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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 25 Edition: 

Events
Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors and Their Pets (August 27)
Alexandria Multicultural Fest (September 12)
Hume Springs Playground Revitalization (September 19)
Social Media Marketing for Nonprofit Success (September 25)
Increasing Investment in Afterschool: The Role of Statewide Afterschool Networks (September 28)
Building Equity: Understanding & Addressing Disproportionate Minority Contact Among Our Youth (October 8)
Save the Date: The 12th Reduce Tobacco Use Conference (April 25-26)

Careers/Volunteerism 
Social Media Intern
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
State Farm Youth Advisory Board
Literacy Tutors for Alexandria Tutoring Consortium 
Brain-Based Leadership School
Children’s Mental Health Financing Course
Soros Justice Fellowships in Advocacy and Media
Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards
Collection Preservation Award

Grantsmanship
DCHS Office of Youth Services Listing of Grant Opportunities

Research & Resources 
New Assistant Principals, Academic Principals and Deans Named in Alexandria City Public Schools

Education
Va. District Sparks Outcry Over Budget Proposal That Cuts H.S. Sports
Early Exposure to Tackle Football May Increase Risk of Brain Trauma Later
Poor Health Impacts Motivation, Ability to Learn
Be a Learning Hero
When Choice Doesn’t Feel Like a Choice
The Re-Education of New Orleans
Giving Up Home for a Better School
Death of My Career
‘Rosenwald’: A Documentary Examines Philanthropist’s Aid for Black Schools
On ‘POV’, a Swiss Approach to Educating Immigrant Students
To Raise High School Graduation Rates, Chattanooga Boosts Early Childhood
Opt-Out Movement Draws ‘Little Public Sympathy’ in New Poll
The Role of Business in Promoting Educational Attainment
Passing the Trash
Charlotte, N.C. Gave Principals Power Over Teacher Layoffs. What Happened?
McKinney, Texas School Police Treat Students Unfairly, Civil Rights Groups Say
Disparate Impact in School Discipline: What Does the Public Think?
Suspension is Not the Answer: Investing in Students’ Mental Health Yields Academic Gains
Full Appeals Court Upholds Discipline of Student Over Violent Web Rap
School Food Workers Need More Training, Resources, Survey Finds

Youth Well-Being
Childhood Stressors Lead to Earlier Anxiety
Resources on Tai Chi as a Mind-Body Practice
Can Fish Oils Prevent or Delay Development of Psychosis?
Grant Arising from Mass Killings to Fund Youth Mental Health Services
Dispelling Stereotypes of Young People Who Leave School Before Graduation
The Mindset Kit 
Fiscal Maps Track Resources for Vulnerable Youth
Homelessness and Sexual Identity Among Middle School Students
Responses to Youth Sex Trafficking in Different Areas
New Federal Guidelines Protect Parents with Disabilities
Wraparound Services Surround Foster Youth, Families with Help
Association of Electronic Cigarette Use with Initiation of Combustible Tobacco Product Smoking in Early Adolescence
Body Mass Index Reports and Effect on Student Health
Great American Condom Campaign
A Prosecutor’s Stand

Juvenile Justice
Mentoring in Juvenile Treatment Drug Courts

Workshops & Webinars 
The  PLACE MATTERS Approach to Promoting Racial Equality (August 26)
An Overview of Three Models of Family Peer Support (August 26)
The Red Hook Peacemaking Program (August 28)
Integrating Employability Skills into Everyday Instruction (September 2)
Creating Local Dedicated Funds for Children & Youth: How Will We Fund Services for the Next Generation (September 11)
Engaging African American Youth in Reading During Out-of-School Time (September 25)
Introduction to Women and Substance Use Disorders (On Demand, September 30 – December 31)

Events

Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors and Their Pets (August 27)
The focus of the Twitter talk is how anti-violence and animal welfare advocates are collaborating to expand support and services for pet owners experiencing family violence and to provide shelter for their pets. The event begins at 2 p.m.          

Alexandria Multicultural Fest (September 12)
The event will celebrate the historic and cultural treasures of the region’s past while embracing the new opportunities for the future. There will be live entertainment, local performers, children’s interactive games and crafts, food, face painting and various vendors. Festivities are from 12 – 4 p.m. at Conservatory Center at Four Mile Run Park (4109 Mt. Vernon Avenue). For additional information, contact Cisco Fabian (703.746.5465) or Elsie Akinbobola (703.746.5475).    

Hume Springs Playground Revitalization (September 19)
The local non-profit RunningBrooke, in coordination with the City of Alexandria Parks and Recreation Department and Rebuilding Together Alexandria, will conduct a major overhaul of the Hume Springs playground in Arlandria. Other partners include the Rotary Club of Alexandria, Simpson Development, and the Brickman Group. Geared to children under 5 years of age, the revitalization will include new play equipment, benches and tables, perennial gardens, a water fountain, lots of play areas for children and an adult fitness section.   

Social Media Marketing for Nonprofit Success (September 25)
The workshop from 9 – 11:30 a.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building (One Veterans Plaza) is for nonprofits that have been using social media marketing, but need tips and information to take them to an intermediate level and/or add new channels to their marketing efforts. The registration fee is $25.  

Increasing Investment in Afterschool: The Role of Statewide Afterschool Networks (September 28)
The Capitol Hill forum will highlight the work of the Statewide Afterschool Networks (SAN) in increasing the investment in afterschool, summer, and expanded learning programs. Statewide afterschool networks provide a structure for bringing together key decision makers interested in improving outcomes for children and youth through school-based and school-linked afterschool programs. Three SAN leaders will discuss how they helped build public will and increased advocacy efforts, participated in collective impact initiatives, improved the use of existing dollars and expanded funding; improved quality, and expanded access and equity in afterschool. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. – Noon.  

Building Equity: Understanding & Addressing Disproportionate Minority Contact Among Our Youth (October 8)
A one-day conference sponsored by the Chesterfield County Police Department, Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, Virginia Department of Education, and the Virginia Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Prevention will feature sessions on implicit bias; understanding and moving forward with a DMS assessment; adolescent development and communication; cultural competence and inclusion; community relations; and trauma, mental health and behavior. There will be a special day-long track on the Connecticut Model for Effective Police Interactions with Youth. The free conference will be held at the Eanes-Pittman Public Safety Training Center in Chesterfield, Virginia. Advance registration is required.

Save the Date: The 12th Reduce Tobacco Use Conference (April 25-26)
The national conference at the Crystal Gateway Marriott will showcase the latest in tobacco-use prevention, reduction and cessation with youth and young adults.

Careers/Volunteerism 

Social Media Intern
The Sexual Assault Center is seeking a social media intern and applications are being accepted online. Contact Adelina Stanley for additional information.  

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
The award honors middle and high school students in the United States who volunteer in communities at home or abroad. Several students in each state and the District of Columbia will be named runners-up, with one middle level and one high school student named a state honoree. State honorees will receive a $1,000 award, a silver medallion, and all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in May for special recognition events. In Washington, a national committee will select America's top youth volunteers from among the state honorees. National honorees will receive a $5,000 award, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their nominating school or organization, and a $5,000 grant from the Prudential Foundation for a charitable organization of their choice. Students in grades 5-12 are eligible to apply for the 2016 awards if they have volunteered in the past year. The deadline is November 3.  

State Farm Youth Advisory Board
The advisory board is comprised of thirty youth from around the country and charged with the responsibility of awarding over $5 million in grants to service-learning and community impact projects that address important domestic issues. The work of the board work is handled through four in-person meetings at State Farm Corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois or at other locations in the U.S. The deadline for applications is October 2.  

Literacy Tutors for Alexandria Tutoring Consortium 
Help an ACPS kindergartner or first grader learn to read so they can read to learn by signing up to be a tutor with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium. Feel free to contact ATC's Executive Director Gwen Mullen (703-549-6670 ext. 119) or Volunteer Alexandria's Sami Smyth (703-836-2176) with any questions.  

Brain-Based Leadership School
The free course – “4 Strategies for Creating a High Performance Workplace” – is comprised of four short training sessions that introduce the neuroscience of leadership.  

Children’s Mental Health Financing Course
The graduate course is being offered by the University of South Florida’s Department of Child and Family Studies and taught by Suzanne Fields, Senior Advisor for Health Care Policy at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work. It will further critical thinking about financing strategies and structures that support effective systems of care.  

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 Fellowships and Media Fellowships. Advocacy Fellowships are eighteen-month grants that fund outstanding individuals (including lawyers, advocates, grassroots organizers, activist academics, and others with important perspectives) for projects that range from litigation, public education, coalition-building, and grassroots mobilization to policy-driven research. Fellows are expected to work full-time on their projects during the term of the fellowship. Media Fellowships are twelve-month grants that support writers, print and broadcast journalists, bloggers, filmmakers, and other individuals with distinct voices proposing to complete a media project for the local, regional, or national market that engage the public and spur debate on one or more of OSF's U.S. criminal justice priorities.  

Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards
The awards promote innovation in the field of Alzheimer’s caregiving by recognizing efforts which lead the way in addressing the needs of Alzheimer’s caregivers. Three awards of $20,000 each will be presented to nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or universities in three categories. The Creative Expression award encourages programs that use imaginative approaches in supporting family/informal caregivers or persons with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias. The Diverse/Multicultural Communities award recognizes outreach programs to family/informal caregivers in ethnic, rural, low-income, LGBT, and other diverse communities. The Policy and Advocacy award promotes programs that advocate for systems change for the benefit of family/informal caregivers or care recipients with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias. The application deadline is September 18, 2015.  

Collection Preservation Award
The award by Historic Preservation is presented annually to an organization in North America that has been exemplary in the importance and priority it has given to conservation concerns and in the commitment it has shown to the preservation and care of its cultural property within the context of its broader mission (which may include interpretation, research, scholarship, education, and/or public outreach). The deadline for nominations is December 15.

Grantsmanship

DCHS Office of Youth Services Listing of Grant Opportunities
The DCHS Office of Youth Services compiled a listing of grant opportunities on August 19.

Research & Resources

New Assistant Principals, Academic Principals and Deans Named in Alexandria City Public Schools
Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley has appointed twelve assistant principals, four academic principals and two deans to help lead Alexandria City Public Schools for the 2015-16 school year.

Education
Va. District Sparks Outcry Over Budget Proposal That Cuts H.S. Sports
Facing a projected budget shortfall of $100-plus million for the 2016-17 school year, Fairfax County Public Schools are weighing whether to eliminate some or all high school sports as a way to help balance the budget. A budget task force was assembled to identify potential cuts or redesigns. According to a draft menu devised by the task force, eliminating freshman sports could save the district $1 million, eliminating junior varsity sports would save $2.1 million, and eliminating varsity sports would save $5.2 million. The task force also presented values for less severe reductions, such as eliminating one, two, or three sports for males and females (savings of $600,000, $1.2 million, and $1.8 million, respectively). Additionally, removing the athletic trainer allocated to each high school could save $2.2 million, while removing the 0.5 assistant activities director positions at each high school would save $700,000.  

Early Exposure to Tackle Football May Increase Risk of Brain Trauma Later
Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine and Brigham and Women's Hospital examined the brains of forty former National Football League players using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to gauge the impact of early exposure to football. Half of the men, currently aged 40-65, began playing football before the age of 12, while the other half started at age 12 or later. Former National Football League players who began to play tackle football before the age of 12 appeared to have an increased risk of later-life brain trauma, according to a study recently published online in the Journal of Neurotrauma. Before jumping to drastic conclusions, however, the study authors note that further research is needed on children to understand the long-term effects of repetitive head impacts on developing brains. Additionally, these findings may not apply to athletes in other sports, such as ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse.       

Poor Health Impacts Motivation, Ability to Learn
A constellation of student health issues, including poor vision, asthma, hunger, dental problems and feeling unsafe at school, “subvert [young people’s] motivation and impair their ability to learn,” according to a new report from the Education Commission of the States. Calling these health problems “endemic” in high-poverty communities, the report concluded addressing health barriers to learning is necessary for effective and efficient school reform.   

Be a Learning Hero
America’s Promise partnered with Learning Heroes, National PTA and Scholastic to launch “Be a Learning Hero”, which delivers trusted and meaningful information to help parents and guardians navigate changes in the classroom and help youth succeed. Learning Heroes’ new online hub provides information and tools to help parents be confident sources of support and guidance as their children transition into the changes that come with a new school year.  

When Choice Doesn’t Feel Like a Choice
Ten years after Hurricane Katrina upended the New Orleans school system, many parents find the new system, built on school choice, confusing at best. A special Education Week project assesses the human impact of the city’s public school changes.  

The Re-Education of New Orleans
Education Week explores whether the post-Katrina K-12 system has delivered on its promise of high-quality schools for all the children of New Orleans, the vast majority of whom are poor and black.  

Giving Up Home for a Better School
It has been hard for even researchers to track the educational paths of the thousands of students who left New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and never came back. This feature is part of a special Education Week project on the human impact of the city’s dramatic public school changes since the storm.  

Death of My Career
The mass firings of veteran teachers after Hurricane Katrina – dealt in large measure to African-American women – continue to infuse the debate over New Orleans’s schools with a particular bitterness.  

‘Rosenwald’: A Documentary Examines Philanthropist’s Aid for Black Schools
A dozen years ago, Washington filmmaker Aviva Kempner was on Martha's Vineyard to hear a talk about civil rights by the longtime activist Julian Bond. The topic of Bonds' talk at the Hebrew Center was the relationship between African Americans and Jews, and Kempner was expecting him to discuss the 1960s. Instead, Bond spoke about the work of a Jewish titan of U.S. business in the early 20th century—Julius Rosenwald—and his partnership with Booker T. Washington to improve the education of African Americans in the South. Rosenwald, the son of an itinerant Jewish immigrant peddler, was the president of Sears, Roebuck & Co. Working with architecture students from Washington's Tuskegee Institute, he helped fund some 5,300 small schools for blacks in 15 states in the South from 1913 to 1932. Kempner’s film will be released around the country on August 28.  

On ‘POV’, a Swiss Approach to Educating Immigrant Students
In the United States, school districts have relied on a variety of approaches to educating and counseling immigrant students. Still, there are potential lessons to be learned from how a country much less vast and diverse than our own deals with the issue. In "Neuland," an 87-minute documentary on the "POV" series on PBS, filmmaker Anna Thommen examines a program that helps young migrants in Switzerland learn one of the nation's four official languages (German), as well as mathematics and job and life skills.  

To Raise High School Graduation Rates, Chattanooga Boosts Early Childhood
As one of the leading states in graduation rates for low-income students, Tennessee is dedicated to making sure quality education does not depend on income. Low-income students currently graduate at a rate of 80.7%, just 5.7 percentage points lower than the statewide average. Tennessee is determined to close that gap entirely. In order to improve high school graduation rates, leaders said that focusing on early childhood education is key.  

Opt-Out Movement Draws ‘Little Public Sympathy’ in New Poll
A new poll shows slipping public support for the Common Core State Standards, the shared academic standards that have been put in place by more than 40 states, but backers of the approach continue to outnumber its opponents. The nationally representative poll of 4,083 adults, conducted in May and June by Education Next also reveals "little public sympathy" for the opt-out movement, the push among parents to refuse to allow their children to take Common Core-aligned standardized tests. Public backing of the common standards fell to 49% in Ed Next's 2015 survey, down from 53% last year, though a less dramatic drop in support than what the survey showed between 2013 and 2014.  

The Role of Business in Promoting Educational Attainment
The report examines how employers in select metropolitan areas are supporting their employees in advancing postsecondary education and identifies barriers to those efforts. The report’s findings are based on focus groups and interviews conducted with representatives from small, family-owned firms and global Fortune 500 companies, as well as business-education support intermediaries

Passing the Trash
U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are urging their colleagues to take the final steps necessary to ban “passing the trash”—the terrible process whereby a school helps a child molester employee obtain a new job at another school and move onto other victims. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan Toomey-Manchin measure to protect children from sexual predators in July, adding it to the Senate’s reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The education bill passed by the House of Representatives does not include the Toomey-Manchin ban on “passing the trash.” Therefore, Toomey and Manchin are encouraging members of the House/Senate conference committee, who are reconciling a single education bill to be passed by both chambers, to include this important provision. Once the Senate and the House agree to the same measure, it can be sent to the President’s desk and signed into law.  

Charlotte, N.C. Gave Principals Power Over Teacher Layoffs. What Happened?
When faced with a budget shortfall in 2009 and 2010, Charlotte gave principals great discretion on how they reduced the teaching force. North Carolina is one of just five states where public sector collective bargaining is illegal and administrators generally have more flexibility with layoffs. An ongoing debate is whether teacher layoffs should be based on inverse seniority (as is usually the case in state law and/or contracts), or based more heavily on other factors, like teacher performance. A new research paper is the first to examine the topic using actual layoff data. As it turns out, layoffs still tended to be concentrated among teachers with four or fewer years of seniority. Nevertheless, principals also targeted less-effective teachers across all levels of seniority. And when that happened, student achievement benefited, according to the study to be published in the fall issue of Education Finance and Policy.  

McKinney, Texas School Police Treat Students Unfairly, Civil Rights Groups Say
According to a coalition of civil rights groups, the school district in a Texas town that gained notoriety after a white municipal police officer tackled a 15-year-old black girl in a bikini at a pool party this summer should require additional training for its school-based police officers on working with students,. A letter to the superintendent from the coalition stated the police force in McKinney, Texas, came under extra scrutiny after the pool party incident, and new data show its work in the city's schools is also problematic.   

Disparate Impact in School Discipline: What Does the Public Think?
A new poll Education Next found high rates of opposition to district and federal efforts to make discipline more even-handed and in all categories of respondents (teachers, parents, and the general public). The poll provided no background or definitions on the subject. It asked a nationally representative sample of 4,000 respondents if they support or oppose "school district policies that prevent schools from expelling or suspending black and Hispanic students at higher rates than other students." The second question was the same, swapping out "district policies" for "federal policies." A higher percentage of white and Hispanic respondents said they were completely opposed or somewhat opposed to federal policies rather than local policies. African-American respondents were far more likely to support such policies than their peers in other races, showing more support for federal policies than local ones.   

Suspension is Not the Answer: Investing in Students’ Mental Health Yields Academic Gains
Studies indicate that programs that provide mental health services have a significant impact on lowering crime, improving academic performance, and boosting economic growth.  

Full Appeals Court Upholds Discipline of Student Over Violent Web Rap
A full federal appeals court has ruled that a Mississippi high school student’s off-campus rap recordings that allude to shooting two teachers is not protected by the First Amendment. The case concerns recordings made by Taylor Bell when he was a senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Itawamba, Miss. Bell testified that several of his female friends told him two male athletic coaches at the school had inappropriately touched them and made sexually-charged comments to them and other female students at school. Bell testified that if he rapped about the alleged incidents, he believed somebody would listen to his music and that it might help remedy the problem of teacher-on-student sexual harassment at his school. Bell was suspended and sent to an alternative school for six weeks. He and his mother sued the district on a First Amendment free speech claim. A federal district court ruled against him, but a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit ruled 3-2 last year that Bell's off-campus speech did not substantially disrupt school and that school officials could not have reasonably forecast that it would. In its Aug. 20 decision in Bell v. Itawamba County School Board, the full 5th Circuit court held that Bell's speech came under the analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1969 decision about student speech in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. Writing in dissent, Judge James L. Dennis (who had written the panel decision in the student's favor) said Bell's speech should be protected as that of a whistleblower.  

School Food Workers Need More Training, Resources, Survey Finds
In a recent survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 58% of 3,372 total respondents said cooks and front-line servers needed training on basic cooking skills, and 68% said nutrition directors needed training in developing or modifying menus to meet the new standards. The nationally representative survey was administered during the 2012-13 school year, which is before the U.S. Department of Agriculture set training and professional development standards for school food workers.
 

Youth Well-Being
Childhood Stressors Lead to Earlier Anxiety

Of the 75 million people younger than 18 in the United States, the Child Mind Institute of New York estimates that 17 million of them have or have had some form of mood or behavioral disorder based on diagnostic interviews done by professionals on a sample of young people 13 to 18. Not only are the numbers of stressed-out, anxious kids rising, but the age at which they begin to feel anxious, stressed or depressed is dropping. A generation ago, youth began feeling symptoms of depression or anxiety as young as 13 or 14, Peck said. He and other experts now say it is not uncommon for children as young as 10 to develop depression or anxiety. About one-third of 13-year-olds reported feeling anxiety at least once before their 13th birthday.  

Resources on Tai Chi as a Mind-Body Practice
The website of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health features information (including a video) on Tai Chi and Qi Gong, exercise therapies that are generally considered to be safe self-care approaches used to promote healthy lifestyle.  

Can Fish Oils Prevent or Delay Development of Psychosis?
A video features an interview with the director of the Recognition and Prevention Program (RAP) at Zucker Hillside Hospital (NY), which is dedicated to treating early warning signs of mental illness in adolescents and young adults, and is one of the longest running centers of its kind in North America. In the video, Dr. Barbara Cornblatt (who is also professor of psychiatry and molecular medicine at Hofstra North Shore – LIJ School of Medicine) discusses the benefits of fish oil or Omega 3 fatty acids.  

Grant Arising from Mass Killings to Fund Youth Mental Health Services
The Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, a group of more than 60 mental health and substance abuse services, received the first payment of about $1 million on a federal “Now is the Time, Healthy Transitions” grant. The grant program was created by the Obama administration in response to mass killing across the country by mentally unstable youths. The grant aims to provide services for youths ages 16 to 25 who are transitioning into adulthood by connecting them with individuals and agencies that can help them navigate medical appointments for mental and physical care, get their first apartment, land a job, and continue their education. The program is designed to reduce the stigma of mental illness by folding in social media, texting, group outings, and programs designed by young adults for young adults to be innovative and fun.  

Dispelling Stereotypes of Young People Who Leave School Before Graduation
Every year, 485,000 young people leave school before graduating. With that decision comes immense societal economic, civic and social costs. Young people who drop out of school are oftentimes depicted as lazy and unmotivated. However, new research from the Center for Promise indicates that students who leave school express the same strengths and competencies that are found among school-going youth. “Our findings support the idea that these young people possess the abilities to succeed, if provided with opportunities to engage positively,” the report notes. “Therefore, our findings challenge the stereotypical beliefs that young people who leave school without graduating are deficient in these competencies.”  

The Mindset Kit 
Students are more likely to be productive learners when they realize that the second (or third) try may go better than the first. Failure can lead to valuable insights about what does and does not work, and a new strategy may be all it takes to master a concept. Those are the conclusions of a growing body of research on growth mindset. A new set of online lessons aims to help schools apply that research in practical ways.

Fiscal Maps Track Resources for Vulnerable Youth
When leaders in New Orleans foresaw "austere times ahead" for supporting vulnerable children and youth, they faced that challenge with new data and fresh ideas. Those data and ideas have been  released through two studies. Each study is a type of fiscal scan, which tracks where funding comes from for specific causes and populations within a community, and where it goes. The studies - Accounting for Opportunity: A Fiscal Scan for Funding for New Orleans Opportunity Youth and Public Funding for Out-of-School Time in New Orleans - are designed to improve the collective understanding among advocates, providers and public officials about funding available to support young people, and to better align their efforts.   

Homelessness and Sexual Identity Among Middle School Students
A team of researchers wanted to determine if lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning (LGBQ) middle school students experience homelessness more commonly than their heterosexual peers. They also wanted to know whether LGBQ middle school students were more likely than their heterosexual peers to stay in a riskier place than a shelter when experiencing homelessness. Using data from a representative sample of middle school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, researchers found LGBQ youth were about as likely as their heterosexual peers to become homeless. But LGBQ youth were more than twice as likely as their heterosexual peers to stay in a public place rather than a shelter. The authors encourage middle school personnel to develop procedures to identify which students are most at risk of homelessness.  

Responses to Youth Sex Trafficking in Different Areas
Several studies in the Journal of Applied Research on Children examine the pathways that lead to sex trafficking and what can be done to prevent and address it for youth in cities bordering Mexico, small cities, and in large metropolitan areas such as Boston.  

New Federal Guidelines Protect Parents with Disabilities
Parents and foster parents with disabilities can face discrimination in the child welfare system when officials question their ability to care for their children simply because they have a disability. Parents with a range of physical and intellectual or developmental disabilities are vulnerable to having their children taken away from them. Prospective parents with disabilities who seek to adopt or foster a child may never be given the chance to do so. New federal guidelines aim to protect parents and prospective parents with disabilities from discrimination, the latest milestone in disability rights advocates’ fight to keep families together. In technical assistance released last week, agencies within the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) and Justice departments (DOJ) spell out how the Americans with Disabilities Act protects parents with disabilities, part of a new partnership between the two. Parents and foster parents with disabilities are entitled to individualized treatment, and full and equal opportunity to participate in the child welfare system.      

Wraparound Services Surround Foster Youth, Families with Help
It is estimated 400,000 children currently live without a permanent family in the foster care system. Project Permanence is a wraparound program for youth as young as 2 years old and as old as 20, designed to support “permanently placed foster youth in their transition out of a group home or other temporary placements into stable family homes with caregivers committed to a life-long permanent relationship”.  

Association of Electronic Cigarette Use with Initiation of Combustible Tobacco Product Smoking in Early Adolescence
Exposure to nicotine in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is becoming increasingly common among adolescents who report never having smoked combustible tobacco. The objective of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association was to evaluate whether e-cigarette use among 14-year-old adolescents who have never tried combustible tobacco is associated with risk of initiating use of three combustible tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, and hookah). Ten public high schools in Los Angeles, California were recruited. Those who had ever used e-cigarettes at baseline compared with non-users were more likely to report initiation of combustible tobacco use over the next year. Further research is needed to understand whether this association may be causal.  

Body Mass Index Reports and Effect on Student Health
A new study found notifying parents of a student's body mass index may not be an effective way to address childhood obesity. Such reporting has grown increasingly popular over the last decade, despite limited research about the strategy's effectiveness and concerns that tracking students' size could lead to problems with body image and self-esteem. Arkansas' Act 1220, signed into law in 2003, was a pioneering comprehensive childhood obesity law that included the BMI reporting requirement. "Since then, eight other states have adopted similar school-based, BMI screening and notification policies," says a study by University of California at Davis researcher Kevin Gee that was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. After studying data from Arkansas, Gee found that students who received the BMI ratings in 11th and 12th grade did not have different health outcomes from students who did not. He found no statistically significant differences between the changes in self-reported diet and exercise behaviors or body mass index of the two groups.  

Great American Condom Campaign 
According to Advocates for Youth, a nonprofit that works to help young people make informed decisions about their sexual health, almost 25,000 young people in the United States ages 15 to 24 contract a sexually transmitted disease each day. The most serious is HIV – one-fourth of all new HIV infections occur in young people ages 13 to 24. In addition, about 750,000 teens become pregnant each year, the vast majority unintentionally. The Great American Condom Campaign, an initiative of Advocates for Youth, will distribute 1.4 million condoms on college campuses around the country this school year and recruit about 2,400 college students to be volunteer distributors.  

A Prosecutor’s Stand
In a 21-minute documentary presented by Not In Our Town and the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Office, a heroic prosecutor in San Francisco stands up for survivors of hate violence, including a Mayan dishwasher and a transgender woman, both brutally beaten on the city streets.

Juvenile Justice
Mentoring in Juvenile Treatment Drug Courts
From December 2013 to January 2014, NCJFCJ visited OJJDP-funded mentoring programs at 10 juvenile treatment drug court (JTDC) sites and conducted a focus group to discuss their strengths and challenges. A brief provides an overview of the project and offers tips and strategies for starting and refining a mentoring program within a JTDC.

Workshops & Webinars

The PLACE MATTERS Approach to Promoting Racial Equality (August 26, 2 – 3:30 p.m.)
The webinar will highlight the recently published report “Blueprints to Action:  Community Strategies to End Racism and Promote Racial Healing”. The report is a collaborative effort of the PLACE MATTERS, a national initiative of the National Collaborative for Health Equity to build the capacity of leaders and communities around the country to identify and address the social, economic, and environmental factors that shape health and life opportunities. Using a place-based approach, PLACE MATTERS seeks to address community issues such as poverty concentration, residential segregation, and the inequitable distribution of health risks and resources that too often accompanies them.  

An Overview of Three Models of Family Peer Support (August 26,  3 – 4 p.m.)
The webinar will explore three nationally known programs and delve into the nuances of each. Parents Anonymous, an evidence-based family strengthening program, offers weekly support groups for parents and caregivers and separate groups for children and youth. The National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health (NFFCMH) has provided parent peer support through a network of over 120 nationwide chapters. In 2012, NFFCMH launched a national certification for Parent Support Providers to provide standardization of the practices of family peers. To date, over 250 individuals in 35 states and the District of Columbia have been nationally certified. The leaders of the three national organizations discuss the evolution of family peer support, and how these three models are currently being implemented in communities across the country.    

The Red Hook Peacemaking Program (August 28, 3 – 4 p.m.)
The Center for Court Innovation and the Red Hook Community Justice Center will present on the innovative Red Hook Peacemaking Program out of Brooklyn, NY. The presentation will focus on how the prosecutors, state courts, judges and other justice system stakeholders are becoming increasingly interested in developing peacemaking programs of their own. Peacemaking is a traditional Native American form of justice that promotes healing and restoration.  

Integrating Employability Skills into Everyday Instruction (September 2, 2 – 3:15 p.m.)
The College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS Center), the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center), and RTI International will host a webinar showcasing a new, interactive learning module, Integrating Employability Skills: A Framework for All Educators. Building off of the Employability Skills Framework, the module prepares all educators to integrate employability skills into their everyday instruction. Presenters will discuss the value and uses of the employability skills framework and complimentary module including its development, pilot efforts, and potential uses.  

Creating Local Dedicated Funds for Children & Youth: how Will We Fund Services for the Next Generation (September 11, 1 – 2 p.m.)
The focus of the webinar is a new movement to organize locally to address the funding crisis in children and youth services. It is sponsored by the Forum for Youth Investment, Funding the Next Generation, Partnership for America’s Children, National AfterSchool Association, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  

Engaging African American Youth in Reading During Out-of-School Time (September 25, 1 – 1:30)
The webinar will provide research-based and tested strategies such as providing culturally relevant and transitional reading materials for young people. The cost of the webinar is $35.  

Introduction to Women and Substance Use Disorders (On Demand, September 30 – December 31)
The free 12-hour, self-paced course helps counselors and other practitioners working with women to better understand women’s substance use, treatment and recovery experiences, and effective interventions for women.