Archive for July, 2008

EVERY CHILD MATTERS!

Monday, July 28th, 2008

NJSACC has been invited by ACNJ to participate in a national campaign called Every Child Matters.
Their goal is to bring attention to children’s issues, particularly at times of national elections.
They are asking every state to stage some kind of event culminating on Sept 16th,2008 to be promoted as
Step Up 4 Kids Day.
Obviously, this a short time frame to prepare something.

We are trying to pull together something other than a rally. What we were trying to think about is a way to involve kids. The idea that we have generated is to have kids make short videos about what issues are important to them, that could play online on the appointed day (and/or longer – but media highlighted on the target date).
A set of questions has been generated to help kids think about the issues.
We are asking any camps, summer programs and youth programs that have the capacity and interest to participate to create videos for this project.’
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Step Up 4 Kids Day Event – September 16, 2008

This is a very important year. In November we will elect a new President of the United States. And in New Jersey we will be electing one new senator for our state and some new representatives to the United States Congress.

We want the men and women running for office to make children a priority in the upcoming election. We need them to know that every child matters. We need them to think seriously about creating plans and investing resources in America’s children.

The Association for Children of New Jersey
(ACNJ) needs your help in making sure that the candidates for President, Senator and Congressional Representatives hear about your wishes, ideas and dreams for children and young people in the United States. We need help to spread information about children’s issues in your local community and to encourage the candidates to think about creative solutions to children’s problems in New Jersey.

It’s easy to be an advocate for children. Here’s what you can do.

Action:
Create a video that will run on ACNJ’s special website

Guidelines:

  • You can make the video by yourself or with other kids. Kids ages 6 to 18 are invited to submit a video.
  • The video should be between 30 seconds and 2 ½ minutes long.
  • You will have to think carefully about what to include in your video so that it isn’t too long.
    We reserve the right to reject any submission that does not meet our criteria.
  • The content of your video should meet a high quality standard.That means use appropriate language and images (keep it clean!) and don’t “borrow” anyone else’s work without their permission (no plagiarizing!).
    We will screen all videos before posting them to our website and reserve the right to reject any that do not meet our standards.


Send us your video by email attachment to stepup4kids@acnj.org between July 30th, 2008 and September 12th, 2008.*

Be sure to include the first and last name and contact information for at least one member of your group in case we have any questions about your video. Please also tell us the name(s) and age(s) of the children involved in making the video and where they are from (city and state is good enough – so that we can let the candidates know if there are any very regionally specific issues).

All submissions become the property of the Association for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ).

Specs:
We accept Windows Media Video (WMV), Audio Video Interleave (AVI), QuickTime (MOV), and Moving Picture Experts Group (MPG) file formats, which can be transferred from most digital camcorders. For better sound quality we prefer that a plug in microphone is used but it is not required. As we will be using You Tube to host the videos we will be embedding in websites, you may get the best results from converting your file to MPEG4 video with MP3 audio.

*If your video is too large to send as an attachment you may use any number of free upload sites (www.yousendit.com, www.rapidshare.com) then email the download link to us.
However, we will also accept properly formatted CDs sent to Association for Children of New Jersey c/o Alexander Violette, 35 Halsey St. Newark, NJ 07102. DVD and VHS formats will not be accepted.

Here are some questions that might give you ideas to include in your video:

Level 1: Soft Questions (All Ages)
Level 2: General Political Questions (Middle School and Up)
Level 3: Specific Political Issues and Concepts (High School and Up)

Level 1:
1. What do you like about America?
2. What do you know about the election this year?
3. Does your family talk about politics?
4. Have any of your teachers talked about the presidential election this year? What did they
say?
5. Elephant or Donkey which one would be more fun as a pet?
6. What do you think makes a good president?
7. What are you concerned about? Health, early childhood education, child abuse, after
school programs, neighborhood safety?

Level 2:
1. If you could (can) vote who would you (who are planning to) vote for and why?
2. What do you think of the two major political parties?
3. Do you think that the Supreme Court has an important impact on your day to day life?
4. How do you find out about candidates, news, and politics in general?
5. Are you interested in the debates? If so what interests you? If not is there anything that
could be done to make them more interesting to you?
6. Where do you think government has done the most good?
7. What do you think the role of children in politics should be?

Level 3:
1. Do you think the voting age should be lowered to 16?
2. What kind of information do you think a voter needs? Has your education prepared you
to be an informed voter?
3. Are legal curfews and other status offenses fair to children?
4. Are you concerned about healthcare? How should we address the lack of health insur-
ance in this country?
5. Should universities allow students and/or professors to have guns on campus?
6. What is your stance on illegal immigration? Should the children of illegal immigrants re-
ceive educational assistance to go to college?
7. What is the most important issue foreign or domestic that the candidates should be talk-
ing about?

All selected videos will be uploaded to our site for public viewing. We will let all the candidates, and the public, know that EVERY CHILD MATTERS and where the videos can be viewed.

It’s that easy!

We’re looking forward to hearing back from you. Please let us know if you are planning to make a video.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact

Amanda Blagman at
973.643.3876 or ablagman@acnj.org

Heat Warning!

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

DHSS Urges Residents to Avoid the Health Dangers of Extreme Heat

With the season’s third heat wave expected to arrive today, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services urges residents to take steps to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition and heat exhaustion can also require hospital care,” said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard. “When the weather turns extremely hot and humid, it’s vital to drink plenty of fluids, spend time in cool places and reduce or reschedule any physical activity.

“And please remember to check on elderly family members and neighbors to make sure they are safe,” Commissioner Howard added.

The National Weather Service is predicting prolonged hot and humid weather on the East Coast that will begin Wednesday and last through the weekend.

The weather service has issued an excessive heat watch for the weekend for the urban areas surrounding Philadelphia, including Camden, Gloucester, Mercer and northwestern Burlington counties.

Temperatures and humidity will build Thursday and likely continue into the weekend. The most oppressive part of the heat wave appears to be Friday and Saturday, with high temperatures in the mid 90s coinciding with elevated humidity. There could be five consecutive days of 90 degrees or above. In addition, nighttime temperatures may not drop below the lower to mid 70s.

Prolonged heat and humidity can present a serious health hazard, especially for young children, the elderly and persons taking certain medications.

To avoid health complications from excessive heat:

Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages.
Make sure children and the elderly are drinking water, and ensure that persons with mobility problems have adequate fluids in easy reach.
If you do not have air conditioning, spend time in air-conditioned places such as libraries, movies, malls or other public buildings during the hottest hours of the day.
Wear loose and light-colored clothing. Wear a hat when outdoors.
Reduce physical activity or reschedule it for cooler times of the day.
Don’t leave children, a frail elderly or disabled person, or pets in an enclosed car — not even for a minute — as temperatures can quickly climb to dangerous levels.
Talk to your health care provider about any medicine or drugs you are taking. Certain medications — such as tranquilizers and drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease — can increase the risk of heat-related illness.

People suffering heatstroke can go from appearing normal to extremely ill in a matter of minutes. Victims may have hot, dry skin, a high body temperature of 106 degrees or more, an absence of sweat, and a rapid and strong pulse. Victims may become delirious or unconscious. Persons suffering from heatstroke need immediate medical attention.

Heat exhaustion is a milder illness that may take several days of high temperatures to develop. Victims may have pale, clammy skin and sweat profusely. They may feel tired, weak or dizzy and have headaches or sometimes cramps, but their body temperature will remain close to normal.

For more information on preventing heat-related illness, please visit the DHSS web site at

http://www.nj.gov/health/eoh/hhazweb/cool.htm

Journal of Youth Development

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

The latest issue of the Journal of Youth Development: Bridging Research and Practice, is now available on-line at the following link:

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

This issue features the following articles that are great for printing out and reading in the hammock!
All articles may be downloaded.

* Examining 4-H Robotics in the Learning of Science,

*Community-Based After-School Inclusive Programs

*Collaboration in a Competitive Environment:

*The After School Activity Initiative: Youth Helping Youth in a Community in Crisis

*Youth in Community Decision-Making: A Study of Youth-Adult Partnerships

*Taking Congress Home: Effects of NC 4-H Congress on Youth Behaviors and Intentions

*Youth Competitors Gain Benefits from Horse Show Judges’ Training Program

*Capturing Youth Voice to Assess Learning in Urban Youth Development Programs

*Development of the OSTRC Conference Evaluation Toolkit

*Proven Effectiveness of Missouri 4-H Camps in Developing Life Skills in Youth

*Common Courtesies: Teaching Young People American Etiquette Through 4-H

Effective Management Training

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Effective Management Training

REGISTER EARLY! DO NOT BE CLOSED OUT!

August 12th, 13th and 14th, 2008

Effective Management for Afterschool

Once again NJSACC is bringing the National Institute on Out-of-School Time from Wellesley, MA to NJ.

With funding provided by Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended,(Title IV,Part B of No Child Left Behind) 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant funds awarded to the New Jersey Department of Education and NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development as part of a Federal CCDF Block Grant Earmark.

When: Tuesday 8/12th, Wednesday 8/13th, & Thursday 8/15h
9:00am-3:00pm

Where: First Baptist Church of Westfield,
170 Elm Street, Westfield, NJ 07090

Public Transit:
5 minute walk from Westfield, NJ Transit stop on Raritan Valley line.

Cost:
$200 which includes continental breakfast, lunch and materials

Hotel Info: http://www.boylehotels.com/bwwi-index.asp
Hotel fees are NOT included in registration fee.

Westfield, NJ Info: http://westfieldtoday.com/

Who should attend?

• New to the field Directors
• Experienced Directors
• Afterschool Coordinators
• 21st CCLC Project Directors
• Evaluators of afterschool programs

What:
This training will focus on the administrative components of a quality afterschool program. Included will be effective systems to manage fiscal resources and administrative policies, evaluation and outcomes, workplace issues, strategies for recruitment and retention, staff development and training, ideas for building a family-responsive program, building a “learning organization,” leadership and management styles, and working collaboratively with schools and communities.

About the presenters

The presenters for this session work with the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST). For more than two decades, NIOST has been the national leader in providing highly interactive, research based training for directors and staff, school administrators, community leaders, and others committed to providing high quality afterschool programs for children and youth.

Ellen Clippinger, MS Ed is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of AYS, Inc., a not-for-profit youth-serving agency operating over 50 programs in a four-county area in the Indianapolis community. Ellen has been instrumental in piloting various types of programs to meet the needs of working parents-early childhood programs housed in school settings, wrap-around kindergarten programs within the school, as well as winter and spring breaks and summer camps. A summer camp devoted to arts education with a culminating final performance by the children and youth from the camp is now in its fourth season.

Susan O’Connor, MSW is an independent consultant, and has been working with the Davis Foundation to enhance afterschool programs in western Massachusetts. She is the coordinator for WestMOST Network, linking afterschool providers and western Massachusetts youth coalitions on advocacy to improve resources, quality, and sustainability of afterschool programs. She is also a partner in the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative and the Building Assets project for program improvement.
Susan serves on the Executive Committee for the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership and is working with MAP to build regional connections for the statewide network.

Susan was the Director of the Hampshire Educational Collaborative’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers in Northampton, Massachusetts. The Collaborative’s after school programs served 3,000 children and youth in 12 school-based community learning centers in a 3-county area. The resiliency research is the theoretical framework for the sites, and the mission is to build youth assets and provide learning supports. This includes major initiatives in linking to academic outcomes, social-emotional competence, and wellness.

Prior to working with the Collaborative, Susan was a Research Associate with the National Institute on Out-Of-School Time at Wellesley College for nine years, developing standards and continuous improvement tools for after school programs. She is an author of Advancing School-Age Child Care Quality (ASQ). She has also published papers on Resiliency and After School programs, Workforce Issues, Homework Assistance and Literacy Activities for after school programs.

Questions:
Please call NJSACC at 908-789-0259 with any questions.
Registration form below.

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Effective Management for Afterschool
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Registration Form

Tue/Wed/Thu 8/12-8/14/08

Name: _________________________________________________________
(Last) (First) (M.I.)
Address: ___________________________________________(#)
City_________________________________State:___________________Zip____
Phone (Home): ________________________________ (Work): _______________

E-mail Address: ______________________________

Program Name: ______________________________________________________________

Program Address: ____________________________________________________________

Method of Payment: ( ) Check/Money Order ( ) Visa ( ) MasterCard ( ) P.O. – Please Attach Copy

Charge Card Account # __________/__________/__________/___________
Expiration Date _____/______

Signature/Name on Card __________________________________________

Zip Code attached to Credit Card ___________ Amount Paid ___________

Are you a 21st CCLC Grantee? Yes___ No___

Registration Information:
• Registration is limited
• Registrations must be received by August 1, 2008.
• Cancellations must be made by August 1, 2008.
• No refunds will be given after August 1, 2008, however, substitutions may be made at any time.

Register by:

FAX Complete the registration form and fax it to our secure fax line at
(908) 789-4237.

MAIL Complete the registration form and mail it to:

NJSACC
231 North Avenue West #363
Westfield, NJ 07090

Enclose a check or money order for the appropriate amount, made payable to NJSACC.

We also accept purchase orders.

Grants

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Youth sports. Responsible Sports, hosted by Liberty Mutual, provides parents and youth sports coaches with information on responsibly running a youth sports program. Parents and coaches take a quiz, and successfully completed quizzes can lead to a grant for the youth sports league.

Grant range: $2,500. Deadline: July 31, 2008
More info: CLICK HERE