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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 April 15 Edition: 

Events
National Child Abuse Prevention Month (April)
Special Olympics Young Athletes Program (April 19, 26; May 3)
Recreation Centers Offer Supervised Activities During Spring Break (April 14-18)
The ABC’s of Discipline/ Do the Right Thing (April 21)
Virginia Pre-School Initiative (VPI) Pre-Registration (April 21)
TeensWork! Career Fair (April 24)
Game Change - Empowering Children with Special Needs (April 24)
Bullying Prevention/ Just Say No to Bullying (April 28)
The ABC’s of Discipline/ Do the Right Thing (April 29)
3-2-1 Blast Off! Rocket Building @ George Washington Middle (April 30)
Wellness: Reframing Prevention (May 12)
Youth Arts Festival (June 7)
National Institute on Out-of-School Time Summer Seminars (July 14-18) 

Careers/Volunteerism
ACPS Educators Receive Top Educator Awards from The Washington Post
Superintendent’s Business Advisory Council
Parent Group of the Year
National Association of Medical Minority Educators Invites Applications for 2014 Scholarships
G
reenPal Lawncare Small Business Scholarship
Harpo Foundation Emerging Artists Fellowship
National Art Education Foundation Art Educator Grants
Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Fashion
2014 Award for Nonprofit Innovation
National Arts Strategies Seeks Applications for 2014 Creative Community Fellowships
Grand Challenges Explorations
Child Neurology Foundation Shields Award
Nurse Scholar-in-Residence Award
Kavli Science Journalism Awards
American Psychological Foundation Seeks Applications for Pearson Early Career Program
Religion Newswriters Foundation Seeks Applications From Journalists
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Issues RFP for Artificial Intelligence Research
Innovative Information Science Research Projects
Juvenile Diversion Certificate Program
Protecting Youth from Solitary Confinement Act 

Grantsmanship
DCHS Office of Youth Services Listing of Grant Opportunities
 

Research & Resources
 Meet and Greet Superintendent Crawley 
Governor McAuliffe Names Superintendent of Public Instruction
Obama Announces 24 Winners in $107 Million High School Redesign Contest
More States Require Kindergarten Entrance Exams
Knowledge Motivates Preschoolers More than Stickers
Performance Gaps Widen as High-Achieving Students Progress in High School
New York State’s Schools Are Nation’s Most Segregated
Report Highlights Stark Racial Disparities Among U.S. Children
Civil Rights Data Collection: Data Snapshot (School Discipline)
Assessing the Evidence for Integrated Student Supports
UCLA Report Urges Caution on Community-School Approach
Fellowship Helps Recruit More Juvenile Justice Workers of Color
Equitable Access to Out-of-School Time Programming?
Dedicated After-School Funding Left Out of New York Budget
Ryan Budget Seeks Changes to Pell Grants, Elimination of ‘Duplicative’ K-12 Programs
The President’s Proposals to Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit
Health Care Innovations Exchange Focus on At-Risk Families of Newborns
How Parents Make Child Care Decisions
Big Jump in Percentage of Parents Aggravated by Their Kids
Children of Veterans Experience Trauma Secondhand
New Minnesota Anti-Bullying Law
Percentage of College Freshmen Drinking Beer in Past Year Remains at Historically Low Levels
Interactive Tool Helps Parents and Other Adults Talk to Young People About Drinking
“How to Put on a Sock” Video Illustrates Concerns About Mississippi Sex Ed
New State Laws Require More Sex-Abuse Training in Schools
The Hustle: Economics of the Underground Sex Economy
Prohibiting Detention of Youth Status Offenders Act
Youth Engaged 4 Change
Arts Education Across the States 

 Workshops & Webinars 
Detained Immigrant Parents Can Have a Place at the Table Too (April 16)
Using “The Toolkit” to Improve Youth Case Management Practices (April 16)
Preventing Suicide Among Justice-Involved Youth: Newly Developed Tools, Recommendations, and Research (April 17)
Starting and Supporting Family Advisory Groups (April 24)
Building Self-Esteem and Racial Identity in Transracially Adopted Youth (April 24)
Social & Emotional Learning: Assess It to Address It (May 6) 

 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Events

National Child Abuse Prevention Month (April)
During the month of April and throughout the year, communities are encouraged to share their child abuse and neglect prevention awareness strategies and activities, and promote prevention across the country. The National Criminal Justice Reference Services has posted “Special Feature: Child Abuse” – a compilation of publications and resources on the prevalence, prevention, and responses to child abuse. 

Special Olympics Young Athletes Program (April 19, 26; May 3)
Athletes ages 2-7 are encouraged to interact with their peers and participate in a variety of athletic activities (such as obstacle courses, parachute games, and duck-duck-goose) at the Barcroft Athletic Facility (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington) from 10-11 a.m.  Contact Kirk Smith, John Eby, or Nicole Behr for details. 

Recreation Centers Offer Supervised Activities During Spring Break (April 14-18)
Designated recreation centers will provide safe and supervised play activities during ACPS spring break. Centers are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and any youth enrolled in any Power-On or Power-Up program may attend at no additional cost. City youth who do not participate in these programs may attend for a $15 per day fee. For more information, contact the nearest recreation center or the Out-of-School Time Program Office (703.746.5575).

The ABCs of Discipline: Do the Right Thing (April 21)
The “ABCs of Discipline” will provide parents with concrete strategies to use in applying appropriate limits on their children’s negative behaviors while reinforcing their positive behaviors. Youth will participate in the “Do the Right Thing” workshop, which provides a guideline for K-5 students to help them determine whether something is right or wrong before making a choice. Participants will discuss examples of situations in the classroom, school and their community, possible outcomes from each choice, and how to know what is the right thing to do. Both workshops are scheduled for 6:30 – 8 p.m. at John Adams Elementary School (5651 Rayburn Avenue). 

Virginia Pre-School Initiative (VPI) Pre-Registration (April 21)
VPI is a full-day (8 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.) preschool program for children who will be age four by September 30 who meet eligibility requirements. Pre-registration for the 2014-15 school year will take place from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Office of English Language Learner Services (ELL Office) on the Ground Floor of the Burke Library (4701 Seminary Road). Contact Stacey Joyner (703.578.0293) for additional information. 

TeensWork! Career Fair (April 24)
The theme of the event in the T. C. Williams Main Campus cafeteria is “Your Future is in Your Hands … Spark a Reaction!” Job seekers must be 16-21 years old and students at T. C. Williams to attend; bring resumes and dress professionally. It is expected 20-40 employers will be in attendance.  

Game Change - Empowering Children with Special Needs (April 24)
The workshop from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Atrium of Jefferson Houston School (1501 Cameron Street) will help parents learn how to set their children on a course of self-discovery.  

Bullying Prevention/ Just Say No to Bullying (April 28)
The interactive workshop on bullying prevention is designed to help parents identify and understand the profile of both the bully and his/her victims, and provide strategies for prevention and proper response. “Just Say No” will engage students in hands-on bully awareness and prevention activities, including role plays that promote compassion. Both workshops will take place at John Adams Elementary School (5651 Rayburn Avenue) from 6:30-8 p.m. 

The ABC’s of Discipline/ Do the Right Thing (April 29)
The “ABCs of Discipline” will give parents concrete strategies to use in applying appropriate limits on their children’s negative behaviors while reinforcing their positive behaviors. Youth will participate in the “Do the Right Thing” workshop, which provides a guideline for students (K-5) to help them determine whether something is right or wrong before making a choice. Participants will discuss examples of situations in the classroom, school and their community, possible outcomes from each choice, and knowing what is the right thing to do. The workshops will take place from 6:30-8 p.m. at Brent Place (375 South Reynolds Street). 

3-2-1 Blast Off! Rocket Building @ George Washington Middle (April 30)
Hands-on activities will be used to provide middle school youth with a better understanding of rocketry and how STEM principles apply to rocket flight. Participants will develop, design and test a straw rocket. The workshop is scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

Wellness: Reframing Prevention (May 12)
The statewide community of prevention-related agencies and organizations are pleased to announce the prevention conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton, Richmond. The featured speaker is Dr. Kevin Sabet, Director of the Drug Policy Institute. 

Youth Arts Festival (June 7)
Alexandria’s 5th Annual Youth Arts Festival will take place from Noon to 4 p.m. at Lenny Harris Memorial Fields at Braddock Park, George Washington Middle School (1005 Mount Vernon Avenue). 

National Institute on Out-of-School Time Summer Seminars (July 14-18)
Summer seminars sponsored by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time provide hands-on learning opportunities for youth development professionals to enhance their summer and school year programs. The seminars will be held at Coolidge Corner in Brookline, MA (three miles west of Boston). 

 

Careers/Volunteerism 

ACPS Educators Receive Top Educator Awards from The Washington Post
The Washington Post’s annual awards for educators highlight excellence in leadership and teaching, and encourage creative instruction and contributions to the improvement of education in the Washington, D.C. area. Brandon Davis, Principal at Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, will receive The Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award. Patrick Henry Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Lori Shabazz is the winner of the 2014 Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award.  

Superintendent’s Business Advisory Council
This spring ACPS Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley is convening a Superintendent’s Business Advisory Council to facilitate partnerships between local and regional businesses and the school district. The Council will offer insight to assist with school division decision making, and provide ACPS students with opportunities and resources to help them pursue their postsecondary choices. For more information on joining the Council, contact Dr. Crawley (7034.824.6610) or submit contact information online. The deadline for applications is May 31. 

Parent Group of the Year
Parent Group of the Year contest (sponsored by PTO Today) highlights the work being done by elementary and middle school parent groups (PTO, PTA, HAS, PTC, etc.) throughout the United States. Winners will be chosen from the following categories: National Parent Group of the Year; Judges’ Choice; Parent Group at a Small School (200 students or fewer); Parent Group at a Private or Parochial School; Focus on Academics and Enrichment; Family Event; Major Project or Program; Outreach to a Diverse School Community; and Community Service Project. The National Parent Group of the Year will receive a $3,000 prize. Winners in the other categories will receive $500 each. 

National Association of Medical Minority Educators Invites Applications for 2014 Scholarships
Scholarships are awarded annually to underrepresented minority students who have completed their first year of health professions training. Nominated students are selected based on their academic record, community service, financial need, personal statement, and letters of recommendation. To be considered, applicants must be nominated by a regular member in good standing. The deadline for nominations is June 13. 

GreenPal Lawncare Small Business Scholarship
The purpose of the scholarship is to assist a motivated, driven student and future business leader. One applicant will be chosen each year to receive a scholarship award of $2,000 paid equally over four semesters. The program is open to any graduating high school senior, college freshman, or sophomore who owns and operates his/her own small business, or has put together a business plan to start a business while in college. In addition, applicants must be graduating from high school in 2014 or currently enrolled in a college of business with a 3.0 or higher GPA. The deadline for applications is May 30. 

Harpo Foundation Emerging Artists Fellowship
The fellowship provides an annual opportunity to an emerging visual artist who is at least 25 years old and who needs time and space to explore ideas and start new projects. Fellows will receive a one-month residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Living and studio space is located within a nearly 17,000-square-foot complex designed by renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta. There are no requirements on the work produced during an artist’s time at the institute. The deadline for applications is July 5. 

National Art Education Foundation Art Educator Grants
The National Art Education Foundation (NAEF) is accepting applications from NAEF members for programs that support classroom-based art education. Applications are being accepted until October 1 for three grant programs, two with awards up to $2,500 and another that will award up to $10,000.  

Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Fashion
The Vilcek Foundation is accepting applications from young foreign-born professionals who demonstrate outstanding early achievement. Designers, stylists, make-up artists, image makers (including fashion photography, film, animation, and illustration), curators, and writers are encouraged to apply. The deadline is June 10. 

2014 Award for Nonprofit Innovation
The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University is accepting applications for an annual award that recognizes a nonprofit organization that best demonstrates Peter Drucker’s definition of innovation: “change that creates a new dimension of performance”. The award includes an unrestricted cash prize of $100,000. The deadline for applications is July 1. 

National Arts Strategies Seeks Applications for 2014 Creative Community Fellowships
Applications are being accepted from innovators committed to using arts and culture to design solutions for community problems. The program, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, incorporates a residential and online track. All fellows enter the program with an idea for a cultural project that responds to a problem in their communities. 

Grand Challenges Explorations
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is accepting applications for an accelerated grant program that encourages bold approaches aimed at improving the lives of the world’s poorest people. Anyone – students, scientists, entrepreneurs – with a transformative idea is invited to apply. Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded twice a year, and successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to $1 million, The five topics are measuring fetal and infant brain mortality; integrating community-based interventions; inciting health behaviors; diarrhea and enteric dysfunctions, and innovations for building agricultural development programs. The deadline for applications is May 6. 

Child Neurology Foundation Shields Award
A two-year $100,000 grant will be awarded to a junior faculty medical researcher conducting a basic science research project that is related to child neurology and can be translated into clinical care for children with neurologic diseases. Letters of Intent are due no later than April 18. 

Nurse Scholar-in-Residence Award
The American Academy of Nursing is inviting applications for its Distinguished Institute of Medicine Nurse Scholar-in Residence program, which provides a year-long residential leadership opportunity in health policy in Washington, D.C. The residency is an immersion experience that engages nurse leaders in a prominent role in health policy development at the national level as well as in interactions with other health fellows and scholars. The deadline to apply is April 15.  

Kavli Science Journalism Awards
The American Association for the Advancement of Science annual program recognizes outstanding science reporting for a general audience and honors individuals (rather than institutions, publishers, or employers) for their coverage of the sciences, engineering, and mathematics. The award for each category is $3,000 and the deadline is August 1. 

American Psychological Foundation Seeks Applications for Pearson Early Career Program
The foundation will award one grant of $12,000 to a researcher working on a scientifically-based clinical project in the area of serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, incarcerated or homeless individuals, children with serious emotional disturbances, or adults with serious mental illness. Proposals must be submitted by December 31. 

Religion Newswriters Foundation Seeks Applications From Journalists
The charitable arm of the Religion Newswriters Association is accepting applications for the Lilly Scholarships in Religion program from journalists interested in taking college courses in religion or spirituality. The program is designed to give journalists a deeper understanding of religion so that the public benefits from more informed reporting on religion in the non-religious news media. The foundation will award scholarships of up to $5,000 to journalists from the United States and Canada to take religion courses at any accredited college, university, or seminary. Scholarships must be used within three months of the award date. The deadline is July 1. 

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Issues RFP for Artificial Intelligence Research
The foundation seeks to fund a select group of investigators looking to pursue new, pioneering research in academic settings that “moves the needle” with regard to finding answers to broad scientific questions. The targeted topic areas in 2014 are artificial intelligence and life sciences. AI grants will focus on machine reading, diagram interpretation, and spatial and temporal reasoning. The foundation expects to award up to eight three-year grants of up to $2 million each. Applications are due May 30. 

Innovative Information Science Research Projects
Applications are being accepted from researchers with projects that contribute to a better understanding of how the integration of new technologies affects the information environment and user behavior. Applicants must be full-time academic faculty in schools of library and information science or related fields. Priority will be given to proposals from junior faculty. The application deadline is September 15. 

Juvenile Diversion Certificate Program
By participating in the intensive and interactive program, prosecutors, probation officers, law enforcement officials, and other juvenile justice leaders will be equipped to implement or improve juvenile diversion programming in their jurisdictions. 

Protecting Youth From Solitary Confinement Act
H.R. 4124 prohibits solitary confinement of individuals who are being held in juvenile facilities and are under federal custody. The bill further requires that the Director of the Board of Prisons compile and present annual data on the number of juveniles who are placed in solitary confinement at their facilities. The report will include demographic information and data on why and how long the youth was placed in solitary. The bill was sent to the Judiciary Committee for review. Contact Congress to voice support/concerns. 

 

Grantsmanship

 DCHS Office of Youth Services Listing of Grant Opportunities
The DCHS Office of Youth Services compiled a listing of grant opportunities on April 2. 

 

Research & Resources

Meet and Greet Superintendent Crawley
Watch a video of Dr. Crawley’s comments during the Meet and Greet event at the Media Center at the T.C. Williams Minnie Howard campus on March 26.  

Governor McAuliffe Names Superintendent of Public Instruction
Governor McAuliffe announced the appointment of Steve Staples as Superintendent of Public Instruction. Staples most recently served as Executive Director of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. Previously, he was school superintendent in York County for 16 years. 

Obama Announces 24 Winners in $107 Million High School Redesign Contest
Twenty-four winners beat out 275 that applied for the Obama administration’s Youth CareerContect competition, its high school redesign initiative that is being funded and run out of the Labor Department. Winning one of the largest grants ($7 million) was Prince George’s County. Bladensburg High School will use its grant to expand the capacity of its health and biosciences academy. Students will also have the ability to receive postsecondary credit while still in high school as well as access to paid work experiences with employer partners such as Lockheed Martin. 

More States Require Kindergarten Entrance Exams
The Denver-based Education Commission of the States (ECS) reported more than half of the states and the District of Columbia now require children to take kindergarten entrance assessments. In its 50-state analysis of kindergarten policies, ECS noted such exams aim to gauge students’ abilities in the areas of language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge, motor skills, and social and emotional development 

Knowledge Motivates Preschoolers More than Stickers
Among the findings of “Motivated by Meaning: Testing the Effect of Knowledge-Infused Rewards on Preschoolers’ Persistence” was the conclusion that preschoolers work harder at seemingly mundane tasks if rewarded with meaningful new knowledge rather than by being given stickers. The findings show that very young children are indeed information junkies, motivated best by “ah-ha” moments. 

Performance Gaps Widen as High-Achieving Students Progress in High School
New research from The Education Trust chronicles the performance of students who start high school as high achievers and finds that students of color and from disadvantaged backgrounds, on average, graduate with lower grades, pass fewer Advanced Placement exams, and do not do as well on the ACT or SAT as their peers from wealthier, white families. The report, "Falling out of the Lead," focused on the top quartile of students based on assessments as sophomores and followed their progress through graduation. Other research from the University of Chicago suggests that teacher perceptions of students' work habits help explain these GPA trends, while student-reported behavior and study habits do not. 

New York State’s Schools Are Nation’s Most Segregated
According to a new study from the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at the University of California Los Angeles, the share of black students who attend “intensely segregated” schools (those where fewer than 10% of student are white) in New York State has increased steadily since the late 1980s. As a result, New York State is home to the nation’s most segregated public schools. 

Report Highlights Stark Racial Disparities Among U.S. Children
According to a report released April 1, as children from minority populations gradually become the majority in the United States, the country must address unequal outcomes and opportunities between racial and ethnic groups to ensure a prosperous future. In "Race for Results," the Annie E. Casey Foundation created a new index that uses 12 educational, health, and economic factors to rank how children from major racial and ethnic groups fare in every state. "It is clear that children of color—especially African-Americans, American Indians, and Latinos—are in serious trouble in numerous issue areas and in nearly every region of the country. … Our nation cannot afford to leave this talent behind in hopes that these problems will remedy themselves."  

Civil Rights Data Collection: Data Snapshot (School Discipline)
The issue brief released by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights provides analysis of data from public schools nationwide that show disparities in how students – beginning in preschool – are disciplined based on their race/ethnicity, gender, and disability status. Data reveal that African American students, especially males; American Indian/Alaska Native students; and students with disabilities disproportionately face the most extreme forms of discipline. Excluding increasing numbers of these students from the classroom causes them to lose instructional time. A school discipline guidance package developed by the Departments of Justice and Education offers resources for improving school climate, policies and practices. 

Assessing the Evidence for Integrated Student Supports
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and its President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics held a national forum on integrated students supports. Its goal was to raise awareness of the potential of integrated student supports (ISS) to increase the success of Hispanic students. ISS is a school-based approach to promoting students’ academic success through coordinated academic and non-academic supports. 

UCLA Report Urges Caution on Community-School Approach
In a report released last month, University of California Los Angeles researchers urged policymakers to practice caution as they consider adopting or expanding nonprofit-run models like Communities in Schools and City Connects. Such programs (which Child Trends calls “integrated student supports”) serve about 3% of U.S. public school students and schools. “While integrating student supports is a well-intentioned endeavor, the examples most frequently cited are a side show and have little chance of enhancing equity of opportunity for students across the country,” the report said. 

Fellowship Helps Recruit More Juvenile Justice Workers of Color
Youth of color are overrepresented at almost every level of contact with the juvenile justice system. But despite the numbers, there are still very few youth advocates who represent communities most affected by the system. The disparity in numbers is the reason why the National Juvenile Justice Network launched a fellowship program to recruit more juvenile justice leaders of color.  

Equitable Access to Out-of-School Time Programming?
A Child Trends report tracks trends in the out-of-school-time (OST) activities of children and youth between 1997 and 2012 according to parental report. The rates of participation in OST activities by children 6-11 and 12-17 years of age were examined. 

Dedicated After-School Funding Left Out of New York Budget
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo had proposed providing $160 million to pay for after-school programs in the state for 100,000 students. In a separate plea, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for lawmakers to approve a tax increase on high-income city residents that would create a fund for expanding after-school and pre-kindergarten programs in the city. The $140 billion 2014-2015 budget passed by the New York legislature on April 1, however, does not include any funds dedicated to after-school initiatives.  

Ryan Budget Seeks Changes to Pell Grants, Elimination of ‘Duplicative’ K-12 Programs
A budget blueprint released by Rep. Paul Ryan, Chairs of the House Budget Committee, recommends that Congress “terminate and reduce programs that are failing to improve student achievement”. 

The President’s Proposals to Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit
President Obama has proposed expanding tax credits for families with children, making the child tax credit available to working parents with low earnings, and expanding the earned income tax credit for married couples and families with more than two children. These credits are aimed at lifting families out of poverty, reducing the depth of poverty, and increasing employment. 

Health Care Innovations Exchange Focus on At-Risk Families of Newborns
An issue of Health Care Innovations Exchange from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) describes three programs that provided personalized support and education for low-income or at-risk families of newborns. It also include resources to help states identify families and children at risk; facilitate the care of premature infants and improve outcomes; and a risk calculator for policymakers to estimate how many young children face selected risk factors associated with poor health, school, and developmental outcomes. 

How Parents Make Child Care Decisions
Acknowledging the difficulties families face and recognizing the importance of choice, several programs and policies have been established to assist parents in the selection of a child care provider, including child care resource and referral (CCR&R) and quality rating and improvement (QRIS) services. 

Big Jump in Percentage of Parents Aggravated by Their Kids
Between 1997 and 2011/12, the proportion of parents reporting aggravation (determined by how often their children’ actions bother them, how often they feel angry with them, etc.) increased by more than 50%. There was no statistically significant change nationally, however, during the recent economic downturn. A brief by Child Trends examines national and state-by-state trends in parental aggravation. 

Children of Veterans Experience Trauma Secondhand
Secondary traumatic stress, while not included in official diagnostic manuals, is common for children and spouses of military veterans. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network defines secondary traumatic stress as "the emotional duress that results when an individual hears about the firsthand trauma experiences of another. Its symptoms mimic those of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Accordingly, individuals affected by secondary stress may find themselves re-experiencing personal trauma or notice an increase in arousal and avoidance reactions related to the indirect trauma exposure. They may also experience changes in memory and perception; alterations in their sense of self-efficacy; a depletion of personal resources; and disruption in their perceptions of safety, trust, and independence." 

New Minnesota Anti-Bullying Law
After more than two years of public debate and nearly twelve hours of discussion in the statehouse on April 8, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) signed the state’s Safe and Supportive Schools Act into law. The new law, effective in the 2-14-15 school year, includes off-campus electronic posts in school-related bullying if they “substantially and materially disrupt student learning of the school environment”. It requires local districts to adopt a multi-pronged bullying policy and if they do not, a model state policy will go into effect. It requires schools to designate a person to investigate and track bullying reports, which may be made anonymously, and it creates a School Safety Technical Assistance Center at the Minnesota Department of Education to help collect data and best practices for combatting bullying. Opponents of the measure contend it diminishes local control (the eight-page law includes more than a page of requirements for local discipline policies). 

Percentage of College Freshmen Drinking Beer in Past Year Remains at Historically Low Levels
According to data from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program’s annual college freshman survey, the percentage of U.S. college freshmen reporting that they drank beer occasionally or frequently in the past year has declined significantly since the early 1980s. 

Interactive Tool Helps Parents and Other Adults Talk to Young People About Drinking
Parents have a significant influence on young people’s decisions about drinking, especially when they create supportive and nurturing environments in which their children can make their own decisions. SAMSHA recently launched Start the Talk, an interactive, online simulation tool that helps parents and caregivers of children ages 9 to 15 practice tough conversations about alcohol. The evidence-based tool uses animated characters so parents or people who work with youth can role-play conversations about drinking 

“How to Put on a Sock’ Video Illustrates Concerns About Mississippi Sex Ed
A 2011 Mississippi state law that requires sex education in the state’s schools bans teachers in those classes from demonstrating how to apply condoms. Sanford Johnson, the deputy director of education advocacy group Mississippi First, created a You Tube video in which he carefully explains how to put on a sock. “If you’re going to engage in a shoe-related activity, make sure that your foot is protected. Make sure you use a sock each and every time,” he says, adding that his advice applies “whether you’re wearing dress shoes or athletic shoes”. 

New State Laws Require More Sex-Abuse Training in Schools
An Illinois woman has turned lessons learned in her recovery from her own childhood sexual abuse into a nationwide push to pass state laws that require student lessons and teacher training about the issue in public schools. Starting in her home state in 2011, Erin Merryn has successfully pushed for passage of a so-called “Erin’s Law” in ten states. That number is expected to grow as 26 have considered or are considering similar bills in their 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions. 

The Hustle: Economics of the Underground Sex Economy
A report by the Urban Institute is the first to close the gap in what we know about the nature and scope of commercial sex economies in American cities. Through interviews with convicted pimps, they uncovered information on how businesses are operated, how men and women enter and are recruited into the trade, and how the Internet is changing the street-based commercial sex economy.   

Prohibiting Detention of Youth Status Offenders Act
H.R. 4123 proposes the elimination of locked confinement of status offenders. Under the Juvenile Delinquency and Prevention Act (JJDPA), youth who have committed a status offence such as running away from home or skipping school cannot be placed in locked confinement unless their behavior violates a valid court order. The bill sponsored by Rep. Cardenas (D-CA) gets rid of this exception. The bill requires all states, within one year of the legislation’s passage, to stop using the valid court order (VCO) exception. Status offenders do not belong behind bars as overwhelming evidence indicates that once in the prison system, the likelihood of repeat incarcerations increases. Efforts need to be directed to alternative treatment strategies that do not involve incarceration. 

Youth Engaged 4 Change
A new website aimed at encouraging youth and young adults to shape programs, policies and services impacting them has been launched. Youth Engaged 4 Change was created by the federal Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs. It offers information about internships and speaking engagements, stories about youth "change makers", and opportunities to share ideas about how to implement the newly released Pathways for Youth: Draft Strategic Plan for Federal Collaboration 

Arts Education Across the States
According to a new report by the Arts Education Partnership (a part of the Council of Chief State School Officers), 41 states now have instructional requirements for arts education at all levels (elementary, middle, and high school), although only 17 states have policies regarding assessment in the subject. Twenty-seven states now consider the arts a "core" or "academic" subject. Of those, only Georgia lists the four traditional disciplines—dance, music, theater, and visual art – in its statutory definition. About half of states require high school students to take art classes for graduation. New Jersey now requires annual school reports to contain metrics about arts education. 

Workshops & Webinars

Detained Immigrant Parents Can Have a Place at the Table Too (April 16, 2 - 3:30 p.m.)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a directive in 2013 that established policies and procedures to safeguard the parental rights of immigrant parents who are detained and whose children are involved in the child welfare system. The webinar will present the specific details of the ‘parental interest directive’ and how it can support the inclusion of immigrant parents in family group decision making and other child welfare processes. 

Using “The Toolkit” to Improve Youth Case Management Practices (April 16, 2 - 3:30 p.m.)
The Toolkit for Frontline Services for Youth has been an essential resource for the public workforce system since 2007. The webinar will pull out the hidden gems in the Toolkit and provide easy to follow tips for putting them to use at the local level. 

Preventing Suicide Among Justice-Involved Youth: Newly Developed Tools, Recommendations, and Research (April 17, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.)
Nearly one-third of justice-involved youth report having experienced suicidal ideation in the past year, 36% have attempted suicide during their lifetimes, and suicide is the leading cause of death for youth in confinement. The webinar will focus on new suicide prevention resources that the Alliance’s Youth in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System Task Force developed as well as suicide research findings and recommendation. The resources contribute to the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, which guides efforts to prevent suicide nationwide. 

Starting and Supporting Family Advisory Groups (April 24 12 - 1 p.m.)
Join the National Center for Medical Home Implementation for a webinar that will provide a detailed “How-To” description of starting and supporting family advisory groups, examples of best practices, and insights from parent partners. 

Building Self-Esteem and Racial Identity in Transracially Adopted Youth (April 24, 1 - 2:30 p.m.)
The University of Maryland and C.A.S.E. have partnered to conduct research to address such questions as what transracially adopted youth need for healthy racial identity development; what influences their ability to develop cohesive racial identity and positive sense of well-being; and how parents can equip their children to cope with racial discrimination. In addition to exploring these answers, the webinar will include a review of preliminary research findings to help guide parents as they support their child’s racial identity. 

Social & Emotional Learning: Assess It to Address It (May 6, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
The event is part of a symposium series dedicated to understanding social and emotional learning and its contribution to closing the achievement and opportunity gaps. Attend in person in Minneapolis or join the live webinar presentation. 

  

 

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