CFK Weekly— Nov. 4, 2002

We encourage distribution of this information! If reprinting
in whole or part, please attribute it to Connect for Kids (www.connectforkids.org).

NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

**Helping Across Generations

**Readers Talk Back-November 2002

KIDS AND POLITICS

**Senate Majority Up for Grabs-Does It Make a Difference?

**Affordable Housing: A Quiet Crisis for Families and Children

**Vanishing Voters: What Works to Increase Voter Turnout Among Young People?


**Tobacco Industry Campaign Contributions Top $7.3 Million

KIDS AND TECHNOLOGY

**PowerUp Folds National Office

**A Formative Evaluation of the E-Rate Program

**Equal Justice and the Digital Revolution: Using Technology to Meet the Needs
of Low-Income People

HELPING VULNERABLE FAMILIES

**Child Support Enforcement and Domestic Violence

**Self-Sufficiency Calculator

**Immigrant Children in the United States Face Economic Hardship

EDUCATION NEWS

**Federal Education Spending 1980 to 2002

**Parent Involvement Contracts-Another Kind of Discrimination?

**General Accounting Office Reports Lack of Evidence on Privatizing Education

PARENTING

**Holiday Safety Tips

**A Lot Easier Said Than Done

**American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Conversation over TV

**Neurologic Disorders After Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination

HUNGER AND CHILDREN'S HEALTH

**Food Assistance Programs and the Well-Being of Low-Income Families

**The WIC Program: Background, Trends and Issues

**The World Health Report 2002-Preventing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life

STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING SERVICES

**Individual Development Accounts Briefing Book

**Reasons and Strategies for Strengthening Childhood Development Services in
the Healthcare System

**Leveraging, Obtaining and Sustaining Dollars for Maternal and Child Health

**First Steps: Taking Action Early to Prevent Violence

**Promoting Community Child Protection: A Legislative Agenda

**Work and Family: Employers Take Action to Get Work Supports to Low-Income
Families

CONNECT FOR YOUTH

**New National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth Web Site

**For Teens: One Test You Don't Want to Fail ...Thinking About Drug Testing

**Adolescent Substance Abuse: A Public Health Priority

FOCUS ON THE STATES

**State-by-State News

NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

**Helping Across Generations

Taking advantage of the wisdom that comes with age, the Traveling Grannies and
Grandpas program in Grand Rapids, Michigan pairs low-income elderly volunteers
with teens and school children in need of extra support. Kathleen Piggins reports
on the program.

http://www.connectforkids.org/benton_topics1544/benton_topics_show.htm?doc_id=129272

**Readers Talk Back-November 2002

Connect for Kids readers offered feedback on articles that explored mentoring
for foster youth, international adoption and a special report from kids in foster
care who offered a reality check on the Hollywood film, White Oleander.

http://www.connectforkids.org/benton_topics1544/benton_topics_show.htm?doc_id=129273

KIDS AND POLITICS

**Senate Majority Up for Grabs-Does It Make a Difference?

There is bipartisan support for an expanded federal role in education, but party
leadership would make a difference in funding issues affecting schools and special
education, according to this Education Week article, "For Education, Election
a Matter of Money."

http://www.edweek.org/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=09elect.h22

**Affordable Housing: A Quiet Crisis for Families and Children

Stable housing is essential for families to keep their jobs and protect their
children. Rising housing costs have hit low-income families hard, according
to this Children's Defense Fund report. While moderate and upper-income families
get tax relief for mortgage interest payments, federal direct spending on housing
assistance for low-income families has decreased substantially since 1976. Housing
appropriations are among the choices facing Congress in the lame duck session
after the election.

http://www.childrensdefense.org/pdf/houscrisis_OCT02.pdf

**Vanishing Voters: What Works to Increase Voter Turnout Among Young
People?

In the 2000 presidential elections, only 32 percent of Americans age 18 to 24
voted. "Encouraging Civic Engagement," an October 2002 Child Trends
report, summarizes what works to keep teens interested in volunteering and voting.


http://www.childtrends.org/PDF/K6Brief.pdf

Child Trends' What Works in Youth Development section has more information
on engaging teens.

http://www.childtrends.org/youthdevelopment_intro.asp

**Tobacco Industry Campaign Contributions Top $7.3 Million


The tobacco industry has contributed more than $7.3 million in soft money-"party-building"
contributions exempt from usual federal campaign regulations and limits-and
political action committee contributions to federal candidates, parties and
political committees so far this election cycle, according to the Campaign For
Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund and Common Cause.

http://tobaccofreekids.org/reports/contributions/october2002.pdf

KIDS AND TECHNOLOGY

**PowerUp Folds National Office

The national office of PowerUp-a charity formed to fund technology equity
programs in the United States-is closing, leaving nearly 1,000 community
technology centers for underserved youth to fend for themselves. The decreased
funding and slow economy has forced some to shut down; others will continue
with financial support from the Boys and Girls Club of America and companies
like Microsoft, AOL Time Warner, Intel and Gateway.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/30/technology/30POWE.html

**A Formative Evaluation of the E-Rate Program

The glaring differences in the availability of computers and the Internet between
high- and low-poverty schools have all but disappeared, reports this preliminary
evaluation of the federal E-Rate program. The program was designed to help bridge
the "digital divide" by supporting broader public access in educational
institutions. Public schools in poor and rural communities have been the primary
beneficiaries of E-Rate support, but the report finds significant gaps remain
in their ability to effectively use technology in the classroom, and that greater
coordination of resources is needed.

http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=7969

**Equal Justice and the Digital Revolution: Using Technology to Meet
the Needs of Low-Income People

This Center on Law and Social Policy report describes how legal services programs
have used new technologies-including Web sites, e-mail, video conferencing
and case management software-to inform and assist their clients. For most
low-income clients, these innovations mean more access to supports. But people
with limited literacy skills, education levels or access to the Web may be left
behind. The report calls on the legal justice community to tackle such issues
as Internet access, electronic consumer and government transactions, and infrastructure
"redlining" (for example, telecommunications carriers neglecting to
provide services to inner-city neighborhoods).

http://www.clasp.org/DMS/Documents/1035576585.33/digital_revolution.pdf

HELPING VULNERABLE FAMILIES

**Child Support Enforcement and Domestic Violence

A report from the Fragile Families project finds that a non-cohabiting mother
living in a state with stricter child support enforcement may face increased
risk of violence, particularly if she reports previous abuse (including being
hit or slapped). However, a single mother who has a child support order-which
is more likely in a state with strict enforcement-faces no increased risk;
and such orders appear to reduce violence among mothers on welfare. More flexible
options for mothers seeking enforced child support may help lower the risk of
violence.

http://crcw.princeton.edu/workingpapers/WP02-17-FF-Fertig.pdf

**Self-Sufficiency Calculator

This Web-based computer application lets parents enter information about family
size, income, and other details to determine their eligibility for a dozen state
and federal assistance programs, including food stamps. Families must still
apply for benefits in-person at the appropriate office-this can mean visiting
six separate offices to apply for the largest 11 federally funded assistance
programs, according to a General Accounting Office report.

http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/wo_leo101802.asp

**Immigrant Children in the United States Face Economic Hardship

The National Center for Children in Poverty reports that many of the 30 million
immigrant children face substantial economic hardship, because their families
are likely to remain disadvantaged throughout their working lives. Overall,
immigrant children are twice as likely to be poor as native-born children-and
immigrant children in two-parent families are four times as likely to be poor
as their native-born counterparts. More than two-thirds (66 percent) of first-generation
poor children are Hispanics, compared to only 14 percent of those of the third
or later generations. In contrast, a larger number of third- or later generation
children in poverty are whites and blacks (46 and 37 percent, respectively).


http://www.nccp.org

EDUCATION NEWS

**Federal Education Spending 1980 to 2002

Federal funding for elementary and secondary education rose steadily in the
1960s and early 1970s, leveled off in the later 1970s and declined in the 1980s.
It began climbing markedly in the 1990s, according to this overview from the
Department of Education. Still, the federal share of elementary and secondary
school budgets, which dipped from 12 percent in 1980 to 7 percent in 1990, only
increased to 10 percent by 2002.

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2003/2003006.pdf

**Parent Involvement Contracts-Another Kind of Discrimination?

Parent involvement is a good thing-but is it fair to make it a requirement
for participating in enriched classrooms or special activities? The Education
Week article, "Rules of Engagement" looks at what happened when one
child asked this question in Spokane, Washington.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=09spokane.h22

**General Accounting Office Reports Lack of Evidence on Privatizing
Education

Do privatized schools do a better job in involving parents or improving student
achievement than their counterparts? This GAO report says we can't yet know
because there is too little rigorous research.

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0311.pdf

PARENTING

**Holiday Safety Tips

To ensure a healthy and happy holiday season for children, the American Academy
of Pediatrics is offering safety tips to parents. The tips cover topics including
toys and trees, as well as food preparation, fire prevention and safe visiting
in others' homes.

http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/dectips.htm

**A Lot Easier Said Than Done

Most parents say today's America is a difficult environment in which to raise
kids, according to this Public Agenda parenting survey. Parents tend to worry
more about protecting their children from negative social influences than about
paying the bills or having enough family time together (single and low-income
parents, however, also report serious worries about making ends meet and getting
health insurance for their kids). Although parents worry about television's
impact, half report that their child has a TV set in his or her room.

http://www.publicagenda.org/specials/parents/parents.htm

**American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Conversation over TV

Citing the importance of early brain development and language in its February
2001 policy statement on children and the media, the American Academy of Pediatrics
recommends no television for children under age 2, and that total media time
(TV, video games and videotapes) for children ages 2 and above be limited to
no more than 1 to 2 hours of quality programming per day. The academy also recommends
removing televisions from children's bedrooms.

http://www.aap.org/policy/re0043.html

**Neurologic Disorders after Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination

Researchers found no association between MMR vaccination and encephalitis, aseptic
meningitis, or autism, and no clustering of hospitalizations for autism after
vaccination. None of the autistic children made hospital visits for inflammatory
bowel diseases.

http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/abstract/110/5/957?etoc

HUNGER AND CHILDREN’S HEALTH

**Food Assistance Programs and the Well-Being of Low-Income Families

According to this U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, children who
participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children
(WIC) consume more of several key nutrients-iron, folate and vitamins
B, C and A-than non-eligible children. While food stamps do not dramatically
reduce poverty and child poverty statistics, they do significantly reduce the
depth and severity of family poverty.

http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr26/fanrr26-9/

**The WIC Program: Background, Trends and Issues

In the United States, almost half of all infants and about one-quarter of all
children ages 1 to 4 now participate in WIC, which accounts for almost 12 percent
of total federal spending on food and nutrition assistance. This USDA brief
calls for more research to guide the WIC program and address such issues as
breastfeeding and the prevalence of childhood obesity.

http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr27/

**The World Health Report 2002-Preventing Risks, Promoting Healthy
Life

The developing world carries the burden of most of the major preventable health
risks today, and many of those affected are children, according to this annual
World Health Organization report. Childhood and maternal underweight is the
biggest threat to health and life, with some 170 million children in poor countries
underweight, mainly from lack of food. This and other preventable risks-including
sexually transmitted disease, high blood pressure, tobacco, alcohol, unsafe
water and sanitation, indoor smoke from solid fuels and obesity-account
for about 40 percent of the 56 million deaths that occur worldwide each year.
This could be reduced through use of the cost-effective interventions identified
in the report.

http://www.who.int/whr/en/

STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING SERVICES

**Individual Development Accounts Briefing Book

Individual Development Accounts are becoming an increasingly popular way to
help low-income families accumulate assets, but this is complicating the asset
rules for many federal programs, like food stamps, the state Children's Health
Insurance Program (SCHIP) and housing programs. This briefing book from the
Corporation for Enterprise Development and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
summarizes the current rules.

http://www.cfed.org/individual_assets/2002_Federal_IDA_Briefing_Book.pdf

**Reasons and Strategies for Strengthening Childhood Development Services
in the Healthcare System

This Commonwealth report finds that, because there is no system to screen young
children for serious behavioral and developmental problems before they start
school, policymakers, health plans and pediatric providers must take the lead
in shaping and strengthening child development services. States can also use
the flexibility under federal programs like the Maternal and Child Health Services
Block Grant, SCHIP and Medicaid to establish comprehensive systems of early
care for all children, including those who have or are at risk for developmental
delays.

http://www.cmwf.org/publist/publist2.asp?CategoryID=2

**Leveraging, Obtaining and Sustaining Dollars for Maternal and Child
Health

Kathy Carson, administrator for Parent and Child Health in Seattle, shares some
of her strategies for maximizing available funding streams for maternal and
child health services in the summer 2002 issue of City Lights. (Scroll to page
7.)

http://www.citymatch.org/PDF/CityLights/CLsum02.pdf

**First Steps: Taking Action Early to Prevent Violence

The evidence is clear that even early experiences of violence and witnessing
destructive behaviors can adversely impact children's brain development, academic
achievement and the capacity for healthy relationships, and boost the risk of
being involved in future violence. So what can we do about it? This report funded
by the Packard Foundation offers concrete suggestions, from educating parents
about safely storing guns to training health providers on the signs of substance
abuse among parents and advocating for a refundable pre-tax child credit.

http://www.preventioninstitute.org/firststeps.html

**Promoting Community Child Protection: A Legislative Agenda

There was a time when child protection was viewed as an inappropriate function
for the government to undertake. Some say the pendulum has now swung too far
in putting child protection solely in the hands of government agencies. This
American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law resource details the
changes in state and federal laws that can help communities take a greater responsibility
for protecting children and strengthening families.

http://www.abanet.org/child/catalog/books.html

**Work and Family: Employers Take Action to Get Work Supports to Low-Income
Families

The Center on Law and Social Policy's final audioconference for 2002 is scheduled
for November 8, from 12:30-1:30 pm (ET). Featured guests include Joel Rosen,
CEO of A.J. Enterprises of Palm Coast Inc., and former Congressman Thomas J.
Downey, chairman of the Downey McGrath Group, Inc., who will discuss the impact
of the November 5th election on prospects for Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families (TANF) reauthorization.

http://www.shop-clasp.org/

CONNECT FOR YOUTH

**New National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth
Web Site

NCWD/Youth is one of two technical assistance centers funded by the U.S. Department
of Labor to assist the workforce development community in addressing issues
affecting the employment of people with disabilities. The site contains useful
information and resources for parents, youth with disabilities, service providers,
administrators, policymakers and employers.

http://www.ncwd-youth.info/



**For Teens: One Test You Don't Want to Fail ...Thinking About Drug
Testing

Many teens don’t understand how drug tests work, who can require them,
and whether being around drug-users, particularly marijuana smokers, can lead
to positive results for non-users. To help them find the answers to their questions,
the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has put all of
the information in one place.

http://forreal.samhsa.gov/know/drugtesting.asp

**Adolescent Substance Abuse: A Public Health Priority

This report, from the Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy, urges lawmakers
to increase federal and state funding for prevention and treatment efforts,
and public health officials to increase training for screening, diagnosis, referral
and treatment. It also calls on the justice system to expand treatment and services
for teens in correctional facilities, and offer more transitional and after-care
services to those re-entering the community.

http://www.jointogether.org/sa/news/alerts/reader/0,1854,554898,00.html

FOCUS ON THE STATES

**State-by-State News

Arkansas

The Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families policy brief, "Would Abolishing
the Food Tax Really Help Arkansas Families?" argues that the benefits of
abolishing the food tax would bypass many low-income families, and the costs
in health and social services cuts would burden them more. To reach a fairer
distribution of tax burdens and benefits, AACF argues for a state refundable
Earned Income Tax Credit or sales-tax rebate targeting low-income families.

http://www.aradvocates.org/finances

California

A new CalWORKs report finds that alcohol and other drugs, and mental health
and domestic violence issues significantly reduce TANF participants' chances
of working.

www.cimh.org/calworks

District of Columbia

"Using Technology to Improve Academic Achievement in Out-of-School-Time
Programs in Washington, D.C." study concludes that the D.C. 21st Century
Community Learning Center program that ran during the summer of 2001 was efficient,
with large numbers of well-functioning machines in almost all observed classrooms
and generally positive reactions from staff and students. Student enrollment
was lower than hoped, however, and observations suggest that improving the use
of the Internet, pretests, and classroom aides could boost student achievement.

http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=7968

Indiana

The Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana has a free toolkit to help nonprofits
launch a youth philanthropy effort, including a youth-led community Dollar Drive.
E-mail YPII@aol.com

http://www.YPIN.org

The Indiana Youth Initiative's Kids Count Conference will be held November
18 and 19. For more information call 800-343-7060. http://www.iyi.org

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Education reports that the Master Teacher Program,
suspended in June because of funding issues, has been resumed. The program has
allowed the state to pay a portion of the $2,300 tuition required for educators
to become certified through the National Board Certification process. After
achieving that status, those who agree to become "Master Teachers"
and mentor new teachers are awarded an annual $5,000 bonus for up to 10 years.

http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.asp?id=1180

Michigan

In its paper, "A New Path For Our Youngest Children," the Michigan
Ready to Succeed Partnership urges state government to focus on positive outcomes
for children and take the lead in turning existing health, social and education
programs and financing mechanisms into a system that supports young children
and families.

http://www.readytosucceed.org/



New York

New York advocates report that housing vouchers could be eliminated for thousands
of low-wage families in New York if a bill approved by the U.S. House Appropriations
Committee is passed during the lame duck session. Under current law, unused
vouchers are redistributed, not eliminated. The proposed legislation would mean
local public housing authorities lose vouchers even as they are identifying
families seeking housing and landlords willing to participate.

http://www.childrensdefense.org/fs_housing.php

North Carolina

Involving parents in the education of their children is a key component of student
success, but according to research by The News & Observer, many black parents
report that mistrust of schools and the predominantly white teaching staff complicate
efforts to develop better parent-school partnerships.

http://newsobserver.com/news/story/1848339p-1845219c.html

KidsPeace is seeking holiday gifts for foster children. E-mail lwall@kidspeace.org.
http://www.kidspeace.org

South Dakota

South Dakota's EDWeb links educators, students and parents to instructional
materials, homework help and best practices for involving parents. All instructional
links have been correlated to the South Dakota core content standards.

http://www.sdedweb.com/

Texas

Frustration with the current level of child care funding and access came through
loud and clear in community surveys conducted this fall by the Children's Defense
Fund. Despite local innovation and commitment, communities are worried about
inadequate numbers of child care subsidies for working families. Small towns
and big cities agree that the Texas Legislature must be prepared to commit more
funds to the child care subsidy system in the coming legislative session.

http://www.cppp.org/products/pp171.html

Washington

In 1995, the Washington Legislature passed a law known as the "Becca Bill,"
which addressed several areas of public policy, including truancy provisions
designed to keep kids in school and out of trouble. "Keeping Kids in School"
finds that the so-called Becca measures have resulted in significant increases
in high school enrollment.

http://www.wa.gov/wsipp/other/new.html


PRIVACY POLICY

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href="http://www.connectforkids.org/information1537/information_show.htm?doc_id=9207">http://www.connectforkids.org/information1537/information_show.htm?doc_id=9207



Vote for kids on November 5, everyone!

Jan Richter, Policy and Outreach Specialist, and the Connect for Kids team

Jan@benton.org