CFK Weekly: April 17, 2000

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

**The Magic of Music

**Children's Hospitals: Essential, but Challenged

**Safer Communities, Safer Kids

**CWLA Live Chat: "Protecting America's Children: Its Everybody's Business"

WASHINGTON UPDATE

**Children's Pesticide Protections Threatened

**Common Sense Gun Control Gathers Support

**Mayors Continue Fight for Summer Jobs for Youth

**States Should Spend TANF Funds For Low-Income Families Without Delay

FILLING GAPS IN HEALTH CARE FOR LOW-INCOME KIDS

**HCFA Calls for Proactive State Action on Medicaid Enrollments

**Medicaid Enrollments Rebounding in Some States

**Disparities in Eligibility for Public Health Insurance between Children
and Adults

**Covering Health: Sourcebook for Journalists

BEST WAYS TO TEACH READING, MATH, AND SCIENCE

**National Reading Panel Issues Recommendations

**National Council of Teachers of Math Insist on Balance in Math Instruction

**Inquiry Essential Method in Teaching Science

IMPROVING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LEARNING

**Start Early

**Improving Math and Science Education

**Technology Training for Girls

HIV/AIDS HAS INCREASING IMPACT ON KIDS

**Data on HIV/AIDS and Children and Youth

**HHS Distributes Ryan White Funds to States for HIV/AIDS Help

**GAO Analyzes Use of Ryan White CARE Act Funds

**Update on the Ryan White CARE Act

HOME ALONE

**New Study Shows What Kids Do After School

**Making the After-School Hours Work for Kids

RESOURCES FOR COMMUNITY BUILDERS

**?A Century of Second Chances"

**Weave a Web of Support in Your Community

**The Community Assessment Center Model

**Teen Connection

**Online Community Toolkit

**How to Use Data/Statistics to Make Your Point

REPORTS IN BRIEF

**Latest Child Abuse and Neglect Figures Released

**Twenty-First Annual Report on Implementation of IDEA

**Employers: Paying a Living Wage is Good for Business

TIPS FOR PARENTS

**More Parents Talking to Kids About Drugs

**Discipline and Responsibility

**Parents and Children Together Now Online

FOCUS ON THE STATES

**State by State Round-Up

**State Plans for Tobacco Settlement Moneys

**Help for Michigan Child Advocates

**Most States More Stringent than Federal Law on Sanctioning TANF Recipients

**Report Card on State Gun Laws

NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

**The Magic of Music

column by Nick Geisinger

Music can have a powerful impact on children -- some studies show that
math, verbal and spatial IQ abilities all benefit from exposure to music.
But more than that, music helps children learn to express themselves and
their emotions. In our monthly column, Nick Geisinger explores the mystery
and value of music.

http://www.connectforkids.org

**Children's Hospitals: Essential, but Challenged

commentary by Lawrence A. McAndrews

Lawrence A. McAndrews, president and CEO of the National Association
of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions, says that federal policies
need to change in order to ensure continued strength of the nation's network
of children's hospitals.

http://www.connectforkids.org

**Safer Communities, Safer Kids

On the anniversary of a tragic shooting in Littleton, Colorado, Connect
for Kids provides resources on keeping communities safe for kids and families.
Topics include the significance of classroom culture, exposure to violence,
promoting children's mental health and gun violence and gun control.

http://www.connectforkids.org

**CWLA Live Chat: "Protecting America's Children: Its Everybody's Business"

On Wednesday, April 19th at 9:00 p.m. EDT, the Child Welfare League
of America's executive director, Shay Bilchik, will host a live chat on
preventing child abuse and neglect. Come share your ideas and explore ways
that we can help create healthy, safe, nurturing environments for all families
and children.

http://www.connectforkids.org

WASHINGTON UPDATE

Congressional representatives and Senators are working in their home
districts beginning April 17, so this is a good time to share your concerns
about key legislative actions pending about kids. These are a few of the
initiatives gaining attention in the nation's capital:

**Children's Pesticide Protections Threatened

The Children's Environmental Health Network analyzes the potential
consequences of two companion bills (H.R. 1592 and S. 1464) that would
repeal the child protective provisions of the Food Quality Protection Act
(FQPA). The FQPA was unanimously passed in 1996, directing the Environmental
Protection Agency to give the benefit of the doubt to protecting America's
children in regulating pesticides, in response to a National Academy of
Sciences report that found federal regulatory processes lacking in such
protections. http://www.cehn.org/cehn/Policy.html

?Pesticides: Improvements Needed to Ensure the Safety of Farmworkers
and Their Children? (GAO/RCED-00-40) was released by the Government Accounting
Office on March 14 and should be posted online in a few weeks. Call 202-512-6000
for a hard copy.

**Common Sense Gun Control Gathers Support

Politicians from both parties who favor ?common sense? gun control
are noting the anniversary of the Columbine tragedy by renewing efforts
to pass a three-day gun show background check and safety-lock requirements
in this session of Congress. The Republican Main Street Partnership has
written the President and Congressional leadership <http://www.republicanmainstreet.org/000412bpr.html>
in support of the measures, and President Clinton has renewed his attention
to federal gun control. http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/New/html/20000411_14.html

**Mayors Continue Fight for Summer Jobs for Youth

Unintended consequences of changes in the federal youth summer employment
program are cutting severely the number of jobs that will be available
for youth this summer through the Work Investment Act.

http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/us_mayor_newspaper/documents/04_03_00/summer_frontpage.html

Read a brief analysis of this issue by Gabrielle Kreisler from Citizen's
Committee for Children of New York, Inc.

http://www.connectforkids.org/usr_doc/summerjobs.htm

**States Should Spend TANF Funds For Low-Income Families Without Delay

At least six states are diverting TANF surpluses for tax cuts and unrelated
state functions, according to the Center for Community Change. Rep. Nancy
Johnson (R-Conn.) has written all state governors warning about diverting
federal TANF funds for other purposes and encouraging appropriate use of
these funds to forestall negative federal action. http://www.communitychange.org/alerts/alert185.asp#5

FILLING GAPS IN HEALTH CARE FOR LOW-INCOME KIDS

**HCFA Calls for Proactive State Action on Medicaid Enrollments

The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), the federal agency
in charge of Medicaid, has written to state Medicaid directors directing
them to find low-income families who may have been wrongly terminated from
Medicaid and to reinstate their benefits without delay. Through April 19,
you can hear a replay of a conference call with HCFA officials (800-677-6200,
PIN 6046). http://www.hcfa.gov/medicaid/smd40700.htm

**Medicaid Enrollments Rebounding in Some States

Simplified enrollment procedures and other state measures may have
an impact in turning around declining Medicaid enrollments among eligible
families, according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Medicaid rates have increased from June, 1998 to June, 1999 on average,
but for nine of the 21 states studied Medicaid enrollments continued to
drop.

http://www.kff.org/content/2000/20000412a/Kaiser4-12-00PressRlease.PDF

**Disparities in Eligibility for Public Health Insurance between Children
and Adults

While states have taken advantage of new ways to expand health care
coverage for children in the past few years, few have chosen to provide
coverage to parents or adults at the same income levels. See an overview
and state by state analysis by Families USA. http://www.familiesusa.org/dispar.htm

**Covering Health: Sourcebook for Journalists

You can get the big picture on health care and children's health, with
key facts and figures, from a new briefing book for journalists from the
Alliance for Health Reform.  http://www.allhealth.org/sourcebook/

Don't miss Connect for Kids' guest article from the National Association
of Children's Hospitals on our home page this week. <http://www.connectforkids.org>
For background information on health, check our ?health? topic page in
the Reference Room. http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1543/index.htm

BEST WAYS TO TEACH READING, MATH,
AND SCIENCE

Three major guidelines for teaching reading, math, and science released
in April, 2000 reflect the importance placed on teaching children to conceptualize,
problem-solve and ask questions along with learning the basics.

**National Reading Panel Issues Recommendations

While battles over phonics vs. whole language have dominated debate
over how best to teach kids to read, a growing consensus seems to be bringing
the ?reading wars? to an end. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the
research, the National Reading Panel's April 13, 2000 report found that
teaching phonics, word sounds and letter combinations, and giving feedback
on oral reading combined with reading comprehension instruction offer the
most effective way to teach children to read.

http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/nrppubskey.cfm

Information and resources, including the National Academy of Sciences
?Preventing Reading Difficulties? report, are available in the ?Literacy
and Reading? topic page of the Connect for Kids Reference Room. http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1543/index.htm

**National Council of Teachers of Math Insist on Balance in Math Instruction

There's more to math than learning multiplication tables and recipes
for long division. Learning with understanding persists as the theme of
the revised ?Principles and Standards of Mathematics,? released by the
National Council of Teachers of Math (NCTM) on April 12, 2000. Mathematicians
and math teachers recommend math lessons that help children learn basic
math concepts and engage in interactive learning to develop their problem-solving
and reasoning skills and to enhance their ability to evaluate their own
thinking and that of others. http://standards.nctm.org/protoFINAL/cover.html

**Inquiry Essential Method in Teaching Science

The new National Science Education Standards call for science lessons
that emphasize inquiry as a key process in learning science and as the
fundamental process in the work of scientists. ?Inquiry and the National
Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning? offers
background, research on the value of inquiry-based learning, and concrete
ways teachers and administrators can meet this challenge in their classrooms.
http://books.nap.edu/books/0309064767/html/R1.html#pagetop

IMPROVING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LEARNING

**Start Early

Teams of educators interested in developing a network to make high
quality science instruction available to preschoolers will have the chance
to attend ?Head Start on Science,? a summer leadership institute run by
the Center for Science in Early Childhood at California State University,
Long Beach. http://www.csulb.edu/~sci4kids

**Improving Math and Science Education

This WestEd publication offers strategies gleaned from programs abroad
for supporting new math and science teachers.

http://www.wested.org/wested/news/RD_alert/2000_03/welcome.shtml

**Technology Training for Girls

The national YWCA and 3Com Corporation are working together to offer
free computer network training and certification to hundreds of high school
girls across our country and to increase the small number of women in computer
science today. c

Explore Connect for Kids' feature ?Kids and Learning? to learn more
about improving schools and education.

http://www.connectforkids.org/content1556/content.htm

Find information on ?Technology,? ?Girls? and more in Connect for Kids
Topics A-Z. http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1543/index.htm

HIV/AIDS HAS INCREASING IMPACT ON
KIDS

**Data on HIV/AIDS and Children and Youth

HIV/AIDS is having a significant impact on teens and children, especially
among minorities, according to a summary of the data from the Kaiser Family
Foundation.

http://www.kff.org/content/2000/1581/HIVepi.pdf

**HHS Distributes Ryan White Funds to States for HIV/AIDS Help

The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services has awarded almost $800
million to help states improve access to HIV/AIDS primary care, support
services and medications.

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2000pres/20000407.html

**GAO Analyzes Use of Ryan White CARE Act Funds

A March 2000 GAO report analyzing the uses of Ryan White CARE Act funds
by the states found that these funds are indeed reaching vulnerable populations
? minorities and women ? and underserved rural areas.

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/he00054.pdf

**Update on the Ryan White CARE Act

The reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act, which would provide
federal funding for medications, medical care and support services for
HIV/AIDS patients, was introduced in the Senate in late March, 2000 and
is awaiting further Congressional action.

HOME ALONE

**New Study Shows What Kids Do After School

A study by the Institute for Survey Research at the University of Michigan
shows that about 3.5 million American children between ages 5 and 12 spend
some time home alone after school, up from about 1.8 million a decade ago.
E-mail Diana at dblackfo@umich.edu
for a copy of ?Children's After School Activities? or read the summary
online. http://www.umich.edu/~urecord/9900/Apr03_00/7.htm

**Making the After-School Hours Work for Kids

This March 2000 report from the U.S. Dept. of Education explores the
potential of after-school programs, key components and exemplary programs.
http://www.ed.gov/pubs/parents/SafeSmart/

RESOURCES FOR COMMUNITY BUILDERS

**?A Century of Second Chances"

This 10-minute video is a compilation of interviews with graduates
of the juvenile court system telling how the juvenile court helped them
turn their lives around. To order, send your contact information and $5
to JCCI, 1325 G Street, Suite 770, Washington, DC, 20005. Make checks payable
to Bright Future Ventures.

**Weave a Web of Support in Your Community

Save the Children's after-school initiative, Web of Support, offers
a hands-on guidebook for planning, implementing and evaluating after-school
programs that provide kids with caring adults, safe places and constructive
activities.

http://www.savethechildren.org/usw1.html

**The Community Assessment Center Model

The Community Assessment Center model, piloted in Colorado and Florida,
has four key elements that have the potential to positively impact the
lives of youth and divert them from the path of serious, violent and chronic
delinquency.

http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/pubs/delinq.html#178942

**Teen Connection

This project of Neighborhood Legal Services in Western New York offers
workshops and manuals to help teenagers learn their rights and responsibilities
and to make better  decisions. http://www.nls.org/teendscp.htm

**Online Community Toolkit

This toolkit from Full Circle Associates offers tips and ideas for
building online communities, including case studies.

http://www.fullcirc.com/community/communitymanual.htm

**How to Use Data/Statistics to Make Your Point

Virginia Kids Count offers tips for using data for effective advocacy.

http://www.vakids.org/data%20guide.htm

For more information, look up ?Community Building? in Connect for Kids
Topics A-Z

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1543/index.htm

Visit our Ideas for Action section for more ideas to help community
efforts to improve the lives of kids and families.

http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1563/index.htm

REPORTS IN BRIEF

**Latest Child Abuse and Neglect Figures Released

More than 900,000 children were abused or neglected in 1998, according
to the latest (April, 2000) state child maltreatment data, representing
a continuing decline in substantiated child abuse and neglect cases.

http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/news/april00.htm

**Twenty-First Annual Report on Implementation of IDEA

This report to Congress on the implementation of the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act includes sections on environment, student characteristics,
school programs and services and results.

http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/OSEP/OSEP99AnlRpt/

**Employers: Paying a Living Wage is Good for Business

Businesses that pay a family wage sufficient to keep workers' families
out of poverty find they have lower worker turnover and absenteeism, reduced
training costs, higher morale and productivity and a stronger consumer
market. Read ?Choosing the High Road,? a report from Responsible Wealth,
a project of United for a Fair Economy.

http://www.responsiblewealth.org/press/living_wage_report_pr.html

TIPS FOR PARENTS

**More Parents Talking to Kids About Drugs

More parents, especially mothers, are talking to their kids about the
risks of marijuana, inhalants and other drugs, and their words may be having
an impact, according to a recent survey from Drug-Free America Partnership.

http://www.drugfreeamerica.org/research/pats99_parents/

**Discipline and Responsibility

Are you finding it harder to stay connected with your 12-year-old just
as the higher risks of adolescence loom? This pamphlet from the Wisconsin
Clearinghouse for Prevention Resources offers real-life examples, guiding
principles and concrete ideas for disciplining and relating to your young
teenager. Call 800-322-1468.

**Parents and Children Together Now Online

This magazine for children and parents is designed to encourage family
reading.

http://www.indiana.edu/~eric_rec/fl/pcto/index.html

FOCUS ON THE STATES

**Report Card on State Gun Laws

The first comprehensive snapshot of the nation's gun laws finds that
only seven states have fundamental gun regulations. Thirty-five states
have neither registration nor licensing for any type of gun and 31 states
have no waiting periods for handguns.

http://www.soros.org/crime/PRguncontrol.htm

**Help for Michigan Child Advocates

Michigan child advocates are looking for model contractual language
or guidelines concerning community benefit or prevention services in state
mental health managed care contracts (i.e., parameters for behavioral health
managed care organizations to participate in collaborative relationships
and/or provide prevention services for at risk populations, crisis response
and other optional activities). Respond to tableman@msu.edu.

**State Plans for Tobacco Settlement Moneys

The vast majority of states are considering using their tobacco settlement
monies to fund programs relating to tobacco use prevention and health care
services, according to a March 2000 survey conducted by the National Conference
of State Legislatures.

http://www.ncsl.org/programs/press/pr000308.htm

**Most States More Stringent than Federal Law on Sanctioning TANF Recipients

The Government Accounting Office's review of welfare reform sanction
policies and procedures reports that in any given month states are applying
sanctions to reduce cash benefits for about 5 percent of TANF recipients
-- some 135,800 families. Some families are also being sanctioned with
cuts in Medicaid coverage and Food Stamp participation.

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/he00044.pdf

**State by State Round-Up

Check out your own state in the state-by-state section of Connect for
Kids <http://www.connectforkids.org/homepage1576/index.htm>
for these and other new postings.

California. The California Budget Project analyzes Gov. Gray's budget
for FY 2001.

Illinois. The Great START Child Care bill unanimously passed both the
House and Senate.

Iowa. Federal funds of $553,960 will be going to fund domestic violence
shelters in rural southwest Iowa.

Florida. Families USA reports that Florida's working parents are losing
health insurance.

Missouri. A bill to prohibit leaving children unattended in vehicles
is being introduced in the state legislature.

Wisconsin. Proposed legislation will create a state registry of lead-free
and lead-safe properties.

Celebrate the Earth this week, everyone!

Jan Richter, Outreach Specialist, and the Connect for Kids Team

Jan@benton.org