CFK Weekly—Dec. 4, 2000

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

Access past issues in the Archives



NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

**Growing Independence

**Making Change in D.C.

**Learning to Live Independently

**FosterClub

CONNECT TODAY

**Kids as Community Builders?

KIDS AND POLITICS

**CDF Says Children Shouldn't Have to Wait

**National PTA Urges Approval of  $7.9 Billion Increase for Education
Funding

**Letter to Congress on Youth Employment

UNDERSTANDING RISKS, PROTECTING KIDS

**Protecting Teens: Beyond Race, Income and Family Structure

**HHS Releases 10th Special Report on Alcoholism

**Don't Leave ?Out-of-Home? Kids Out of Reproductive Health Services

** Better Health through Physical Activity and Sports

**Nova on PBS: Dying to be Thin

**Smoking Cessation and African Americans

EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY

**Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project ?Exemplary?

**Morino Institute Launches Youth Development Collaborative

**Lucas Foundation Profiles Sherman Oaks Experience

**Art Becomes the Fourth ?R?

**Educators Share Lesson Ideas for Using Technology

EARLY YEARS AND EARLY LEARNING

**Heads Up for New Carnegie Report

**I Am Your Child Early Literacy Materials

IMPROVING SCHOOLS

**Monitoring School Quality: An Indicators Report

**Turning Points 2000: Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century

REPORTS IN BRIEF

** Projections of Education Statistics to 2010

**Researchers Identify Gene Common to Many Autism Cases

**Census Bureau 1997 Poverty and Population Estimates for School Districts

**Juveniles and the Death Penalty

FOCUS ON THE STATES

**State Policy Initiatives: Family Planning to Family Caps

**Measuring Up 2000: State-by-State Report Card for Higher Education

**State-by-State News

SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE

_________________________________

NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

**Growing Independence

One year ago, the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 created a new
federal commitment to helping foster children make a safe, healthy transition
to living on their own. Susan Kellam looks at how the new law is promoting
change across the country.

http://www.connectforkids.org/content1552/content_show.htm?attrib_id=314&doc_id=41937

**Making Change in DC

Rita Atkinson was stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide --
no computer, no Internet, and no technology training -- when she learned
about a program run by the East Capitol Center for Change in Washington,
D.C.  Now, Atkinson is teaching a computer class at the center.

http://www.connectforkids.org/content1556/content_show.htm?attrib_id=343&doc_id=41939

**Learning to Live Independently

Kids transitioning out of foster care at age 18 often face the challenges
of independent living by themselves. Connect for Kids features original
articles and resources on the topic.

http://www.connectforkids.org/content1552/content_list.htm?attrib_id=314

**FosterClub

Find out what famous people grew up in foster care, listen to the voices
of kids in the system and get advice on education and job hunting on this
site designed by foster parents for kids in foster care.

http://www.fosterclub.org/grownups/index.html

_________________________________

CONNECT TODAY

**Kids as Community Builders

Do you know a child or young person who has made your community a better
place for kids and families, especially around holiday time? Send stories
of civic-minded kids to julee@benton.org

_________________________________

KIDS AND POLITICS

While we wait for final results in the presidential election, don't
forget that there is still important legislative business pending in the
current 106th Congress!

**CDF Says Children Shouldn't Have to Wait

Congress postponed work on the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill
(?Labor-H?), the most important spending bill for children, until after
the November election and then again until December 4. ?Labor-H? is the
major federal funding mechanism for child care, Head Start, education,
health care and after-school programs. The Children's Defense Fund has
scheduled call-in days for Dec. 5 and 6 to tell members of Congress not
to delay any longer.

http://congress.nw.dc.us/cgi-bin/alertpr.pl?dir=cdf&alert=19

**National PTA Urges Approval of  $7.9 Billion Increase for
Education Funding

Included in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill is a bipartisan-negotiated
agreement to increase education funding by $7.9 billion, according to the
National Parent Teacher Association. Also at stake in the lame duck session
is a bipartisan school construction bill (H.R. 4094, America's Better Classrooms
Act), which could generate nearly $25 billion in school construction and
modernization bonds.

http://congress.nw.dc.us/npta2/elecmail.html

**Letter to Congress on Youth Employment

The ?Labor-H? appropriations bill includes funding for the Workforce
Investment Act, which covers summer jobs for youth and Youth Opportunity
Grants. The National Youth Employment Coalition is circulating a letter
to Congress encouraging approval of the increased spending levels agreed
on by Congressional and White House negotiators on Oct. 30. For information,
contact David Brown <db@nyec.org>.

_________________________________

UNDERSTANDING RISKS, PROTECTING KIDS

**Protecting Teens: Beyond Race, Income and Family Structure

?If we make judgments about kids based on the color of their skin,
their parents' bank account, or the number of parents they have, we will
be wrong much of the time. We have to ask the right questions,? argues
Dr. Robert Blum, lead investigator of the latest analysis of the Add Health
data, the largest national survey of teens and their parents. According
to the report, risk factors like race, income, and family structure (single
parents, etc.) have very little predictive value and can mislead parents
and policy makers in assessing a teenager's vulnerability for high-risk
behaviors. On the other hand, teen reports of trouble concentrating in
school, problems with schoolwork, or spending lots of time ?hanging out
with friends? are much more predictive of serious risk-taking in adolescence
than demographics. The monograph is available online. E-mail for a hard
copy <aph@umn.edu>. http://www.peds.umn.edu/peds-adol/di.html

**HHS Releases 10th Special Report on Alcoholism

One in four children under 18 live in a household where a family member
is alcohol-dependent or abuses alcohol, placing them at greater risk for
violence, abuse, accidents and future alcohol misuse themselves. This 10th
special report to Congress documents the scope of alcohol's impact, summarizes
the latest research into the genetic and environmental factors that can
lead to alcohol addiction and reviews promising interventions for prevention
and treatment.

http://silk.nih.gov/silk/niaaa1/publication/10report/10-order.htm

**Don't Leave ?Out-of-Home? Kids Out of Reproductive Health Services

Given the high incidence of sexual abuse and other risk factors among
kids in foster care, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health
Association encourages family planning service providers to link up with
foster care and homeless service providers in their community so that these
especially vulnerable kids are well-served. NFPRHA's issue brief, ?Programming
in Reproductive Health for Youth in Out-of-Home Care: A Practical Guide
for Managers? is available by emailing Uma Setty <usetty@nfprha.org>.

**Better Health through Physical Activity and Sports

Sports and physical activity may be associated with leisure activities,
but there is nothing frivolous about the need for improving the physical
fitness of our children. According to the U.S. Depts. of Health and Human
Services and Education, ?our nation's young people are, in large measure,
inactive, unfit and increasingly overweight,? contributing in the short-run
to unprecedented levels of childhood obesity and threatening to reverse
decades-long progress in reducing death from cardiovascular diseases. The
report identifies a number of ways families, schools and communities can
encourage and improve opportunities for physical activities.

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dash/presphysactrpt

** Nova on PBS: Dying to be Thin

On December 12 (check your local listings to be sure) PBS' Nova series
will air ?Dying to Be Thin,? probing the roots of eating disorders, the
dangers and possible solutions. http://pbs.org/wgbh/nova/thin

**Smoking Cessation and African Americans

Despite a pattern of starting tobacco use at a later age and smoking
fewer cigarettes per day than other ethnic groups, African Americans typically
have a harder time quitting tobacco. The Onyx Group reviews some of the
research and action steps individuals and communities of color can take
to improve these odds.

http://www.onyx-group.com/Cessation.htm

 

Learn more about protecting kids from harm and risky behaviors on the
Connect for Kids Substance Abuse topic page. http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1543/index.htm

Our Teen Years feature covers adolescent development and resources for
helping teens stay on track.

http://www.connectforkids.org/content1555/content.htm

_________________________________

EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY

**Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project is ?Exemplary?

Is the classroom computer a toy, a ?drill sergeant,? or a tool used
creatively for projects that effectively teach students teamwork, problem-solving
and critical thinking? The San Jose Mercury News reports on how computers
can be used wisely in schools, as demonstrated in the Challenge 2000 Multimedia
Project sponsored by Joint Venture Silicon Valley and the San Mateo County
Office of Education. The project is one of only two nationwide that the
U.S. Dept. of Education recently recognized as ?exemplary? for using technology
in schools.

http://www0.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/front/docs/school112800.htm

**Morino Institute Launches Youth Development Collaborative

The Morino Institute took a ?hands-on? attitude in establishing pilot
computer centers in four different Washington schools. It argues that giving
computers to schools is not enough unless you train staff and fund technical
support.

http://www.youthlearn.org

**Lucas Foundation Profiles Sherman Oaks Experience

What does a good integration of technology and learning look like in
a school? The George Lucas Educational Foundation describes the experience
of the Sherman Oaks Community Charter School in San Jose.

http://glef.org/FMPro?-DB=articles1.fp5&-Format=ShermanOaks.html&-lay=layout%20%231&-Op=eq&type=shermanoaks&-sortfield=feature%20order&-Find

**Art Becomes the Fourth ?R?

Those who support the arts in education have often been on the defensive
when it comes to fighting for education dollars. Now a new argument claims
that the Internet revolution has boosted art to the head of the class.
Jason Ohler, director of the education technology program at the University
of Alaska Southeast, argues that "the multimedia environment of the Web,
as well as much of what we experience through our computers, requires students
to think and communicate as designers and artists." Ohler's latest article,
?Art as the Fourth R,? is published in the October 2000 issue of Educational
Leadership. Information and a petition are available online.


http://www2.jun.alaska.edu/edtech/fourthr/4thR.html/4thR.fs1.html

**Educators Share Lesson Ideas for Using Technology

If you want some creative, ready-to-use ideas for using computer resources
in teaching and learning, check out these ?e-tools? shared by educators
around the country.

http://www.nea.org/technology/resource.htm

Visit the Connect for Kids ?Technology? topic page for background information
and previous reports. http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1543/index.htm

_________________________________

EARLY YEARS AND EARLY LEARNING

**Heads Up for New Carnegie Report

When the Carnegie Corporation published the ?Starting Points? report
in 1994, it drew attention to school-readiness and the importance of children's
early years as a public policy matter. Carnegie's newest report ?Starting
Now? (to be released in spring 2001) documents our progress since ?Starting
Points? was published. The findings will be previewed at a national press
conference on early childhood development on Dec. 5.

http://www.carnegie.org/sub/news/newsweek.html

Barbara Kantrowitz summarizes Carnegie's ?Starting Now? report in the
current ?Your Baby? special 2000 edition of Newsweek. Copies of the Newsweek
Special Edition are available on newsstands through Dec. 8, 2000.

http://www.neodata.com/Newsweek/jjsi/msnbc_baby_USA.htm

**I Am Your Child Early Literacy Materials

Talk with your baby, listen and respond, name feelings, pictures, and
activities?these are the basics in being your child's first teacher. The
?Ready to Learn? video from the I Am Your Child Foundation translates into
everyday activities the steps that experts say lead the way for babies,
toddlers and preschoolers to enter school ?ready to learn.? Available in
English and Spanish. Cost: $5.

http://www.iamyourchild.org/order/order.html

 

Learn more about early learning and the importance of the early years
by visiting the ?Early Years? feature on Connect for Kids.

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1548/index.htm

_________________________________

IMPROVING SCHOOLS

**Monitoring School Quality: An Indicators Report

Focusing on the school characteristics that lead to improved student
learning, this National Center on Education Statistics report reviews 13
?education indicators? that recent research suggests are factors related
to why some schools may be better than others at helping students learn.
The indicators are school leadership, goals, professional community, discipline,
academic environment, teacher academic skills, teaching assignment, teacher
experience, professional development, course content, pedagogy, technology
and class size.

http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2001030

**Turning Points 2000: Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century

This Carnegie Corporation report was released at the national conference
of the National Middle School Association. Turning Points 2000 emphasizes
the importance of a challenging curriculum and high expectations for young
adolescents, but also the importance of understanding and addressing the
unique needs of early adolescents and the role of stronger partnerships
between families and communities.

http://www.nmsa.org/turningpoints.htm

_________________________________

REPORTS IN BRIEF

** Projections of Education Statistics to 2010

This National Center for Education Statistics publication provides
projections for enrollment, graduates, teachers and expenditures in elementary
and secondary schools and institutions of higher education.

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2000/projections/

**Researchers Identify Gene Common to Many Autism Cases

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have identified
a gene that may predispose people to developing autism.

http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/nov2000/nichd-27.htm

**Census Bureau 1997 Poverty and Population Estimates for School
Districts

Poverty and population estimates from 1997 for the nation's approximately
15,000 school districts, used by the U.S. Dept. of Education to allocate
funds to aid disadvantaged children under Title I of the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act, are now available. Census 2000 data on poverty
at the school district level will not be released until 2002.

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/saipe.html

**Juveniles and the Death Penalty

This Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Bulletin
examines the history of capital punishment and Supreme Court decisions
related to its use with juveniles. The bulletin profiles those sentenced
to death for crimes committed as juveniles and notes the international
movement toward abolishing this sanction.

http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/pubs/court.html#184748

___________________________________

FOCUS ON THE STATES

**State Policy Initiatives: Family Planning to Family Caps

Child Trends surveyed all 50 states to learn about their specific state
programs and policies to discourage teenage and nonmarital childbearing.
Among their findings: in recent years more states have been placing emphasis
on teen pregnancy prevention. Out of the 14 states that did not have a
policy requiring or encouraging STD education and did not provide contraception
education statewide, four states -- Alabama, Indiana, New Mexico and Texas
-- provided abstinence education. Nineteen states reported ?family caps?
(i.e., they no longer increased TANF benefits when a mother receiving assistance
had an additional child). Eleven states reported using welfare rules other
than family caps to discourage nonmarital child-bearing, and 26 states
ran youth development or young adult education/employment programs.

http://newfederalism.urban.org/html/anf_a43.html

**Measuring Up 2000: State-by-State Report Card for Higher Education

The state you live in, along with family resources and ethnicity, plays
a major role in determining your college opportunities, according to this
first-ever rating of the states' performance in preparing students for
higher education and making post-secondary education accessible.

http://measuringup2000.highereducation.org/getpress.cfm

**State-by-State News

Check out news about kids in your state in the ?state-by-state? section
of the Connect for Kids Web site.

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1576/index.htm

Here's a sample of this week's additions to our state pages.

California -- San Jose

Lucas Foundation Profiles Sherman Oaks Experience

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1667/index.htm?state_id=1661

District of Columbia

?Election Day 2000: Impact on the District?? an Urban Institute Forum,
explored the relationship between the District and the federal government.

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1667/index.htm?state_id=385

Iowa

An American Humane Association review of Iowa's child-protection services
says the system is hampered by inadequate training, unmanageable caseloads
and an inability to deal with substance abuse issues in families.

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1667/index.htm?state_id=392

Michigan

The Kids Count in Michigan 2000 Data Book confirms that Michigan has
a long way to go to achieve the majority of its goals of child well-being
set for this year.
http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1667/index.htm?state_id=399

Missouri

KWMU-FM in St. Louis, MO and its partner, St. Louis Children's Hospital,
are producing in-depth reports, call-in programs, and a special documentary
to help educate the St. Louis community about injury prevention for infants
and young children.

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1667/index.htm?state_id=402

New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Human Services has released an RFP for
expanding statewide psychiatric crisis services. http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1667/index.htm?state_id=407

New York

The Children's Defense Fund-NY reports on a new Student Health Outreach
Project at the University of Rochester.

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1667/index.htm?state_id=409

North Carolina

State health officials have announced that North Carolina's children's
health insurance program will freeze enrollment January 1, 2001.
http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1667/index.htm?state_id=410

Oregon

The Oregonian reported on a shift in priorities for the next state
budget, as Kitzhaber, with Republican support, plans to spend more on early
childhood and prevention services.

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1667/index.htm?state_id=414

 

Texas

Texans Care for Children and various co-sponsors are holding Grassroots

Skill Building Conferences in Austin on December 6, in San Antonio
on December 13, and in Houston on Jan. 11, 2001.

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1667/index.htm?state_id=421

Utah

According to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt
has accepted recommendations from an advisory commission of business and
community leaders appointed to study child care issues.

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1667/index.htm?state_id=422

Wisconsin

The Capital Times reports on the findings of the Dane County Youth
Assessment 2000 -- a survey of county teens taken every five years.

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1667/index.htm?state_id=427

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Jan Richter, Outreach Specialist and the Connect for Kids team

Jan@benton.org