil rights advocates sent a letter to Department of Defense officials that urged an end to giving U.S. school police departments anti-mine vehicles, military-grade firearms like M16s and even grenade launchers.  

Congressman Calls Federal School ‘Bake Sale’ Rules ‘Abuse of Government Power’
Quoting U.S. Rep Ted Poe, R-Texas, “The Washington regulators, many of whom have their kids go to private schools that are not covered by the new rules, say kale chips and quinoa are to replace snow cones and Valentine candy. Isn’t that lovely?” The first-of-their-kind rules, which took effect July 1, set nutrition standards for all foods schools participating in federal meal programs offer throughout the school day, such as they sold in vending machines, in school stores, and at student fundraisers.  

Report Identifies States with Highest Rates of Obesity Among High Schoolers
According to a report released by the Trust for American’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, there has been an increase in the percentage of children considered obese (10.6% to 16.6%) from 1999 to 2013.  

Report Shows Variation in How States Stack Up Against International Standards
A new report from the American Institutes for Research showed that what states expect students to know varies widely and often falls short of international standards for learning.  

“Leaders and Laggards’: A State-by-State Report Card on K-12 Educational Effectiveness
The report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation found that while every state has improved on K-12 policy since 2007, states still show “wide variation” in how much their K-12 spending results in strong outcomes. The report concluded that, “American students are a long way from being internationally competitive”.  

States Far From Uniform in Commitment to Kindergarten
Despite kindergarten’s pivotal role in preparing children for reading and other academics, state laws on what districts must provide still vary widely, resulting in a patchwork of mandatory and voluntary half-day and full-day offerings. Some educators contend the disparities can leave children less than prepared for the demands of 1st grade.  

Map: Kindergarten Requirements Nationwide
States that require school districts to offer kindergarten differ on whether they must offer a full-day or half-day. Districts often choose to offer a full-day program even when the state does not mandate it, with funding coming from local revenue or fees charged to parents.  

CDC: Nearly Eight in Ten Children Miss Developmental Screenings
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only about 21% of parents in 2007 reported that they were asked to fill out a questionnaire from their health-care provider about their child’s developmental, communication, or social behaviors – an essential step in steering children to early-intervention services. The CDC concluded that in general, children are not receiving enough preventive care. It recommended that young children be screened for developmental delays at 9, 18, and either 24 or 30 months. Recommended screening for autism spectrum disorder is at 18 months and either 24 or 30 months.  

Keeping 9th Graders on Track Can Move Grad Rate
Research by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research concluded students who end their 9th grade year on track are four times more likely to earn a diploma than those who fall off-track.  

Results First Clearinghouse Database
A new tool has been unveiled to help measure the effectiveness of interventions in areas such as early education, mental health, and criminal justice. The Pew-MacArthur Results First team (a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation) released an online database that ranks various interventions based on the ratings of eight national research clearinghouses.  

Student-Centered Practices for Underserved Youth
Researchers at Stanford University studying schools that succeed for low-income students of color in California found that there are a set of student-centered practices that enable students to access the kinds of deeper learning experiences they need to achieve success in college, career, and life. The belief that students from low-income backgrounds are incapable of deeper learning has been difficult to challenge because educators have not had access to clear and compelling examples that show how it can be done. The research provides such examples and identifies essential instructional practices that other schools can adopt to create deeper learning environments.   

Growth of Online Reading Fuels New Achievement Gap
A study by a team of researchers at the University of Connecticut found “a large and significant achievement gap, based on income inequality, in an important new area for learning – the ability to read on the Internet to learn information”. They speculated that the online reading achievement gap could derive in large part from unequal expectations for how the Internet should be used in school. In the study, students in the lower-middle income category (median income of $58,981) were six times as likely as students from the upper-income category (median family income of $119,228) to report that they were never required to use the Internet while at school.  

‘The Rule’: Documentary Looks at Newark Private School Run by Monks
St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, NJ is run by Benedictine monks. Nearly all of the school’s graduate go to college, and 85% finish. Filmmakers Jerome Bongiorna and MaryLou Tibaldo-Bongiorno frame St. Benedict’s as a model for improving inner-city education beyond the school’s walls.  

Arne Duncan Says Adults Let African-American Students Down, Seeks Advice
"Whether it's here in Birmingham or Ferguson, Missouri ...  we have young men—black, Latino—who have extraordinary talents, extraordinary gifts, and somehow we as a society have not let those gifts flourish," said U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan, alluding to the recent shooting in the Missouri community that sparked week-long demonstrations, some of which were violent. "And the heartbreak in that doesn't come without consequences. Our job is to listen, and our job is to find ways to support you."  

Arne Duncan: Schools Must Give Poor and Minority Students Equal Access to Resources
Months after data collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights showed deep disparities between poor and minority students and more advantaged peers when it comes to educational resources, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is putting school districts and states on notice that the Office for Civil Rights can investigate states, districts, and even schools that are not doing enough to ensure equal access on everything from high-quality facilities to Advanced Placement courses.  

Tupelo, Miss. District to Rework School Discipline Under Civil Rights Agreement
The school district in Tupelo, Miss. will rework its discipline policies following a voluntary agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The agreement follows a review of 2010-11 and 2011-12 discipline data by OCR, which found that “black students had been disproportionately subjected to discipline at every stage in the district’s discipline process”. Because of the way policies were implemented, black students often received harsher discipline than white students for similar offenses.  

Discipline Debates Turn to Broad Terms Like ‘Defiance’
The focus of many school districts around the nation is limiting or eliminating the ability to suspend students for broad offenses like “willful defiance” and “disruption”. The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice recommend districts clearly define broad offenses such as ‘acting in a threatening manner” to ensure they are applied fairly.

Making College Access a Local Reality
Sixty-six percent of the 2013 Buffalo, NY high school graduating class enrolled in two or four-year colleges compared to 57% in 2012. The gains coincided with the launch in 2012 of Say Yes Buffalo, an affiliate of Say Yes to Education. Say Yes, a nonprofit organization, has worked with the leadership of the City of Buffalo, Erie County, and the Buffalo school district to galvanize and organize an array of local partners around the goal of increasing postsecondary-completion rates.  

Helping Families Protect Themselves From Recurring Trauma
Researchers at the University of Maryland’s Family-Informed Trauma Treatment Center have identified ways to help families that live in what is called a “traumatic context”. The center offers two versions of Strengthening Family Coping Resources, a multi-week program that helps families deal with recurring stressors and protect themselves from future threats to their emotional and mental health.  

Trauma Informed Care: Perspectives and Resources
A new free online tool created by the Georgetown University National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health and JBS International, Inc. aims to support state and local decision-makers, administrators, providers, parents, and youth and family advocates to become more trauma involved. The tool includes video interviews, issue briefs, key resources and links that will be updated monthly.  

Family Dinners May Help Teens’ Mental Health
A recent study suggests that family dinners could be food for the mental health of many teens. Researchers found that this type of regular dinner pattern could help prevent bullying and cyberbullying, which occurs in about 1 in 5 adolescents.  

Teaching Teenagers That People Change May Help Prevent Depression
Growth mindset researchers have found that children's academic achievement improves when they understand that their mind is capable of change, and that they aren't born with fixed skill sets they can't outgrow. New research, published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, seeks to apply the same idea to social and emotional issues, teaching teenagers that personality traits are changeable in an effort to counteract the increased risk of depression during adolescence.  

Measuring Social and Emotional Development
Child Trends is vetting existing measures of social and emotional development in early childhood for the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, and is preparing an inventory of measures with a paper reviewing the measures according to multiple criteria. The areas of social-emotional development being reviewed include emotional competence, social competence, self-regulation, behavior problems, and executive function. In another report, Child Trends suggested ways to incorporate social and emotional skills measurement into regular classroom data collection.  

Exercise Before School Can Ward Off ADHD Symptoms
The main finding of researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Vermont who examined 200 kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders, about half of whom were deemed to be at risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), was thirty minutes of vigorous exercise before the school day can help improve the focus of a child with ADHD.   

Fiction Teachers Students Empathy, Research Shows
A psychologist tested 55 children and their parents to explore the correlation between the parents’ familiarity with children’s texts and their children’s performance on theory of mind tests. The tests examined if children can attribute beliefs and desires to themselves and recognize that others may have differing beliefs and desires. Children whose parents were better at recognizing children’s books performed substantially better on theory of mind tests. It is believed conversations between parents and their children about these stories helps children develop an understanding of the characters.  

Delving Into Tough Questions About Teen Pregnancy
A growing body of research has linked experiences of abuse and adolescent pregnancy. Researchers assessed what is already known about the effect of particular types of abuse on young people’s likelihood of becoming or getting someone pregnant, and reviewed and analyzed 38 independent studies conducted in the United States and other countries.  

Toolkit to Incorporate Adolescent Relationship Abuse Prevention Into Existing Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Programming
A toolkit developed by the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program’s Training and Technical Assistance and Meeting Logistical Support project for the Family and Youth Services Bureau walks sexual health educators and other youth workers through the steps of making relationship violence prevention an integral part of their adolescent pregnancy prevention work.  

Student Newspaper Editor Suspended for Not Printing ‘Redskins’ Nickname
The editor-in-chief and faculty advisor for the newspaper of a high school in Pennsylvania were suspended for refusing to print the nickname “Redskins”. The principal instructed them to print the word in full or not print the paper at all.  

‘Friday Night Lights’ Author Warns Against Allowing Children to Play Football
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Friday Night Lights” wrote a column for Time magazine condemning parents for allowing children to play football. Buzz Bissinger cited the risks of developing long-term brain damage as his main concern.  

Minnesota Tallies Concussions Among H.S. Student-Athletes
According to new estimates from the Minnesota Department of Health, high school students in the state suffered roughly 3,000 sports-related concussions during the 2013-14 school year.  

A Second College Quarterback Calls It Quits Due to Concussion-Related Concerns
Quarterbacks at the University of Texas and University of Connecticut have retired from football because of concussions.  

New NFL, NCAA Statistics Paint Scary Picture About Football and Brain Damage
The NFL admitted in court documents that “it expects nearly a third of retired players to develop long-term cognitive problems and that the conditions are likely to emerge at ‘notably younger ages’ than the general population”.  An expert report from plaintiffs in the concussion lawsuit against the NCAA alleged college football players to be “three times more likely than the general population to have symptoms related to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a debilitating disease associated with repetitive head trauma”.  

Marvel to Release Special Anti-Bullying Comic Editions
Marvel Entertainment released seven variant comic-book covers in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month (October). Created in partnership with STOMP Out Bullying, the covers will be available only at comic book shops and are intended to bring attention to the issue of bullying across the nation. Comics and graphic novels can also help reluctant students get interested in reading.   

KnowBullying
The free smartphone app provides parents, caretakers, educators, and others information and support to address youth bullying. The mobile app, developed in collaboration with the federal partnership StopBullying.gov, is available for iPhone and Android users. Key features include: how to start a conversation with a child about bullying; how to prevent bullying for ages 3-6, 7-13, and older teens; how to recognize whether bullying is affecting a child; how and when to talk with children about bullying issues; getting advice and support through social media; educator-focused strategies for preventing bullying in the classroom, and supporting children who are bullied. Another app known as Bully Alert will help kids report bullying. All reports go directly to designated school administrators who can see the reports online. It was developed by a student at a career and technical school whose younger sister cried every night for two months because of bullying.  

Cyberbullying Increases as Students Get Older
A study led by an assistant professor at the University of California Riverside’s School of Education found students transition from traditional bullying to cyberbullying as they get older. There was also a considerable increase in bullying from 5th to 6th grade, which is attributed to the transition from elementary to middle school. 

America’s Young Adults: Special Issue, 2014
A new report from the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics paints a portrait of the 31.2 million young adults (18 – 24 year-olds) in the United States. Compared to previous generations of young adults, today’s 18 to 24 year-olds are more racially and ethnically diverse, more likely to graduate from high school and attend college, and less likely to smoke. At the same time, they have more student debt than generations past and earn less than their counterparts in the year 2000. More than 1 in 5 young adults in the United States is obese.  

“A Walk in My Shoes: First Generation College Students”
The video presents inspiring stories from first-generation students at Kansas State University who have overcome challenges and are preparing to give back as educators.   

America’s Hispanic Children: Gaining Ground, Looking Forward
While there is extensive data and significant research identifying the strengths and challenges of many groups of children in the United States, that is less true when it comes to Hispanic children. Child Trends has compiled a report that presents a rich and nuanced statistical portrait of America’s Latino children drawn from the latest national-representative data.  

Five Things to Know About LGBTQ Youth
For a variety of biological and social reasons, adolescence is a time when many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth begin to self-identify as such. In a recent Gallup poll, young adults were three times as likely as seniors to identify as LGBT). Despite these numbers, good data and research on outcomes for LGBTQ populations are relatively new and in short supply. Even less is known about the needs of LGBTQ youth in particular. The Child Trends brief outlines five things known about LGBTQ youth.  

Health Care Sector Guide on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking
Health care professionals frequently come into contact with youth who have past, ongoing, or potential sexual exploitation for commercial purposes or sex trafficking victimization. According to the 2013 report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States, the United States is in the early stages of recognizing, understanding, and developing solutions to prevent these crimes. A new supplement to the report Guide for the Health Care Sector is designed for use by health care professionals and in settings where youth are treated for injury and illness or taught about prevention.  

Law Enforcement Response to Child Abuse
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention published a guide that provides information to help law enforcement personnel ensure consistency in child abuse investigations, understand their role on a multi-disciplinary child protection team during a child abuse case, and establish procedures and protocols for working with other professionals to meet the needs of abused children.  

Expungement App Tries to Help Erase Minors’ Records
A 2013 report by the Juvenile Justice Council noted common obstacles to expungement that juveniles face and ways to improve them and recommended the creation of a workshop for juveniles on how to clear their records. A free mobile app was the result. The app allows users to connect to lawyers or a legal team that would guide them through the expungement process.  

Justice Department Announces National Effort to Build Trust Between Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve
The Justice Department’s National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice will create a substantial investment in training, evidence-based strategies, policy development and research to combat distrust and hostility between law enforcement and the communities they serve. The initiative, which will be an ongoing partnership with the Justice Department, will provide training to law enforcement and communities on bias reduction and procedural fairness, and will apply evidence-based strategies in five pilot sites around the country.  

Only 15 States Have Drug Amnesty Laws to Protect Overdosers, Friends
Georgia is the 15th state to pass a law ensuring those who call 911 in case of an overdose will not face criminal charges. These so-called Good Sam laws, the first of which was passed in New Mexico in 2001, aim to save lives by getting medical help, not criminal charges, for someone who has overdosed. The laws also protect the friend who calls 911 and stays with the person.      

Workshops & Webinars

Next Steps in Using Your Health Insurance (October 8, 1-2 p.m.)
The webinar and conference call will discuss how to read an insurance card, find a doctor, what one needs to know when making an appointment, and what to do in case of a health emergency. Key terms will be discussed as well as recommended health screenings.  

Communities Defining Quality Collective Impact (October 8, 1-2 p.m.)
Over 49 communities are working together through the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network to define quality collective impact. The panel will discuss the proven, rigorous approach these communities are using to build civic infrastructure and share stories regarding how cross-sector partnerships on the ground are implementing innovative approaches to support the unique needs of every child.  

Giving Voice to the Last Silent Victims (October 16, 2-3 p.m.)
Male survivors of child sexual abuse are among the most underserved of all victim populations. The webinar will address common dynamics associated with male victimization, common tactics that predators use against boys, and how these issues can be overcome.  

Collective Impact for Policymakers: Working Together for Children and Youth (October 22, 3-4 p.m.)
“Folk Law” is one of the policy barriers that routinely prevent partnerships from working together better. Explore that and other issues in a free webinar about how public policies impede collective impact, and how they can enhance it instead.  

Too Much Collective, Too Little Impact (November 5, 1-2 p.m.)
What happens when several initiatives in one community pursue overlapping missions, members and audiences? How can they reduce competition and redundancy, and increase impact? The webinar will share the lessons of the Forum for Youth Investment’s work with communities to align multiple collective impact efforts, and presents a case study of the efforts of the Forum for Youth Investment in Northern Kentucky, where it helped several education-focused initiatives align through one backbone organization.

 

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