Archive for August, 2006

Parent Guides

Friday, August 25th, 2006


Read early and read often. The early years are critical to developing a lifelong love of reading. It’s never too early to begin reading to your child! The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child. NEA’s Read Across America partners Reading Rockets and Colorín Colorado have created parent guides for non-English speakers in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Russian, Traditional Chinese, Hmong, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Korean. Download these free guides and share them in your communities. Other parent tip sheets are also available for parents of Kindergartners, First Graders, Second Graders and Third Graders.

Community Relationships

Friday, August 25th, 2006



Mayors are in a unique position to rally civic and community stakeholders around a compelling common interest — the future of their cities’ children. The visibility and authority of the mayor’s office provide opportunities to: (1) Place public education high on the city’s list of priorities; (2) Work toward ensuring adequate funding and resources; (3) Forge partnerships that enrich and sustain schools; and (4) Build public will and support to improve outcomes for the city’s children and youth. A new report from the Annenberg Institute and other partners looks at five cities where mayors have engaged the public and built civic capacity around education reform, using the leverage of their office in strategic ways. The stories of Denver, Akron, Long Beach, Nashville, and New York identify and describe practical, high-yield strategies and solutions mayors are using and resources they have found or created. Written by Michael Grady, Robert Rothman, and Hal Smith, the report also includes an annotated list of resources for municipal leaders on public engagement in support of schools.


Thursday, August 24th, 2006
Programs Targeting Children with Disabilities

CVS/pharmacy Community Grants are currently accepting proposals for programs targeting children under age 18 with disabilities that address:

  • health and rehabilitation services
  • a greater level of inclusion in student activities and extracurricular programs
  • (includes afterschool)opportunities or facilities that give greater access to physical movement and play.

Maximum Award: varies.

Eligibility: Public schools with programs for children under age 18 with disabilities and not-for-profits

Deadline: applications accepted through October 2006.


What if your child was labeled “learning disabled” but really had a correctable but undetected vision problem? Misdiagnoses may be easier than you think: “Sixty percent of kids with learning disabilities have undiagnosed vision problems,” according to a conservative estimate from the American Optometric Association (AOA). And while nearly three million students in the U.S. currently receive special education services according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities — of all U.S. children 12 years old and under, a shocking 86 percent have never had an eye exam, according to the Vision Council of America. Interestingly, as a preliminary step, the Learning Disabilities Association of America warns that it’s important to ask, “Does the individual display signs of poor vision or hearing?” Unfortunately, many parents, educators and even school nurses assume that when a child can see the eye chart that vision is fine. In fact, all “20/20” means is one is able to see the size of the letters on the eye chart that one is supposed to see from 20 feet. Yet, children who have passed vision screenings or other eye exams could still be missing many of the over 15 visual skills critical to academic success. “These undetected vision problems can often be readily diagnosed and treated,” says Dr. Drusilla Grant, a developmental optometrist and president of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. “Screenings sometimes help, but only a comprehensive vision exam by a developmental optometrist can rule out a learning-related vision problem,” Grant adds. Parents and educators are urged to act now: Before even thinking about the possibility of a learning disability, ask: Could this be a hidden vision problem? “And then insist on a comprehensive eye exam from a developmental optometrist,” Grant says.


Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

NJSACC has had a long term partnership with Young Audiences New Jersey.

Does your afterschool program need to link up with performers or artists in residence?

The Young Audiences New Jersey ANNUAL ARTIST SHOWCASE is coming in September! Preview a lineup of amazing talent featuring time-honored favorite artists and new artists too! From singers and dancers to storytellers, slam poets, and more, the Young Audiences New Jersey ANNUAL ARTIST SHOWCASE is the premiere resource for Cultural Arts Representatives. We’ll offer tips for choosing the right programs for your school and afterschool.

Register today to receive your schedule and directions.

CENTRAL NJ | September 18th & 19th | 9am—1pm

Brooks Crossing Elementary School, South Brunswick, NJ

NORTHERN NJ | September 25th & 26th | 9am—1pm

Hartshorn Elementary School, Short Hills, NJ

SOUTHERN NJ | October 5th | 9am—12:30pm

Joseph D. Sharp Elementary School, Cherry Hill, NJ

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to preview amazing talent at the best price—FREE!

To register by phone, call toll-free 866-500-YANJ

For more information about Young Audiences of New Jersey, visit

The mission of Young Audiences New Jersey is to establish the arts as an essential part of young people’s education in order to develop their potential as creative and productive individuals.

Young Audiences of New Jersey | 200 Forrestal Road | Princeton, NJ 08540 |



Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

NAA Shares Workforce Study Results

Chris Schmidt, NAA Workforce Study Program Manager, and Judy Nee, NAA President, were among a select group of presenters at the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Summer Institute in San Diego, CA in July. Their presentation—titled The Afterschool Workforce: Fact, Fiction and Lessons Learned—included information gathered from a survey of over 4,000 afterschool providers and eight focus group sessions. The survey data provides insight into the composition of the workforce, why staff enter the field, why they leave the field, and what would encourage them to stay in the field longer. Currently, the NAA staff is finalizing the data in a report to Cornerstone for Kids, the project funder. The report will be available on the NAA website,, in the early fall.

PROGRAM IMPROVEMENT & ACCREDITATION: New Guide to NAA Accreditation Set for Release

In September, NAA will release a revised and reformatted Guide to NAA Accreditation. The publication, packaged in a new binder format, reflects the many changes in NAA’s Accreditation processes and procedures and provides afterschool professionals with an overview of how the entire ARQ system works—from self-study to submitting a letter of intent to completing the application to the Endorsement Visit to the Accreditation decision. What’s more, the Guide will include all the forms you need to complete prior to and following an Endorsement Visit.

The Guide will be available for individual sale ($40 per copy; discounts available on multiple copy purchases) and will replace the current Guide in Step 3 of the Seven-Step Accreditation process. To help cover costs, NAA will need to increase the price of the following Accreditation bundles:

Step 3 of the Seven-Step Accreditation process— which also includes the Impact Quality Kit—from $115 to $140

The Junior Kit—which also includes a copy of the NAA Standards For Quality School-Age Care, five Team Member Manuals, and the ASQ Video (now in DVD format)—from $100 to $135 The kit will also be renamed “Re-Accreditation Kit.” Accredited programs are required to purchase the kit prior to submitting an application for Re-Accreditation.

The price increases will become effective when the Guide is available, which will be between September 1 and 15, 2006. Check the NAA website,, for the latest information.