CFK Weekly—Oct. 15, 2001

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

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NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

**A Place in One Child's Life

**Help For Foster Parents

**Protecting Kids from Abuse and Neglect

**Bush Calls on American Children to Help Afghan Children

**Next Week: It's Your Turn

TALKING ABOUT PRE-KINDERGARTEN

**Mathematics in the Preschool

**Conference Call on Early Childhood Ballot Initiatives

YOUTH VIOLENCE

**Animal Abuse and Youth Violence

WELFARE, LOW-WAGE WORKERS AND CHILDREN

**How Welfare and Work Policies Affect Children: A Synthesis of Research

**Welfare Reform: Opportunities for Collaboration

**Life at Low Wages: What Work and Child-Rearing Choices Do Parents
Face?

**Recent Changes in Wisconsin Family Policy

**Providing Mental Health Services to Welfare Recipients

IMPROVING EDUCATION THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL AND BEYOND

**Raising Our Sights: No High School Senior Left Behind

**Secondary and Low-Income Schools Most Vulnerable, Survey Says

**A Sampler of Student Responses to Science and Math Test Items

**Community Colleges' Role in Teacher Preparation

**Gates Foundation Focuses on Smaller Schools for School Reform

RESOURCES FOR COMMUNITY BUILDERS

**Plant a Garden

**Check Your Playground

**Linking Service-Learning and School-to-Work

**Toolkit for Service Learning

**Co/Motion

**Organize a Fishing Derby

**Personal Financial Mentoring: A Guide for Youth Development Workers

CALLING ALL PARENTS

**Recruiting and Using Volunteers in Secondary Schools

**Parent Involvement in Education Grants

CONNECT FOR YOUTH

**Teen Immigrants: Five American Stories

**A National Youth Development Agenda

**National Youth Employment Coalition Seeks Fellows

PUBLIC OPINION

**Majority Values, Supports Public Help for After School Programs

KIDS AND POLITICS

**Economic Stimulus Package

**Nutrition and Food Stamps

FOCUS ON THE STATES

**State Budgets Making Adjustments

**Trends in CHIP Expenditures

**State-by-State News

SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE

NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

**A Place in One Child's Life

Volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are everyday people
with a difficult task: speaking up for the best interests of abused and
neglected children. Julee Newberger describes her experience as a CASA
for a 15-year-old girl.

http://www.connectforkids.org

**Help For Foster Parents

Many children who join families through the foster care system or adoption
struggle with a range of emotional and other problems. Social worker Nancy
Duncan reviews The Healing Power of the Family, a book by Richard J. Delaney
that offers advice to parents trying to integrate troubled children into
their families.

http://www.connectforkids.org

**Protecting Kids from Abuse and Neglect

Learn how many children suffer abuse and neglect in our country, and
what efforts exist to help them and their families in our Child Abuse and
Neglect Topic Page.

http://www.connectforkids.org

**Bush Calls on American Children to Help Afghan Children

President Bush asked American children to earn or collect a dollar
each to help Afghan children. Donations can be sent to America's Fund for
Afghan Children, c/o The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington,
DC 20509-1600.

http://www.connectforkids.org

**Next Week: It's Your Turn!

Next week, Connect for Kids hosts our first e-mail discussion! We invite
you to join other members of our online community in a discussion of publicly
supported pre-kindergarten programs -- should every state fund pre-K? Should
every school or community offer it, and for which families? Why or why
not? What do quality programs look like? How do they benefit young children?

The discussion begins on October 22 with an overview of a growing pre-kindergarten
movement and an interview with a master pre-K teacher.  To subscribe,
send an e-mail to cfkchat-request@list.benton.org
and in the body of the message type: subscribe. Sign up today.


TALKING ABOUT PRE-KINDERGARTEN

**Mathematics in the Preschool

Mathematics teaching belongs in preschool, argues Douglas Clements,
but it should build on everyday activities. His examples show how good
preschool mathematics teaching can be about joy and challenge -- debating
which child is bigger, drawing maps to the "treasure" buried outside, providing
unit blocks and time to use them and challenging children to estimate and
check how many steps are required to walk to the playground.

http://www.nctm.org/tcm/2001/01/p270.htm

**Conference Call on Early Childhood Ballot Initiatives

The Early Care and Education Collaborative has scheduled a conference
call on using local ballot initiatives to earmark funds for early childhood
programs for Nov. 14th, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. Background information
on ballot initiatives will be posted the day before. RSVP at earlycare@ccmc.org
before Nov. 12.

http://www.earlycare.org


YOUTH VIOLENCE

**Animal Abuse and Youth Violence

Animal abuse is a common characteristic in the developmental histories
of violent adult offenders, according to this Office of Juvenile Justice
and Delinquency Prevention Bulletin. Identifying and intervening with children
who are cruel to animals may add one more piece to the puzzle of understanding
and preventing youth violence.

http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/pubs/violvict.html#188677


WELFARE, LOW-WAGE WORKERS AND CHILDREN

**How Welfare and Work Policies Affect Children: A Synthesis of Research

The findings are mixed on the impact of welfare reform on children,
but one thing is clear, according to this review of the research. Mandatory
work alone does not improve outcomes, but when income supplements improve
a welfare-to-work family's economic well-being, their children's academic
achievement and emotional well-being improve as well.

http://www.mdrc.org/NextGeneration

**Welfare Reform: Opportunities for Collaboration

More than half of all foster children come from homes that are eligible
for welfare (U.S. Congress 1998), and close to half of all identified incidents
of child abuse or neglect occur in families receiving welfare. Yet collaborations
between child welfare and welfare agencies are still difficult. This Urban
Institute report discusses the opportunities for collaboration presented
by welfare reform, the challenges encountered in the early stages of planning
and implementation, and the circumstances under which these efforts have
the best chance of succeeding.

http://newfederalism.urban.org/html/occa53.html

**Life at Low Wages: What Work and Child-Rearing Choices Do Parents
Face?

Low-wage workers tend to work in jobs that offer little scheduling
flexibility. Are historic family supports now inadequate for low-wage workers
as they try to parent and stay employed? Join this CLASP audio conference
on Nov. 2 to discuss.

http://www.clasp.org/audioconference/brochure.html

**Recent Changes in Wisconsin Family Policy

Wisconsin is recognized as one of the leaders in state-level welfare
reform efforts, having eliminated the entitlement to cash assistance by
linking receipt of welfare to work and recognized child care as an important
work support. This Urban Institute report describes Wisconsin's approach
to welfare reform from the perspectives of state and local administrators,
direct service providers, and in some cases, the families themselves.

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

**Providing Mental Health Services to Welfare Recipients

Many welfare recipients face significant barriers to gainful employment
due to mental health conditions. This Mathematica report looks at key choices
of programs in Florida, Oregon, Tennessee and Utah that offer mental health
services to welfare recipients.

http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/PDFs/redirect.asp?strsite=providingmental.pdf


IMPROVING EDUCATION THROUGH HIGH
SCHOOL AND BEYOND

**Raising Our Sights: No High School Senior Left Behind

Citing the increased demands for higher education in the workplace,
the National Commission on the High School Senior Year recommends creating
a seamless ?P-16? system, from preschool to postsecondary education, which
aligns and integrates standards, curriculum and assessment efforts. In
addition to calling for investments in quality early childhood education,
the Commission calls for creating more permeable boundaries between high
school, postsecondary education and the world of work so students can shift
from learning to work and back again according to their own needs. http://www.commissiononthesenioryear.org/Report/report.html

Education Week's summary of the Commission's work and its report describes
how the Commission went far beyond its original mission to address ?senioritis?
to issue a ringing endorsement for providing a college-preparatory curriculum
to every American high school student.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/newstory.cfm?slug=06high.h21

**Secondary and Low-Income Schools Most Vulnerable, Survey Says

This year's Metropolitan Life Survey of the American Teacher, conducted
in spring 2001, finds that low-income students, who face larger obstacles
to learning, tend to attend schools characterized by poorer quality teaching,
lower expectations, poorer school environments and less support than high-income
schools. Further, on many measures, students and teachers view secondary
schools as offering a lower quality education than elementary schools.
http://www.metlife.com/Companyinfo/Community/Found/Docs/2001pdf.html

**A Sampler of Student Responses to Science and Math Test Items

A new publication provides research-based guidance on the assessment
of students with limited English proficiency (LEP) to state and local practitioners.
The document contains LEP students' work samples in different subject areas
that demonstrate various stages in the English language development process.
Cost: $35. Call the Council of Chief State School Officers Publications
Office (202-336-7016) for a copy.

http://www.ccsso.org/pdfs/ggsep01.pdf

**Community Colleges' Role in Teacher Preparation

Across the United States, education leaders and state officials are
scrambling to find solutions to the complex and pressing problem of teacher
shortages. The Center for Community College Policy looks at the emerging
role of the nation's community colleges in recruiting and preparing teachers.

http://www.communitycollegepolicy.org/html/Issues/TeacherPrep/Index.htm

**Gates Foundation Focuses on Smaller Schools for School Reform

In April 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced it was
committing $350 million over a three-year period "to help all students
achieve at high levels by improving teaching and learning, and enhancing
access to technology." This Education Week article profiles how the Foundation's
Tom Vander Ark is trying to radically change the way people think about
secondary education by encouraging the creation of smaller high schools.

http://www.you-click.net/GoNow/a15864a43525a89281975a4


RESOURCES FOR COMMUNITY BUILDERS

**Plant a Garden

The National Gardening Association awards 400 Youth Garden Grants to
schools, neighborhood groups, community centers, camps, clubs, treatment
facilities and intergenerational programs throughout the United States.
Each grant consists of an assortment of quality tools, seeds and garden
products contributed by leading companies from the lawn and garden industry.
To be eligible, groups must plan to garden in 2002 with at least 15 children
from 3-18. Deadline: Nov. 1.

http://www.kidsgardening.com/grants.asp

**Check Your Playground

Check out your local playground and submit photos of spaces that aren't
safe, challenging, age-appropriate, regularly repaired or properly supervised
to Kaboom!, an organization dedicated to creating safe places for children.
KaBoom! will exhibit the pictures and pick winners at random to receive
publications and a scholarship to KaBoom!'s April training conference.

http://www.kaboom.org/scary.asp

**Linking Service-Learning and School-to-Work

Learn how six states' local school districts are creating community
partnerships to link service learning and school-to-work initiatives to
expose students to a wide variety of careers. Call the National Association
of Partners in Education (703-836-4880) for a free copy.

**Toolkit for Service Learning

If you are a student, parent or teacher participating in a service-learning
project, you'll appreciate this step-by-step guide to choosing a project,
conducting research, taking notes, creating an outline and more from the
Pittsburgh Council on Public Education.

http://www.graduationprojecthelp.org

**Co/Motion

This national program dedicated to helping organizations and schools
build youth leadership for addressing community problems, is offering challenge
grants of up to $10,000 to support youth-led advocacy programs to address
gun violence.

http://www.comotionmakers.org

 

**Organize a Fishing Derby

Maybe now's the time to plan a get-away-from-it-all activity for the
kids in your community. The Kids All-American Fishing Derby has a toolkit
with everything you need to organize and conduct a kids' fishing event.

http://www.fishingworld.com/Kids-Fishing/organizingderby.html

**Personal Financial Mentoring: A Guide for Youth Development Workers

If you're trying to help young people plan for their future, what better
way than helping them manage their money? This financial literacy resource
from the National Collaboration for Youth and the National Endowment for
Financial Education covers saving and investing, spending and debt, work
and your first paycheck.

http://www.nassembly.org/html/prod_you.html


CALLING ALL PARENTS

**Recruiting and Using Volunteers in Secondary Schools

School leaders and principals can do a lot to encourage a greater level
of parent involvement in middle schools and high schools. Suggestions from
this National Association of Secondary School Principals' Bulletin include
offering a range of activities and venues for involving parents, volunteer
training, fostering good working relationships among diverse community
groups, and training teachers to engage and give feedback to classroom
volunteers.

http://www.principals.org/news/bltn_rcrt_vlntrs1001.html

**Parent Involvement in Education Grants

What can you do to spur parental involvement in your local school?
Apply now for one of 50 $2,000 General Mills grants to be awarded in February
2002 by describing in 1,000 words or less how your parent-sponsored school
group would use the money. Applications must be received by December 31,
2001.

http://www.ptotoday.com/piegrants/


CONNECT FOR YOUTH

**Teen Immigrants: Five American Stories

The week of Oct. 13, ?In the Mix? airs this program about five teen
immigrants -- why they came to America, the challenges they face and their
aspirations for the future.

http://www.pbs.org/inthemix/shows/show_teen_immigrants.html

**A National Youth Development Agenda

This year's agenda from the National Collaboration for Youth covers
positive youth development, juvenile justice and delinquency prevention,
youth employment, youth community service and service learning, runaway
and homeless youth, adolescent pregnancy prevention and after-school and
summer programs. The seven position statements describe the issues and
recommend key policies and strategies for fostering resilient, successful
youth.

http://www.nassembly.org/html/prod_you.html

**National Youth Employment Coalition Seeks Fellows

The National Youth Employment Coalition seeks applicants for its New
Leaders Academy, Class of 2002 who have a commitment to young people ages
14-25, at least five years of experience in the field of youth employment
or youth development and who are considered emerging leaders in the profession.
Each New Leader's organization is asked to contribute $1,000 to help defray
costs and allow release time for two one-week residential training sessions.
For details contact Adrienne Smith or Mindy Larson (202.659.1064; ml@nyec.org)


PUBLIC OPINION

**Majority Values, Supports Public Help for After School Programs

When told that the federal government spends $846 million a year on
after-school programs, 7 in ten voters say it's not enough, according to
a survey conducted this summer for the Afterschool Alliance. Sixty-nine
percent of the voters surveyed said after-school programs should be available
to all children, even if it means an additional $800 million per year. 
The strong support for after school funding crosses all lines -- Republicans,
Democrats, women, men, married and single voters.  Most voters also
are willing to pay $100 more per year in state taxes to make after school
available.

http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/press_archives/Lights_NR_100901.doc


KIDS AND POLITICS

**Economic Stimulus Package

A Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis claims the Bush Administration's
October 4 economic stimulus package skews its benefits toward those who
need help the least while stinting on assistance for those most needing
help as a result of the downturn. Over the long term, the proposal is more
than 90 percent tax cuts and less than 10 percent aid to the unemployed,
according to CBPP.

http://www.cbpp.org/10-5-01bud.htm

Families USA reports that President Bush has proposed using $11 billion
from the State Children's Health Insurance Program to help newly unemployed
workers maintain health coverage, putting health insurance for low-income
children in jeopardy.

http://www.familiesusa.org

The National Council of La Raza predicts bad times for Latino workers,
many of whom work in areas hit hard by recession. The council is urging
an economic stimulus package that targets benefits for low-wage families.

http://nclr.policy.net/proactive/newsroom/release.vtml?id=18520

Stateline reports that the nation's governors have weighed in with proposals
for allocating a $75 billion stimulus package. Concerned by double-digit
revenue drops in some states, the governors want measures that would save
them from having to raise taxes or cut programs.

http://www1.stateline.org/story.do?storyId=201302

**Nutrition and Food Stamps

As the economy weakens and sectors such as the hospitality industry
report dramatic downturns, food stamps can provide a nutrition safety net
for low-income families.

The House of Representatives passed a farm bill reauthorizing the Food
Stamp program on Oct. 5. Anti-hunger advocates are urging the Senate to
restore Food Stamp benefits for legal immigrants and provide adequate funding
for nutrition programs.

http://www.frac.org/html/actioncenters/alert100501.html


FOCUS ON THE STATES

**State Budgets Making Adjustments

Stateline reports on the state budget impacts of the economic slowdown
and the war on terrorism.

http://www1.stateline.org/story.do?storyId=202423

We are hearing from child advocates in many states about how their states
are trying to bring outlays in line with dropping revenues, sometimes by
trimming children's services and programs. To keep track of what's happening
in your state, check out your state page on Connect for Kids, which has
links to the child advocacy organizations working in your state.

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

**Trends in Children's Health Insurance Program Expenditures

A new Kaiser Family Foundation brief reviews the latest data available
on states' use of Children's Health Insurance Program funds and explores
the possible effect of a pending dip in federal funding on states' ability
to provide health care coverage to uninsured, low-income children.

http://www.kff.org/content/2001/4011

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

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

Arizona

A report by the People For the American Way Foundation contends that
the Arizona tuition tax credit law is seriously undermining public education,
particularly the public schools that serve poor children.

http://www.pfaw.org/issues/education/AZ_intro.shtml

California

?Making Ends Meet: How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Family in California??
finds that the hourly wage needed to support a basic family budget for
families with children is two to three times the state's minimum wage,
depending on where the family is located.

http://www.cbp.org

Connecticut

A new report from Connecticut Voices for Children, "Understanding

Connecticut's WIA-Eligible Youth Population: Report #1 -- Teen Parents
and School Dropouts," is available online.

http://www.ctkidslink.org

The first issue of Connecticut Voices for Children's series, "Bits &
Bytes," describes the new Connecticut Parent Tech Academy and provides
an update on the Connecticut Girls & Technology Network's latest expo.

http://www.ctkidslink.org

Kentucky

A brief from the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices
examines Kentucky's strategy for higher education reform.

http://www.nga.org/center/divisions/1,1188,C_ISSUE_BRIEF^D_2566,00.html

Illinois

Illinois Voices for Children is crediting hard work by grass-roots
advocates for the Illinois Department of Human Services decision to drop
one plan for altering child care subsides and easing another.

http://www.voices4kids.org/faxalert.html

Indiana

Registration is now open for the Indiana Youth Institute's annual statewide
Kids Count in Indiana Conference set for Dec. 11.

https://stealth.onet.net/iyi/conference_info.asp

Michigan

The Ready to Succeed Partnership public awareness campaign, "Be Their
Hero from Age Zero," is in full swing around the state.

http://www.herofromzero.org.

New York

A National Parenting Association poll of New York parents, taken before
Sept. 11, found broad agreement among parents, regardless of race, income
or political party, on how to improve schools -- more teachers to cut class
sizes and better teacher salaries and training.

http://www.parentsunite.org/resources/parent_vote_ny.html

Wisconsin

A new report from the General Accounting Office examines state-funded
school voucher programs in Milwaukee. (pdf file)

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d01914.pdf

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children reports that the 2001 state
budget passed without $25 million for preschool, but other important children's
proposals remained intact.

http://www.papartnerships.org/capwatch.html

Rhode Island

The 2001 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook includes new sections on
immigrant children and notes that children in poverty, whose numbers have
increased despite the last decade of economic growth, are at greatest risk.

http://www.rikidscount.org

Virginia

Members of the Virginia PTA are prepared to present "Building Successful
Partnerships," a step-by-step program designed to encourage collaboration
among parents, teachers, business leaders and policy makers.  To arrange
for a presentation for your school or civic organization, contact the Virginia
PTA (1-866-4VAKIDS).

http://www.pta.org/parentinvolvement/bsp/99pres.asp

Keep up the good work, everyone!

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

Jan@benton.org