Archive for August, 2007


Thursday, August 30th, 2007

  From Star Ledger today!  Great news from the 5 POINTS YMCA of Eastern Union County!

 JC PENNY AFTERSCHOOL FUND , your program is eligible if you are YMCA, Boys and Girls Club or through your United Way.


YMCA branch gets grant to provide scholarships
Fund will help struggling families send kids to after-school program

Thursday, August 30, 2007
Star-Ledger Staff

The YMCA of Eastern Union County yesterday announced that its Five Points Branch has been awarded a $10,938 grant to provide scholarships to local families who are unable to afford to send their children to the agency’s after- school program.

The money from the 2007 JCPenney Afterschool Fund will also be used to help families that are unable to continue participating in the after-school program be cause of financial hardship.

“Many of our early and after care participants live in single parent households or a home in which both parents must work more than one job to provide essential resources to their family,” said Me lynda Mileski, associate branch executive.

“We are so pleased that the JCPenney Afterschool Fund grant will give us the ability to provide several additional scholarships to families who have either been unable to utilize our program in the past or can no longer afford this service,” she said.

She said the Five Points Branch is one of 320 YMCAs nationwide to be selected to receive the grant. It will match the award with funds from its operating budget and an nual Strong Kids Campaign to provide more than $20,000 in scholarships to local families in need.

Families applying for a YMCA scholarship must complete a financial assistance application and provide required documentation.

The JCPenney Afterschool Fund grant will only be used to provide financial assistance for the school-age child care program operated by the Five Points Branch.

YMCA financial assistance ap plications are available at the Five Point Branch Welcome Center and at

The first 19 children to receive a scholarship using this funding will also receive a JC Penney gift card to be used to purchase school clothing and supplies, Mileski said.

The YMCA provides affordable care to low- and moderate-income families who require child care in order to work, go to school, or begin a job training program.

The Five Points Branch provided school-age child care to 509 children ages 5 to 12 years old dur ing the 2006-2007 school year.

The program’s curriculum includes creative, educational and recreational activities, a nutritional snack, as well as a study period in which children can receive homework assistance, according to agency officials.

The YMCA’s early and after- school care programs take place in the Kenilworth and Union elemen tary schools with early care available from 7 to 9 a.m. and after school care from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday when school is in session.

Specific School Features Linked to Elementary Achievement Scores

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

 As the new academic year starts-think out of the box!  Meet with your school principal and present this new research-why not work with the schools to meet  with staff ” together regularly to plan sequenced and coordinated instruction”  ?
The Afterschool program can  compliment the school day ! If school and afterschool staff work together…who knows what can happen!

Could your program extend the learning of the school day- with hands on activities to extend the learning? 


August 29, 2007                                                                                

New Brief Identifies Specific School Features Linked to
Elementary Achievement Scores

 Washington, DC –  According to a new research brief from Child Trends, three elements of elementary school environments – strong principal leadership, high academic standards, and frequent teacher meetings to plan instruction – are associated with higher third grade math and reading scores.

 Schools with a fourth element – low teacher turnover – generally have better behaved children.  Higher teacher turnover, which can indicate an unstable school, is related to lower rates of student self-control and higher grade retention among third grade students.

 “This research provides initial evidence that at least four elements of the school environment influence children’s academic and behavioral outcomes by third grade,” said Brett Brown, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist and Director of Social Indicators at Child Trends.

 Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), a nationally representative sample of more than 20,000 children who started kindergarten in fall 1998, researchers found that many children do not experience key elements in their schools that maximize their learning outcomes:

     * 30 percent of all children attend elementary schools that do not have strong principal leadership
    * Just over half of all children are in schools where their teachers meet together regularly to plan sequenced and coordinated instruction.
    * 15 percent of children are in schools where teacher turnover is a problem. 

The findings show that low-income children are more likely to attend schools with poor learning environments.  Children living below 100% of the federal poverty line are twice as likely as children with family incomes over 200% of the poverty line to attend schools with low academic standards (20% versus 10%).

 Similar disparities in teacher turnover are found by children’s race/ethnicity.  Over 20% of Black and Hispanic children go to schools where teacher turnover is troubling versus 11% of White non-Hispanic students.

Kimber Bogard, Ph.D., Program Associate at the Foundation for Child Development and co-author of the brief, noted, “There are large differences, based on children’s race/ethnicity and their family’s income, in access to high quality elementary schools.  At the same time, many children are not attending schools with all four quality indicators in one school year; and the likelihood that they experience positive learning environments from kindergarten through third grade is even less. This is particularly troubling since success by third grade is crucial for future learning.” 

 Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center serving those dedicated to creating better lives for children. This research was supported by the Foundation for Child Development.


Symposium on Financial Education

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Save the Date: October 2, 2007

Tools and Techniques for Teaching Financial Literacy: A Symposium for

New Jersey Educators

Location: Raritan Valley Community College

Time: 9 AM to 2:30 PM

Dear New Jersey Educator,


As you know, financial literacy is included in New Jersey’s Core

Curriculum Content Standards.  The goal of this symposium is to provide

high school teachers with the tools to help them teach their students

the basic principles of financial literacy.


The goal is to share resources that make it easy to incorporate the

fundamentals of earning, spending, saving and investing into their

classrooms and programs.


As a result, educators can provide children with skills that will help

them save for the future, stay out of debt, maintain a good credit

record, pay their taxes, and be responsible, productive citizens.


The event will include presentations by several financial education

experts that will cover many different methods of infusing financial

literacy into the classrooms of all age groups.  In addition, various

curricula and other resources that span K-12 will be on exhibit.


Since the symposium covers many different core content areas, including

business education, social studies, and family and consumer sciences,

you may want to share this invitation with all of your colleagues who

could benefit from this event.



The Financial Literacy Partnership


NJCFE New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education

Asthma and Afterschool

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

What makes asthma a big problem with school children?
- It is the number one reason for school absenteeism due to a chronic illness
- Allergies and irritants can cause an asthma episode
- Children can be exposed to many irritants in the school environment that can be controlled such as:

                                          ·       Perfume
                                          ·       Markers with strong odors
                                          ·       Mold
                                          ·       Furry pets
                                          ·       Strong Cleaning products

è There are early warning signs to indicate when a child is having difficulty breathing and early treatment can reduce the chance of a more serious episode.

These symptoms could indicate a child has asthma and should see his or her doctor:
? A cough lasting more than a week.
? Wheezing or whistling when breathing
? Chest tightness
? Shortness of breath
The American Lung Association says an asthma attack occurs when extra mucus clogs air tubes, making them swell and tighten. The air tubes narrow, making it harder to breathe. Asthma medicine should provide relief.

But in the case of a severe attack, the child may —
? become breathless
? have trouble talking
? feel their neck stiffen
? see their lips and fingernails become grayish or bluish in color In case of a severe attack, give your child his or her asthma medicine, and get emergency help immediately.

Following a doctor’s advice about taking asthma medication may help prevent asthma attacks. Learning what triggers attacks can help prevent them,

too. For example, taking asthma medication before physical activity, playing sports for shorter periods of time or substituting walking for jogging may help.

Common-sense changes can allow children to do the things they enjoy, while remaining healthy.

For FREE Parent Health Education and NJ Family Care workshops at your school or program, please contact:

Nancy Voltz
Account Manager of Schools
AMERIGROUP Community Care
New Jersey Health Plan
877-453-4080  x66206 or


Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Labor Day is right around the corner, and AED’s Center for Youth Development (CYD) is excited to welcome everyone back from a relaxing, productive summer with friends and family.  “Thank you” to PPAS Subscribers who remained on-line with us during the summer.
CYD has prepared an exciting Fall Series of events for the Promising Practices in Afterschool (PPAS) Listserv.  These include program updates, live chats with experts in the field, useful information on program enhancement, professional development, new funding opportunities, and regular snap polls as an easy way to keep abreast of trends in the field.
CYD wants to remain in step with your needs and interest – and we need your help to do this.
Please click here to connect to a short survey about the Knowledge Areas you can explore with our guest experts in the coming months:  Click here.  The survey results will automatically forward to CYD, and help us produce a high-quality, relevant guest expert piece for PPAS’s Fall Series.  This survey will remain open until Friday, August 31.
With your input we can build learning together!
Sam Tyler
Carmen Tedesco
Bonnie Politz
AED’s Center for Youth Development
The AED Center for Youth Development engages youth as global citizens advancing authentic and innovative solutions for youth success.