CFK Weekly - April 24, 2006

CFK Weekly - A Connect for Kids Newsletter
The Weekly tracks and gives perspective on news, reports, and policy developments so you can make sense of issues affecting children, families, and communities.


April 24, 2006

This week...

(click headings to jump to sections)

NEW ON CONNECTFORKIDS.ORG

Schools Face New Mandate on “Wellness”

An Expert Prediction: Parents Face Long Odds in Supreme Court Case on Special Education

FAMILY ISSUES

Mom Rising

EDUCATION:

Boys Are No Match for Girls in Completing High School

Enhancing School-Wide Program Planning to Better Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching

Parents know college will cost, but most aren’t saving, says Poll

CHILD WELFARE

Challenges to Building and Sustaining Effective Home Visitation Programs: May 3 Web Conference

Don’t Write Me Off Campaign

Meeting the Special Education Needs of Foster Children

May is National Foster Care Month

CHILD CARE

Child Care Assistance Helps Families Work: A Review of the Effects of Subsidy Receipt on Employment

UPCOMING EVENTS

Geena Davis Reception

Medicaid and Women: Looking to the Future

National Association for Sport and Physical Education

Community Life vs. Incarceration: Re-Socializing African American Youth Toward Pathways to Productivity

Editor’s Note: Roshin Mathew, CFK’s Bill Emerson Hunger Fellow, is stepping in for Caitlin Johnson this week. Roshin usually reports for Connect for Kids on the issues of hunger, poverty and nutrition as they relate to kids.

NEW ON CONNECTFORKIDS.ORG

Schools Face New Mandate on “Wellness”

While the federal government has played a role in regulating school feeding programs for low-income children for about 40 years now, school districts are now working to comply with a new, much broader federal requirement calling for the development of local “wellness policies” that address issues of all the foods and drinks made available to all students during the school day, along with nutrition education, physical education, and the encouragement of healthy habits. Roshin Mathew explains

An Expert Prediction: Parents Face Long Odds in Supreme Court Case on Special Education

Pete Wright, an attorney with decades of experience in special education law – and his own memories of standing up before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue a case – attended oral arguments last week in the most recent special education case to reach the highest court. Wright shared his impressions with Connect for Kids Editor Susan Phillips.

FAMILY ISSUES

Mom Rising

MomRising’s web site has just gone up; it is a new organization founded by Joan Blades and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner with the goal of championing core motherhood and family issues in political, social, and economic spheres.

EDUCATION

Boys Are No Match for Girls in Completing High School

The report, "Leaving Boys Behind: Public High School Graduation Rates," found that 59% of African American girls, but only 48% of African American boys, earned their diplomas that year. Among Hispanics, the graduation rate was 58% for girls, but only 49% for boys. The author, Jay P. Greene, helped set off widespread national alarm with findings several years ago that almost one in three high school students, and almost half the African American and Hispanic students, did not complete high school. Mr. Greene's new report found that New York ranks third from last among the states, with 58% of its students graduating. (Georgia and South Carolina are lower.) New York also has the lowest African American graduation rate, 38%; and the lowest Hispanic graduation rate, 29%.

Enhancing School-Wide Program Planning to Better Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching

If schools are to ensure that students succeed, school improvement designs must reflect the full implications of the word all, not just students who are motivationally ready for "high standards." Leaving no child behind means addressing the problems of the many students who face a host of external and internal barriers that interfere with their development and learning.

Parents know college will cost, but most aren’t saving, says Poll

A March 2006 Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive poll reveals that most (97) percent of U.S. parents/guardians of a child age 18 or younger say they expect their child to attend college—nearly eight in 10 of these adults expect to pay some or all of the tuition. But most have saved little or nothing, according to the poll, which surveyed 2,239 adults, 579 of whom were parents/guardians. One-quarter of adults who expect to pay for some or all of college have saved less than $5,000 and one-third haven’t saved anything.

CHILD WELFARE

Challenges to Building and Sustaining Effective Home Visitation Programs: May 3 Web Conference

Although a growing body of research has been evaluating the merits of different home visiting models, much less is known about what it takes to reproduce and sustain proven programs successfully in new settings. Chapin Hall’s May 3rd web seminar will explore some of the difficulties and challenges states and the programs they support encounter in building systems that reproduce positive results.

Don’t Write Me Off Campaign

A new social marketing campaign is encouraging Illinois residents to support youth in foster care and foster care agencies. The statewide campaign, “Don’t Write Me Off,” features television ads, a web site, a toll-free resource number and other materials. Its key message is that people can make a difference in the lives of foster children in a number of ways, such as volunteering at schools or programs that serve foster children, supporting the 80 community-based child welfare agencies throughout Illinois or becoming foster parents.

Meeting the Special Education Needs of Foster Children

Listen to the moderated panel and Q&A from Chapin Hall’s April web conference.

May is National Foster Care Month

National Foster Care Month in May provides an opportunity for people all across the nation to get involved, whether as foster parents, volunteers, mentors, employers or in other ways. It is also an opportunity to show appreciation for the dedication of the foster families who care for these children and youth and the social workers who support them.

CHILD CARE

Child Care Assistance Helps Families Work: A Review of the Effects of Subsidy Receipt on Employment

Reliable and stable child care helps parents retain steady employment and reduces workplace absenteeism, but the high costs of care challenge many families, particularly low-income working parents. Child care assistance can help—as this brief review of the research shows. Low-income mothers who receive child care subsidies are more likely to be employed, to stay off welfare, and to have higher earnings. The brief calls on policymakers to boost investments in child care assistance to help parents find and keep jobs.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Geena Davis Reception

Dads and Daughters is hosting a benefit reception with Geena Davis on May 3rd to benefit the See Jane Program which engages professionals and parents to dramatically increase the percentage of female characters—and to reduce gender stereotyping – in the media for children 0 – 11. RSVP by April 27.

Medicaid and Women: Looking to the Future

What is Medicaid's role in covering women today? What are the implications of recent changes for access to important women's services, such as family planning, long-term care, and prescription drugs? And how will recent provisions related to increased out-of-pocket costs affect access to services for women with limited incomes? The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation hosts a forum on key policy issues in Medicaid and their likely impact on women in Washington, DC on Thursday, May 11, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. ET. For more information, contact Tiffany Ford at tford@kff.org.

National Association for Sport and Physical Education

In the midst of rising pediatric obesity rates, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the American Heart Association (AHA) will release the 2006 "Shape of the Nation Report: Status of Physical Education in the USA," a comprehensive report on time requirements, waivers, class size, BMI collection, standards, etc. in the nation's schools.

On May 2, 2006 NASPE will release its latest report to kick off National Physical Education and Sport Week.

Community Life vs. Incarceration: Re-Socializing African American Youth Toward Pathways to Productivity

The Vera Institute is hosting a workshop April 28th in New York City on African Americans — particularly youth — in the criminal justice system and an intervention model for African American youth.

Let us know what’s developing in your work for kids and communities!

Roshin Mathew

CFK Bill Emerson Hunger Fellow