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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 August 8 Edition: 

Events
Spit’in Anger (August 9)
Meet and Greet for New John Adams Principal (August 12)
Back-to-School Night Dates (August 12 – September 23)
Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference (August 18-20)
Free College Essay Workshop (August 19)
Regional Language Access Leadership Conference (September 24)
IMPACT 2014: Innovation+Philanthropy (October 1)
Rock and Stroll to End Homelessness (October 11) 

Careers/Volunteerism
Alexandria Fire Department Youth Explorer Program
FACE Center Kicks Off School Supplies Drive
Survey Solicits Information for the Development of a Regional Suicide Prevention Plan
Pro Bono Professional Services to Nonprofit Organizations
Boren Scholarships and Fellowships
Digital Innovation Fellowships
Support for Early Career Scholars in China Studies
Grants for Historical Research of Science, Technology in East Asia
Soros Justice Fellowships in Advocacy and Media
I Love My Librarian Award
Shell Science Teaching Award
Freedoms Foundation Leavey Awards
Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s Tylenol National Child Care Teacher Awards
Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize
Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP)
Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA) Newsletter
Volunteer Times  
 

Grantsmanship
DCHS Office of Youth Services Listing of Grant Opportunities
 

Research & Resources
Women’s Domestic Violence Support Group
Adverse Childhood Experiences Take a Toll on Health
Adverse Experiences Affect Teens
Glass Half Full: The Bright Side of ACEs Research
Child Abuse Prevention Fact Sheets
Child Maltreatment Data Available Online
Understanding the Risks to the Children Crossing the Border
Fastest Growing Group of Migrants Arriving at Border: Children Under 12
Two High Schools for English-Learners to Open in Prince Georges County, MD
In Fight Over Border Funding, House GOP Targets Reprieve for DREAMers
Obama’s Deferred Action Program: A Statistical Look at Youths’ Participation
Poverty Has Spread to the Suburbs (And to Suburban Schools)
U.S. Principals More Likely to View Their Students as Disadvantaged
Multigenerational Programs Aim to Break Poverty Cycle
Race to the Top is Five Years Old, But Did It Actually Improve Student Achievement?
What Happens on K-12 Policy if Republicans Take Over the U.S. Senate?
AFT, NEA Agendas Converge Amid External, Internal Pressure
Nebraska Agency to Track Effects of ‘Whole Child’ Factors on Achievement
District Research Reveals Ways to Help At-Risk Students Graduate
Increased OST Connections Provide Continued Benefits
Nearly $200 Million Pledged to Help Boys of Color
More Schools Open Their Doors to the Whole Community
How Can We Strengthen Schools Serving Low-Income Children
Born Amid Tumult, Head Start Deeply Rooted in Mississippi
Philadelphia District Invites Educators, Community to Redesign Schools
Boston Plan for Cameras and Microphones on School Buses Under Fire
Conflict Between Reno Superintendent and School Board Roils District
Los Angeles Superintendent Challenges Leaders to Drive Down Dropout Rate
Memphis-Area School Year Starts with Opening of Six Breakaway Districts
Documentary Shines Harsh Light on a School for Troubled Teens
Lawsuits Targeting Federal Health Care Law Could Impact K-12 Districts
CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report
A Loophole Big Enough for an Ice Cream Truck in the New Snacks Rules
Cultivating Fresh Produce and Youth Leadership in the Garden
Where Kids Run the Show: Developing Youth Leaders
New California Law Restricts Full-Contact Youth-Football Practices
Football Practice of ‘Two-a-Days’ Phasing Out
The Need for Speed Endangers Young Pitchers
E-Cigarettes Cloud Schools’ Anti-Smoking Policies
Senate Democrats Urge FDA to Regulate E-Cigarette Marketing to  Children
Teen Use of Synthetic Human Growth Hormone Doubles
School Discriminated Against Pregnant Student, Complaint Says
Easing Drug Laws the Answer to the Nation’s Drug, Prison Problem – Or Precursor to More Crime?
Legalizing Pot Has Not Led to Increased Use Among Teenagers
Racial-Ethnic Fairness
Youth Need More Ways to Get Back on Course
What to Expect & When to Seek Help
Five Ways to Help Youth Stay in School and Get Jobs
How ‘Social Networks’ Affect Homeless Youths’ Inclination to Get Help Finding Jobs
App Aims to Boost Comprehension by Putting E-Books to Music  

 Workshops & Webinars 
Supporting Families with LGBTQ Youth (August 11)
Improving the Behavioral Health of Boys and Young Men of Color: Addressing Data Challenges (August 18)
Trends in Grant Awards – Which Organizations Win Over $100,000 in Grant Awards (August 26)
Supporting Young Veterans and Young Parents (On-Demand) 

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Events

Spit’in Anger (August 9)
A national award winning documentary by Kenneth Braswell that explores anger as a result of fatherlessness in young black boys and men will be featured at the Lee Center Auditorium (1108 Jefferson Street) from 12 – 3 p.m. For tickets or more information contact Franklyn Malone (202.361.0761) or Jackie Surratt (571.839.9886). 
 

Meet and Greet for New John Adams Principal (August 12)
A Meet and Greet will take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Cafetorium of John Adams  (5651 Rayburn Avenue) to introduce parents to the newest ACPS principal – Jill Lee. 

Back-to-School Night Dates (August 12 – September 23)
ACPS Back-to-School Nights are opportunities for parents to visit their children’s classrooms, meet teachers and learn more about this year’s classes 

Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference (August 18-20)
The conference sponsored by the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) and the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA) will take place  from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on August 18, 19 and 20 at First Baptist Church (2932 King St). Completed applications should be forwarded to Lisette Torres. Information is also available on the ACAP and SAPCA websites. 

Free College Essay Workshop (August 19)
In the free college essay workshop at T.C. Williams, participants will learn how to get ideas that are uniquely suited to the admissions process and how to organize essays. The 90-minute workshop will begin at 4 p.m. Register by emailing Karen Schwarz. 

Regional Language Access Leadership Conference (September 24)
Leaders can improve communication with the community, enhance operations, and reduce disparities in access to services and outcomes for communities by guiding efforts to develop language access services across their organizations. A one-of-a-kind discussion on implementation, funding, sustainment, and evaluation of language services in government is scheduled from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. (breakfast and registration begin at 8 a.m.) at George Mason University – Founders Hall (3351 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington). Online registration is available for the free event. 

IMPACT 2014: Innovation+Philanthropy (October 1)
Join ACT for Alexandria and hundreds of community leaders across the region at a capacity building forum from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Alexandria (2932 King Street). The keynote speaker is Patty Stonesifer, President and CEO of Martha’s Table. The event concludes with a networking lunch and information about ACT’s Capacity Building Grant Program. Register by September 5 to receive a special, discounted rate. 

Rock and Stroll to End Homelessness (October 11)
Community Lodgings is partnering with five other local non-profits to support the 10k/5k run benefiting the elimination of homelessness in the Alexandria community. The 10k run begins at 8 a.m. and the 5K at 9 a.m. at John Carlyle Square Park (300 John Carlyle Street). Registrations and donations can be submitted online. 

Careers/Volunteerism 

Alexandria Fire Department Youth Explorer Program
In conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America, the Alexandria Fire Department established Explorer Post 1774, which allows youth ages 14 through 20 to gain experience with the Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The goal of the program is to provide experiences to help young people develop career and life skills through community involvement. Additional information is available on the Explorer Post 1774 website. 

FACE Center Kicks Off School Supplies Drive
The Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Center of Alexandria City Public Schools, in partnership with Community Partners for Children, is collecting backpacks, spiral notebooks, wide-rule notebook paper, pens, pencils, crayons, erasers, two-pocket folders pencil pouches, scissors, rulers, and school supplies for all age groups. Collection bins have been placed at local businesses. Supplies will be then be distributed to ACPS students through the social workers at each school. Volunteers are needed to sort school supplies on Tuesday, August 26 at T. C. Williams. To volunteer, email Krishna Leyva. 

Survey Solicits Information for the Development of a Regional Suicide Prevention Plan
The Community Service Boards of Northern Virginia is asking community members to complete a brief survey to provide important information for the development of a regional suicide prevention plan. The survey is open to anyone and will be open until August 15. 

Pro Bono Professional Services to Nonprofit Organizations
The Taproot Foundation connects nonprofit organizations with the services of professional consultants on a pro bono basis. Each service grant has a minimum value of $45,000 and is delivered by a team of five to six business professionals who donate their time and expertise to nonprofit organizations in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Washington, D.C. The deadline for applications is September 1. 

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships
An initiative of the National Security Education Program, the Boren Awards provide funding for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study in regions of the globe that are critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study-abroad programs. Boren Fellowships provide up to $30,000 to U.S. graduate students to add an international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency. The deadline for Boren Scholarships is February 4, 2015. The deadline for Boren Fellowships is January 27, 2015) 

Digital Innovation Fellowships
The fellowships support digitally-based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and related social services. The aim of the program is to provide scholars with the means to pursue intellectually significant projects that deploy digital technologies intensively and innovatively. Each fellowship carries a stipend of up to $60,000 toward an academic year’s leave and provides for project costs of up to $25,000. The program is open to scholars in all fields of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences. The deadline for applications is September 24. 

Support for Early Career Scholars in China Studies
The program of the Henry Luce Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies seeks to maintain the vitality of China studies in the United States through fellowships and grants for scholars. Pre-dissertation Grants for Research in China are designed to enable doctoral candidates to spend 3-4 months in China. Grants provide $5,000 for travel costs. Postdoctoral Fellowships provide support for scholars in preparing their Ph.D. dissertation research for publication or in embarking on new research projects.  Fellowships provide up to $50,000 for a maximum of one academic year and minimum of one semester. Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grants of up to $15,000 provide opportunities for scholars of different disciplines to share in-depth investigation of texts that are essential points of entry to Chinese periods, traditions, communities, or events in contemporary or historical times. The deadline for applications is October 1. 

Grants for Historical Research of Science, Technology in East Asia
The D. Kim Foundation provides fellowships and grants in support of graduate students and young scholars pursuing studies in the history of science and technology in East Asia from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. One fellowship of up to $55,000 will be awarded annually to a distinguished young scholar who has received his/her doctoral degree within the past five years. One or two fellowships of up to $25,000 each will be awarded annually to Ph.D. candidates who are writing their dissertations. Several grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded annually to scholars who are traveling either to present papers or conduct short-term research projects. Several grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to groups that organize workshops or international meetings. The deadline for applications is December 15. 

Soros Justice Fellowships in Advocacy and Media
The fellowships support outstanding individuals working to implement innovative projects that advance reform and spur debate on a range of issues facing the criminal justice system in the United States. Fellowships of up to $110,250 will be awarded in two categories: advocacy and media. Applications are due October 22. 

I Love My Librarian Award
The award encourages library users to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, and college librarians. Administered by the American Library Association, with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York and the New York Times Company, the program seeks nominations that describe how a librarian is improving the lives of people in a school, campus or community. Up to ten winners will be selected to receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque, and a $500 travel stipend to attend an awards reception in New York hosted by the New York Times. Nominations will be accepted until September 12. 

Shell Science Teaching Award
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), with support from Shell Oil Company, is inviting nominations for an annual award program that recognizes an outstanding K-12 classroom teacher who has had a positive impact on his/her students, school, and community through exemplary science teaching. The award includes a $10,000 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to attend NSTA’s national conference; two finalists also will receive all-expense-paid trips to the conference. Nominations are due November 18.  

Freedoms Foundation Leavey Awards
The foundation is accepting nominations for an annual program that recognizes educators at the elementary, junior high school, high school and college levels for innovative and effective techniques related to the teaching of entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system. Up to twenty cash awards of $7,500 will be awarded. The deadline for applications is November 1. 

Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s Tylenol National Child Care Teacher Awards
The national award program acknowledges the critical role of child care teachers in providing high-quality child care. Fifty child care teachers will receive between $500 and $1,000 in recognition of their special dedication as well as $500 for a classroom enhancement project. The top ten qualifiers become finalists for the Helene Marks Award for the National Childcare Teacher of the Year. The teacher chosen as the Helene Marks Award recipient will receive an additional $1,000 cash award. Applications must be submitted by December 8. 

Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize
The annual award is given to an organization anywhere in the world judged to have made extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering. The $1.5 million prize is intended not only to recognize and advance efforts of the recipient organization, but also to call attention to the worldwide need for humanitarian aid and to encourage others to expand their support. The deadline for nominations is August 31. 

Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP)
Among the articles in the latest edition of the ACAP eNewsletter is an introduction to the social media interns hired by ACAP. Both students at T.C. Williams, they well be responsible for creating and posting content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. 

Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA) Newsletter
The latest edition of the SAPCA newsletter highlights a study that found receiving text messages about binge drinking after visiting the emergency room can help young adults reduce their hazardous alcohol consumption by more than 50%. 

Volunteer Times
The latest edition of the newsletter of Volunteer Alexandria includes a welcome to its new board members.  

Grantsmanship

DCHS Office of Youth Services Listing of Grant Opportunities
The DCHS Office of Youth Services compiled a listing of grant opportunities on July 25 and August 5. 

Research & Resources

Women’s Domestic Violence Support Group
Safe Circle is a women’s empowerment group for residents of the City of Alexandria who are survivors of intimate partner violence. The confidential support group meets on Tuesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. A children’s support group runs concurrently and child care is provided for younger children. Contact Jeannie (703.746.4911) for location details. 

Adverse Childhood Experiences Take a Toll on Health
A new report from Child Trends shows that just under half of children in the U.S. have had at least one of a series of major, potentially traumatic events associated with an increased risk of poor health and illness as adults. One in ten kids has experienced three or more of eight adverse childhood experiences included in the National Survey of Children's Health, such as economic hardship, witnessing domestic violence at home, or living with a divorced parent or guardian. 

Adverse Experiences Affect Teens
Fifteen percent of teens ages 12 to 17 have had three or more of the adverse experiences studied by Child Trends. Nearly half of teenagers who have had three or more adverse experiences have low levels of engagement in school, and more than 20% have repeated a grade. These youth are far more likely to argue a lot, even bully, or be cruel to others. 

Glass Half Full: The Bright Side of ACEs Research
The list of prestigious organizations and government entities collecting and reporting on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs, aka “toxic stress”) had grown in recent months. 

Child Abuse Prevention Fact Sheets
As a Matter of Fact, the prevention fact sheet series published by the National Children’s Advocacy Center (NCAC) discusses key research findings on the importance of child abuse prevention and is presented in a single sheet format that is easy to access, read, and distribute. The fact sheets are intended to promote the use of research to guide child abuse prevention practices. 

Child Maltreatment Data Available Online
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has launched an online access tool of national data gathered from the “Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4) Report to Congress”. The NIS-4 data provide updated estimates of the number of children who are abused or neglected. 

Understanding the Risks to the Children Crossing the Border
As policymakers determine how best to address the nearly 60,000 unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border over the last nine months, it is important to consider what research says about the effects of toxic stress on children and their long-term development. While the child migrants enter the U.S. from Mexico, most children crossing the border in recent months originated from the “Northern Triangle” of Central America: Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. These countries are among the most impoverished in Latin America: in Honduras and Guatemala, over one-third of the population lives on just $2.50 per day. Honduras has the highest homicide rate in the world, nearly 20 times higher than that of the U.S. 

Fastest Growing Group of Migrants Arriving at Border: Children Under 12
According to a new analysis of previously unreleased government data by the Pew Research Center, the number of unaccompanied children ages 12 and under who crossed the border rose by 117% between the current fiscal year and last fiscal year. 

Two High Schools for English-Learners to Open in Prince Georges County, MD
School officials announced they will open to new high schools for their growing population of immigrant students and English-language learners. The 125,000 student district – along with CASA de Maryland and the Internationals Network for Public Schools, a group of 17 high schools across the country that serve ELLs – won a $3 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to help pay for the new schools, which will open in the fall of 2015. 

In Fight Over Border Funding, House GOP Targets Reprieve for DREAMers
House Republicans scrambling to find agreement over how to deal with the surge of 60,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America have now pledged to hold a vote on legislation that would rein in President Obama’s authority to halt deportations of some undocumented immigrants, including young immigrants known as DREAMers who were brought to the United States illegally as children. 

Obama’s Deferred Action Program: A Statistical Look at Youths’ Participation
It is the second anniversary of the Obama administration’s deferred action program that gives eligible undocumented youth who were brought to the United States as children temporary relief from deportation and a shot at work authorization. According to a new analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, more than half of the 1.2 million undocumented immigrant youth who met the requirements to seek relief from deportation have applied for the reprieve. 

Poverty Has Spread to the Suburbs (And to Suburban Schools)
A new report by the Brookings Institution found that more Americans are living in poverty in the suburbs than in urban or rural areas, a dramatic demographic shirt that has occurred since 2000. It found that the overall number of distressed neighborhoods – census tracts with poverty rates of 40% or more – has grown by 71.6% since 2000. In the same time period, the growth of distressed neighborhoods in the suburbs grew by 150.7%. 

U.S. Principals More Likely to View Their Students as Disadvantaged
Principals in the United States are more likely than their peers in other countries to perceive their students as coming from disadvantaged homes, and that perception may have some impact on how well those students perform in school. Data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development showed that 65% of U.S. principals said that 30% of these students came from disadvantaged homes. The actual number of disadvantaged students was closer to 13%. The number of impoverished students in the U.S. is about the same as Japan’s or Korea’s. However, nearly six times more U.S. principals saw their students as socio-economically disadvantaged when compared to those two countries. The perception of students’ disadvantaged backgrounds correlated with student achievement more so than actual disadvantage. 

Multigenerational Programs Aim To Break Poverty Cycle
There is rising national interest in multigenerational approaches to reduce poverty and improve student achievement, based on mounting evidence that parents’ educational and life trajectories are inextricably linked. More than 60% of American children live in families whose highest educational degree is a high school diploma or less. While that is an improvement over 2008 levels, parents are often not advancing their education fast enough to keep up with rapidly growing job requirements. 

Race to the Top is Five Years Old, But Did It Actually Improve Student Achievement?
Almost all of the $4 billion in federal cash awarded to states under the programs has been spent. The question is whether the program actually moved the needle on student achievement. The Institute of Education Sciences (the U.S. Department of Education's independent research arm) is working on a report on the program, but the findings will not be released until next year at the earliest. Researchers will also be taking a hard look at the impact of another key Obama initiative—the School Improvement Grant program, which got $3 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the law that created Race to the Top).  

What Happens on K-12 Policy if Republicans Take Over the U.S. Senate?
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is the top Republican on the Senate Education Committee and the likeliest candidate to take the helm of the committee if the GOP gains control of the Senate in the fall. In an interview, he addresses such questions as what happens to key pieces of education legislation, including the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, if control of the Senate flips. 

AFT, NEA Agendas Converge Amid External, Internal Pressure
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten was a guest of honor at incoming National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia’s wedding, held concurrently with the NEA’s Representative Assembly in Denver in July. AFT and NEA are trying to forge a new relationship. While the actual degree of collaboration between the two unions remains to be seen, the conventions illustrated a remarkable policy convergence, portending what could be a more unified response to national and state education issues. 

Nebraska Agency to Track Effects of ‘Whole Child’ Factors on Achievement
A new inter-local agency will track indicators of student health, fitness and academic achievement to help Nebraska schools identify effective “whole child” strategies and secure grant money to implement evidence-based strategies in classrooms. Thus far, 61 school districts and regional cooperatives have agreed to share information and strategies through The Nebraska Whole Child Project, which was conceived by the Nebraska Association of School Boards and will have its own independent board.  

District Research Reveals Ways to Help At-Risk Students Graduate
The District of Columbia and Howard County, MD school districts have created separate analytic systems to help principals identify not only students at risk of dropping out, but those likely to graduate but struggle in college. Howard County used existing district data and college data from the National Student Clearinghouse to track nearly 6,300 first-time freshman through graduation and beyond. Washington, D.C. district and charter schools pooled their data to identify students’ likelihood of getting to college, and were confronted with the depressing fact that not only are 40% of students in the city not graduating high school within five years, but 25% are already almost certain to drop out – called “immediately disengaged” – by the end of 8th grade. 

Increased OST Connections Provide Continued Benefits
Nashville’s public schools and a network of out-of-school time (OST) providers routinely trade information on nearly 1,000 of Nashville’s neediest youth, including grades, disciplinary referrals, after-school participation and developmental assets. They figure the more they know about these young people, the better they identify needs and customize supports like tutoring, mentoring and family services. 

Nearly $200 Million Pledged to Help Boys of Color
Eleven major foundations have pledged to spend a total of $200 million for efforts to help boys and young men of color succeed. The biggest chunk of funds, more than $81 million, is to go toward “comprehensive reforms needed to dramatically reduce racial and ethnic disparities in, and the overall use of, confinement for boys and young men”. 

More Schools Open Their Doors to the Whole Community
The community schools concept provides for public and private groups bringing services closer to students and residents year round and, in some cases, help boost student performance. With backing at local, state and federal levels, the decades-old idea for improving schools and neighborhoods is gaining ground despite some funding uncertainties and doubts about the success of community schools. The largest coordinator of such programs, Communities in Schools, saw a 6% increase in its reach in the 2012-13 school year for a total of more than 1.3 million students in 26 states. 

How Can We Strengthen Schools Serving Low-Income Children?
Changes in the American economy pose enormous challenges for America’s public schools and the dream of socioeconomic mobility for low-income families. Researchers have reported that in the early 1970s, the richest 20% of families spent about $3,000 more per child per year (in 2012 dollars) on child enrichment than did the poorest 20%. By 2006 the gap had nearly tripled to $8,000 per child per year. This adds up to a $100,000 spending gap over the course of a child’s primary and secondary school career. 

Born Amid Tumult, Head Start Deeply Rooted in Mississippi
The first Head Start provider in Mississippi, the Child Development Group of Mississippi, was one of the largest programs operating anywhere in the country when the Head Start program was launched in 1965, operating 85 centers that served 6,000 children. The program quickly ran afoul of the white power structure in the state. Opponents such as Senate Appropriations Committee member John Stennis, D-Miss., said it was focused on promoting integration and black militants. Under political pressure, the federal Office of Economic Opportunity (which oversaw Head Start and was led by Sargent Shriver, the top anti-poverty official for President Lyndon B. Johnson) pulled Mississippi’s funding after the first summer. Other community groups stepped into the breach.  

Philadelphia District Invites Educators, Community to Redesign Schools
The "School Redesign Initiative” invites teachers, administrators, families, universities, and community organizations to submit "bold, new" plans to redesign and lead some of the city's traditional, neighborhood public schools. The intent will be to open the redesigned schools in fall 2015. 

Boston Plan for Cameras and Microphones on School Buses Under Fire
In an editorial, The Boston Globe called the proposal to equip all of the 750 yellow buses of the Boston School District "an extreme initiative that unnecessarily infringes on private conversations"  and decried the possible audio surveillance on the buses as "bad public policy and a bad lesson for students." The school district, according to the paper, has offered no evidence that incidents of bullying or other misbehaviors had elevated to the point where both audio and video surveillance were necessary on the buses. 

Conflict Between Reno Superintendent and School Board Roils District
The superintendent in Washoe County for the past two years was fired by the school board in July for what reportedly were disputes over his claim to be a certified public accountant. The Reno community erupted over the board’s decision, in large part because no agenda had been published to notify the public of a meeting to discuss the superintendent’s employment. Even the wife of the Nevada Governor appeared at the meeting to chastise the board for “destroying stability’ in the district.  

Los Angeles Superintendent Challenges Leaders to Drive Down Dropout Rate
Los Angeles Superintendent John Deasy assigned every principal, assistant principal, and district-level administrator to personally keep track of one student who was at risk of dropping out of school last year. During his “state of the schools” address, Deasy ordered each of the 1,500 leaders in attendance to open a sealed envelope that had been taped underneath their seats. Each envelope contained the name of a district student who, as a freshman in the 2013-14 school year, had exhibited some or all of the hallmarks of a student on the verge of dropping out. Nearly 7,000 students dropped out last school year. 

Memphis-Area School Year Starts with Opening of Six Breakaway Districts
Six new school districts opened their doors to students in Shelby County, Tenn. this week, the coda to prolonged legal wrangling by suburban municipalities that sought to split from Shelby County Schools in the wake of its merger with the public schools in Memphis. 

Documentary Shines Harsh Light on a School for Troubled Teens
Residential treatment programs for youth – “therapeutic” boarding schools, boot camps, wilderness camps – have been the subject of TV newsmagazine reports, studied by the Government Accountability Office, and the target of a bill in Congress. “Kidnapped for Christ”, a documentary airing on Showtime in July and August, provides a disturbing, though slightly flawed, look at Escuela Caribe, a Christian boarding school in the Dominican Republic that appeared to primarily serve U.S. youths. 

Lawsuits Targeting Federal Health Care Law Could Impact K-12 Districts
Because individuals in states who buy coverage from the federal exchange do not legally qualify for subsidies, plaintiffs in recent court cases say employers in those states, including school districts, cannot be legally penalized for not offering full-time employers health insurance through the so-called employer mandate spelled out in the law. School districts in Indiana have said the law will force them to choose between paying a lot more in health care costs, or cutting back employee hours to more those workers below the threshold for full-time employees required to be offered health insurance under the law. 

CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report
The report is the second consolidated assessment that highlights health disparities and inequalities across a wide range of diseases, behavioral risk factors, environmental exposures, social determinants, and healthcare access by sex, race and ethnicity, income, education, disability status, and other social characteristics. It provides new data for 19 of the topics published in 2011 and presents 10 new topics.  

A Loophole Big Enough for an Ice Cream Truck in the New Snacks Rules
The new “Smart Snacks in Schools” rules set nutritional standards for what some schools offer students in places like vending machines, a la carte lines, and student fundraisers. States that do not like the new rules have taken advantage of a loophole in the policy, making massive an exception that was designed to be limited in scope. Openly criticizing the federal nutrition policy, the state boards of education in Georgia and Tennessee approved a policy that will allow schools to exempt thirty fundraisers. 

Cultivating Fresh Produce and Youth Leadership in the Garden
The Food Works Summer Crew, based in Portland, OR., uses gardening to help young people build leadership and job skills while getting to know members of the community. Youth ages 14 to 18 learn how to grow produce from seed to harvest, along with the importance of increasing healthy food access for themselves and their neighbors. 

Where Kids Run the Show: Developing Youth Leaders
Wei Wen Balter was a new kid in town when he first visited the teen center in Ann Arbor, Mich. known as the Neutral Zone. An acquaintance told him about a program at the center that advocated for gay, lesbian and gender-questioning youth. He had no idea that two years later he would be a member of the organization’s board of directors. 

New California Law Restricts Full-Contact Youth-Football Practices
The state Senate passed the law by a vote of 23-5 in mid-June and it applies to the regular season and preseason in school districts and at charter schools and private schools. Middle and high school coaches also may not exceed 90 minutes of full-contact practice on any given day, and cannot hold a full-contact practice at any point during the offseason. 

Football Practice of ‘Two-a-Days’ Phasing Out
There is a culture change taking over football as college teams get back on the practice field. “Coaches have told us they don’t even need two-a-days anymore”, said Jack Marucci, the head athletic trainer at Louisiana State University. ‘It wasn’t like it used to be where kids started camp and needed to get in shape. Kids are already in shape. It is antiquated to think you need two-a-days to get kids in shape”. 

The Need for Speed Endangers Young Pitchers
Young pitchers 16 to 22 years old and some older are injuring the ulnar collateral ligament in their throwing elbow at an alarming rate and requiring surgery. One of the key factors contributing to the injury is young pitchers striving for velocity and throwing harder. They are gassing up for the radar gun held by college coaches and professional scouts. The kids covet velocity because, like the home run, it makes the scout look again. 

E-Cigarettes Cloud Schools’ Anti-Smoking Policies
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2013 that the percentage of students in grades 6-12 who had tried e-cigarettes more than doubled between 2011 and 2012, growing from 3.3% to 6.9%. About 160,000 of the 1.78 million students who had experimented with electronic cigarettes as of 2012 had never used conventional cigarettes. Thirty-eight states prohibit the sale of the product to minors, but e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) (aside from those marketed for therapeutic purposes) are unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Senate Democrats Urge FDA to Regulate E-Cigarette Marketing to Children
In April the FDA proposed a series of regulations for e-cigarettes, including prohibiting sales to minors, prohibiting vending machine sales and samples, and requiring a list of product ingredients. But Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, want the agency to go further by also applying the restrictions imposed on traditional tobacco products to limit youth access to e-cigarettes. That includes a ban on marketing to children, on the use of fruit and candy-based flavors, and online sales. 

Teen Use of Synthetic Human Growth Hormone Doubles
According to a new survey by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the number of teens who report using synthetic human growth hormone more than doubled in just one year. African-Americans and Hispanics were the most likely to report using synthetic human growth hormone, and young men and women use it in practically equal proportions. 

School Discriminated Against Pregnant Student, Complaint Says
A complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights states a Georgia high school failed to uphold its obligations to a pregnant student under Title IX when it failed to provide her with homebound instruction during a period of bed rest, and refused to excuse absences caused by pregnancy and recovery from an emergency cesarean delivery. 

Easing Drug Laws the Answer to the Nation’s Drug, Prison Problem – Or Precursor to More Crime?
A recent report titled “Nation Behind Bars: A Human Rights Solution” explains that unnecessarily long sentences contribute to America having the world’s highest reported rate of incarceration. These laws are harming youth, ensnaring youth in drug crimes early on, especially in poorer neighborhoods. 

Legalizing Pot Has Not Led to Increased Use Among Teenagers
After analyzing data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Survey, collected between 1993 and 2011 when 16 states legalized medical use of marijuana, researchers concluded that there was no statistical indication that high school students in those states were significantly more likely to use marijuana than their peers in states where pot remained completely illegal.  

Racial-Ethnic Fairness
For decades, children of color have been over-represented (and treated more harshly for the same behavior as their non-Hispanic white counterparts) at every stage of the delinquency process. In recent years better data collection and analysis in many localities has helped spur the development of strategies to reduce disparities among youth in contact with the juvenile justice system. The Racial-Ethnic Fairness section of the Resource Hub provides an overview of salient issues and links to information on each approach as well as the most recent research, cutting edge reforms, model policies, best practices, links to experts, and toolkits to take action.  

Youth Need More Ways to Get Back on Course
In his plenary presentation at this year’s Ready by 21 National Meeting, Patrick McCarthy, CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation advised “every young person has plenty of opportunities to veer off course – but some have more opportunities than others to get back on track”. Systems are needed that give youth more chances to make those course corrections. 

What to Expect & When to Seek Help
Developmental tools by Bright Futures at Georgetown University offer a framework for families and providers to begin a conversation about how best to support healthy and emotional development in children and teens.  

Five Ways to Help Youth Stay in School and Get Jobs
Nothing is of more value to at-risk youth than education and employment. There are considerable challenges, however, for any traumatized youth who wants to attain a degree or a steady job. Slides present five ways their quest for education and employment can be supported. 

How ‘Social Networks’ Affect Homeless Youths’ Inclination to Get Help Finding Jobs
Researchers from California State University and the University of Southern California wanted to know how much homeless youths’ friends and acquaintances influence their use of employment services such as training, tutoring and placement programs. They surveyed 138 homeless Los Angeles youth ages 15 to 21 using an online questionnaire and face-to-face interviews. According to this study, youth workers are a vital resource for some homeless youth, and they often act as supportive adult mentors. Providing emotional and other resources can go a long way toward encouraging homeless young people to use employment services. 

App Aims to Boost Comprehension by Putting E-Books to Music
Students are reading e-books that come with sound effects and background music in 5,000 schools around the world. Booktrack is an app that combines film-style soundtracks with texts of popular books. The soundtracks are typically nine hours long, but that changes depending on reading speed. The company claims to be “transforming reading the way sound transformed silent film.  

Workshops & Webinars

Supporting Families with LGBTQ Youth (August 11, 2 p.m.)
KSOC-TV (Knowledge Network for Systems of Care) is sponsoring a webisode that will explore ways to provide effective resources and supports of families and guardians of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Research shows family acceptance significantly reduces the risk of suicide among young people who self-identify as LGBTQ. Participate online as it is broadcast live. 

Improving the Behavioral Health of Boys and Young Men of Color: Addressing Data Challenges (August 18, 2:30 - 4 p.m.)
The webinar is designed to help practitioners locate, understand, and use data to improve opportunities, address disparities, and strengthen protective factors for boys and young men of color. A variety of data tools and resources will be explored. The deadline for registration is August 13. 

Trends in Grant Awards – Which Organizations Win Over $100,000 in Grant Awards (August 26, 2-3 p.m.)
GrantStation’s Director of Business and Marketing will discuss techniques and tweaks that can help organizations move into the ranks of those receiving $100,000+ awards. The webinar will help identify where these changes are possible and how to make them happen. 

Supporting Young Veterans and Young Parents (On-Demand)
The webisode highlights evidence-based practices to help young adults ages 18-25 and their families address mental health needs specific to military service and parenting. 

 

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