Archive for October, 2008

“I’m voting for kids”-are you?

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Great ideas from Every Child Matters:

My favorite is:

* Ask your child-care or after school program to open earlier and close later on election day, so as to allow more time for parents
to vote!

FINALLY! We have reached the last week before the election, and America’s kids need all the help we can give in a final drive to make them a priority. We are asking for one last push to encourage people to vote with kids in mind. Here are some things you can do to help in the final days:

* Ask your child-care or after school program to open earlier and close later on election day, so as to allow more time for parents to vote.
* Encourage programs to allow their staff to vote during business hours if necessary.
* Greet parents on Monday, November 3rd, and Tuesday, November 4th, as they arrive and depart child care centers, Head Start, or after school programs, and remind them to vote.
* If you’re at a Halloween party for kids and parents this week, be sure to remind them to vote!

Special offer: We are providing FREE “I’m voting for Kids” lapel stickers to anybody who is able to distribute them on or before election day.
These are perfect to give out to people at your offices, child care or after school sites, parties, or anywhere else where you’d like to encourage people to “Vote for Kids”.

CLICK HERE (Due to the shortage of time, we will only be fulfilling orders received before Thursday at Noon Eastern)

Please direct any questions or comments to ecm@everychildmatters.org.Thank you for your help to make children a priority!

Thanks from ,

Every Child Matters

First Statewide Youth Helpline Launched

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

First Statewide Youth Helpline Launched
2NDFLOOR serves as key component of crime prevention initiative

TRENTON – Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Kimberly Ricketts announced today the launch of New Jersey’s first statewide youth helpline, 2NDFLOOR, a key component of the Governor’s Strategy for Safe Streets and Neighborhoods announced last year.

“Improving the well-being of our children is the most important investment we can make,” Governor Corzine said. “The 2NDFLOOR youth helpline gives young people a place to turn to before violence or tragedy occurs. It’s important for kids to know that they can call about anything, anytime, anywhere.”

The new youth helpline is available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week to children and young adults ages 10-24. Youth can either call the helpline, 1-888-222-2228, or access the interactive Web site www.2NDFLOOR.org.  Calls to the 2NDFLOOR youth helpline are anonymous and confidential except in life-threatening situations.

A statewide review had found no existing helplines in New Jersey were interactive with a professional counselor, universal in scope, and designed for teens and young adults.

“Before the statewide launch of 2NDFLOOR, there was no one place youth could call where no topic was off limits,” DCF Commissioner Kimberly Ricketts said. “Now youth can call to talk through any challenges they might be facing – whether the issue is substance abuse, domestic violence, self-esteem, eating disorders, family conflict, racism, bullying, gangs or peer pressure.”

In addition to providing guidance and direction, 2NDFLOOR youth helpline counselors provide important information and referrals to other resources DCF and other community groups throughout the state have to offer to help teens.

“This is a giant step forward for New Jersey in its prevention efforts and it is very exiting to be leading the way,” Anna Diaz-White, 180 Turning Lives Around’s executive director, said.

DCF awarded $626,000 to 180 Turning Lives Around, Inc. a nonprofit organization based in Monmouth County, NJ to expand the 2NDFLOOR youth helpline statewide, a helpline that had been serving youth in Monmouth, Mercer and Union Counties since 2003.

This award was part of the $13.7 million DCF allocated in state and federal funds, matched by $1 million from the Department of Human Services, to support critical components of the Governor’s initiative.

2NDFLOOR youth helpline has also secured nearly $800,000 in federal funding through a federal Housing and Urban Development grant and support from New Jersey’s bipartisan representation in the U.S. Congress. 2NDFLOOR youth helpline is also supported by a $100,000 grant from both the Philip D. and Tammy S. Murphy Foundation and New Jersey Natural Gas.

New Jersey’s plan to cut school dropout rate

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
New Jersey’s plan to cut school dropout rate

[Note: Since NCLB was in enacted in 2002, dropout rates haven’t budged: One in four kids is still dropping out of high school. Source: Education Trust, study released in October 2008](New York Times) High school graduation rates are universally seen as a barometer of success, or failure, in education. Parents, college admissions officers, even savvy real estate agents rely on that particular statistic to tell them if a school is any good.

But just as it takes a village to raise a child, graduation rates in New Jersey and elsewhere have also become a measure of the larger community outside the school and whether its politicians, civic leaders, business executives and even police officers are all doing their job as well.

Last week, Gov. Jon S. Corzine and state officials announced a yearlong, multiagency initiative to boost the state’s graduation rates. Called the New Jersey High School Graduation Campaign, it will be led not by the state’s Department of Education but by the state attorney general’s office, with funds from businesses like Verizon and Prudential, among others.

The idea is to keep young people in school not just for their own good, but also as a pre-emptive strike against violence and gang activity.

New Jersey has one of the lowest dropout rates in the nation, with 2 percent of the high school population reported as dropping out of school in 2007, according to the State Education Department. Even so, that leaves thousands of students every year who do not finish school.

New Jersey’s campaign is part of a national effort to reduce dropout rates by America’s Promise Alliance, a Washington-based children’s advocacy group founded by Colin L. Powell in 1997. Since April, the group has awarded grants of $25,000 to 14 states, including New Jersey and New York, to hold summits to develop communitywide plans for reducing dropout rates. The group’s goal is to have summits in all 50 states by 2010.

Colleen Wilber, a spokeswoman for the alliance, said that dropouts are more than just a problem for schools, because those students are more likely to become a burden to society — ending up in jail, on welfare rolls or without any health insurance. According to the group’s research, dropouts from the class of 2007 will cost the nation more than $320 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetime.

“We think that solving the dropout crisis is going to take the entire community,” she said. “Not only is it important to have the schools and the parents, but it’s also critically important for the business community, the faith community and the nonprofit groups to be there.”

The New Jersey campaign, which is expected to cost about $150,000, will be financed entirely by donations and grants from a cross-section of foundations, businesses and civic groups. Verizon gave $35,000; other supporters include P.S.E.&G., Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, State Farm Insurance, Prudential and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

Creighton Drury, an assistant attorney general who is overseeing the campaign, said that at least four regional meetings would be convened for school, community and business leaders to brainstorm about specific strategies for keeping students in school. For instance, he said, they will focus on reducing truancy by tapping into community resources to provide mentors or support programs, among other things.

Mr. Drury said the campaign would culminate in a statewide summit next October to promote the most effective practices, and to recommend educational policies to raise graduation rates. “We want to make sure that we’re getting input and ideas from everyone so that this can be a true community and comprehensive effort,” he said. “Raising awareness is the first step to addressing the problem.”

William Firestone, an education professor at Rutgers University, said that community leaders could bring more financial resources to a school, run after-school programs that provide tutoring and develop skills, and promote stronger family ties. “There’s a lot of evidence that family support is critical to success in schools,” he said.

Irene Sterling, president of the Paterson Education Fund, an advocacy group for children in the Paterson schools, said the new campaign would send the message that dropouts are a shared problem. She said that poor urban districts like Paterson would particularly benefit from the community help because their schools have had to step in and provide social services for students when there is no one else.

Conference Countdown -4 days remaining!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

4 Days left to register for Outdoors in the Garden State!

Conference countdown- 4 days left to register for conference and hotel!
Call Jessica Heiberg @ 908.789.0259 to confirm that we received your registration !
Plan on attending the reception  to help launch our Campaign, Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State .

See you all soon!
Do not be closed out!
The following workshops are closed:

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GIRLS EXPLORE CLUBS in NJ!

Monday, October 27th, 2008

NJSACC is finally ready to launch a pilot of GIRLS EXPLORE CLUBS in NJ!

NJSACC has braided funding together from Bloomingdales, Syms, Provident
Bank Foundation, and the former Bergen County Coalition and  Essex County
Coalition to make this pilot happen.

Girls Explore
is a program , still evolving.
Being part of the pilot means you :

* agree to host a club of 15-20 consistent girls, grades 3rd
-8th grade
* participate in the Evaluation
* attend a 2.5 hour training on Dec. 5th from 10 am-12:30 pm
held at the NJSACC Office @ 170 Elm Street in Westfield,
NJ.(NJDOE Hours given)
* you will to have transportation via a car to take your starter
kit of books and dolls back to your program
* pay a registration fee of $25 dollars
*  receive 1 doll per girl and the entire curriculum.
* participate in monthly conference calls to update us on your
progress.
* you may receive a free technical assistance visit from NJSACC
to assist in the launch of the clubs!

Girls Explore Club – Her Story in History – My Story Tomorrow

Are you looking for a fun way to encourage girls to explore women’s
history, their own interests and potential careers?
Girls Explore designed by and for educators and leaders.

Girls Explore
  broadens the horizon of possibilities for students
through role models in major fields of science, sports, the arts, the
humanities, and business and professions. Each of our role models is a
reflection of the woman who is a leader in her field.
As a student plays with a doll, she becomes interested in the person it
represents, encouraging her to explore further.

Girls Explore  believe that active learning is a meaningful way to
learn about heroines, history, and careers. Girls Explore builds
upon the
biographies, dolls, and accessories to create an enriching educational
experience.

The purpose of Girls Explore is to educate students about women’s
diverse lives and accomplishments and to broaden their ideas about what
they can accomplish in their own lives. There are a series of program
elements to guide the exploration through play, research, writing,
designing, and questioning.

The end goal of the Program is to empower each individual student by
giving her tools to follow her interests and to plan her future.

There are a series of program elements to guide the exploration through
play, research, writing, designing, questioning, and critical thinking.
In it’s entirety, the program includes:

-All six dolls with their accessories
-Six doll stands
-A set of biographies
-All the programmatic materials including activity packs, student’s
workbook, and teacher’s guide materials
-A CD containing the Microsoft Word documents supporting the materials.
-Appropriate for grades 3 through 8.
-a doll of choice for each girl

Using the Program:

Girls Explore  staff have designed it to be flexible and adaptable to
your afterschool program.
For most activities, students may work in groups or individually during
the time range allotted for each activity. How long the activities last
will vary with individual learning styles, numbers of questions chosen
to be assigned, and how the program is coordinated with the school
schedule. There is a suggested 4-Part program used to organize the
activities provided . And you can expand the program by adding
biographies of other women .

With the flexibility and wealth of lessons that reach across different
disciplines, Girls Explore can easily integrate into your curriculum
in a variety of ways. The program ranges from a fun lesson plan at any
time of the year, to a commemoration during Women’s History Month, to
support for afterschool programs, to any other use you’d like. It can be
separated into lessons and taught in different classes or in a single
class as a mix of complimentary activities.

For your convenience, we have PDF samples from the Teacher’s Guide and
the Student Workbook to help you get a better idea of what our materials
are about, along with a PDF version of our Educator’s Catalog.

The Teacher’s Guide
The Program was developed by a Master in Education and a Senior Lecturer
at Cornell University in coordination with teachers, master teachers and
Doctors in Education. It is a standards-based learning program that is
designed to educate students about women’s diverse lives and
accomplishments in order to broaden students’ ideas about what they can
accomplish in their own lives. We developed the teacher’s guide to be
easily usable by both teachers and educational program leaders by
incorporating features such as time estimates for activities, grading
rubrics, and an clear, easy to understand organization. The guide is
also user-friendly in the sense that we include the original Microsoft
Word files and give copyright modification permission so that you can
easily and cleanly tailor it to your tastes or refine it for future use.
And being standards-based makes it easy to adopt into your curriculum.

The Workbook
The Girls Explore  Workbook is a separate component that builds upon the
activities provided in this guide and allows students to further explore
other role models and heroines, research their career interests, and
begin planning for their futures. We suggest that you begin with the
group activities in this guide before introducing the workbook. The
Workbook Overview gives time suggestions and lists resources required.
Students can work individually or in groups. Use the Workbook Checklist
to assign activities (or to assign particular questions for each
activity) and keep track of what students have completed.

To learn more about Girls Explore go to:
www.girls-explore.com

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REGISTRATION FORM FOR Girls Explore

When: December 5th, 2008
Where : @ NJSACC Office ,170 Elm Street, Westfield, NJ from 10am-12:30pm

This training is limited and will be first come first serve.

Registrations should be faxed to: 908-789-4237 and payment mailed to
NJSACC , 231 North Avenue West, #363, Westfield, NJ 07090

Name:
Program Name:
Program Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Phone:
Fax:
Email:

Registration Fee of $25 dollars includes all materials and continental
breakfast. This fee is collected to ensure your program ‘s commitment to the $23,000 pilot .
Payment Information – Please fill out ALL spaces below for REGISTRATION FEE
****************************************************************************************
Please make check out to NJSACC Check number or Purchase Order number:
Credit Card – Visa or Mastercard
Please circle: Visa or Mastercard Credit Card Number:
Expiration Date:
Zip code for billing address:
Name on card:
Registration Information:

Registrations may be faxed to: 908-789-4237
or mailed to:
NJSACC, 231 North Avenue West #363, Westfield, NJ 07090.
No Walk-in registrations please!
This is limited-first come first serve!
Call 908.789.0259 ask to speak to Diane Genco to confirm your registration.