Archive for July, 2010

Congress is deciding right now if they’re going to divert funds and slash afterschool programs across this country.

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Action Alert from Moms Rising!

Dear Friend,

Dust off the backpacks and dig out the lunch sacks – back to school time is just weeks away.  And, working parents across this country are spending these last few weeks arranging, searching, and confirming afterschool care.

Unfortunately, many parents don’t succeed in finding afterschool care for their kids . More than 1 million children in grades K to 5 are on their own after school. [1] This huge and heartbreaking number isn’t because of parent neglect, rather it reflects a simple fact: Afterschool programs are unavailable or too expensive for millions of families across this country. [2]

And it could get much worse.  Congress is deciding right now if they’re going to divert funds and slash afterschool programs across this country. That’s right.  Congress is busy writing their education legislation, which includes afterschool programs, and they’re likely to finish before they go home in August.

Tell Congress not to make the back-to-school season any worse for working families!

Why do afterschool programs matter?

Afterschool programs keep our kids safe. The hours between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. are when children are most at risk for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex. [3]

Afterschool programs also have a big impact on our economy. Parents who are concerned about their children being unattended after school miss an average of eight days of work per year. Decreased worker productivity related to parental concerns about after school care costs businesses up to $300 billion per year. [4]

As Congress reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), it’s imperative that they don’t divert funds from 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), the only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to afterschool programs.  The initiative supports afterschool programs for 1,798,986 children and youth across this country.  And every one of them counts.

We have less than a week to speak up for afterschool programs.  Contact your legislators before they go home for their summer break:

And please forward this email along to friends and family. This issue is too important not to share.

Together we are a powerful voice for children and families,

–Sarah, Kristin, Donna and the whole team

P.S. Thanks to the Afterschool Alliance for all of their great work on this issue.
[1] Afterschool Alliance, “Afterschool Issue Overview,” August 2009

[2] “America After 3pm” National in-depth study funded by the JCPenney Afterschool Fund,

[3] Fight Crime Invest In Kids “America’s After-School Choice: Juvenile Crime or Safe Learning Time,” Research brief 2003

[4] Afterschool Alliance, “Afterschool Issue Overview,” August 2009

Afterschool Matters Journal

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

An article in this edition  of Afterschool Matters  is written by NJ’s Denise Sellers,  Executive Director of Haddonfield Child Care.
I recommend everyone read her article,
Nana  for  a New Generation.
This article  helped me to realize  that when we are with children each day…we must never lose sight of the prize!

The Afterschool Matters is part of the Afterschool Matters Initiative. Originally consisting of two different publications, a yearly journal and The Occasional Papers, these have been merged into a single publication issued 2-3 times per year. Afterschool Matters is a national, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship and consciousness in the field of afterschool education. Published by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time with support from the Robert Bowne Foundation, the journal serves those involved in developing and managing programs for youth during the out-of-school time hours, in addition to those engaged in research and in shaping youth development policy.


Helping Parents Help Their Children Engaging Parents and Family Members

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Helping Parents Help Their Children
Engaging Parents and Family Members

NJPC is offering one day training for professionals and providers in the child-serving arena on family engagement.  The workshop will explore engagement strategies and barriers, history and principles of family involvement, and specific strategies for high-risk and urban families. The curriculum includes Building Consensus & Collaboration with Parents and Family Members, Critical Elements of Family Engagement, The Impact of Community on Family Engagement, Family-Specific Strategies, and Recruitment & Retention.  Professionals attending the training are given the opportunity to strengthen their knowledge of family engagement and will receive practical tools and strategies which they can implement in their local organizations, resulting in improved outcomes for children and families.   Lunch will be served.
Each class is five hours in length.
Early registration is recommended as class size will be limited.

Location: American Legion Post 312, 78 Abbett Avenue, 2nd Floor, Morristown, NJ  07960

Date: August 10, 2010


August 25, 2010

Time: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Fee: $99.00

Registration Form**********************************************

Date of Attendance (check one): August 10, 2010 / August 25, 2010

Name _______________________________________________

Title ________________________________________________


Address ____________________________________________

City/State/Zip _____________________________________


Phone_________________________   Email _______________

You can fax the registration form to 973-989-8867 or email it to

Please make payment to New Jersey Parents Caucus, Inc

Mailing Address 275 Rt. 10 East, Ste.220-414, Succasunna, NJ 07876

2010 Trash To Treasure Competition!

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Dear Youth Leader,

Looking for something fun to do with kids of all ages this summer? Design Squad, the PBS engineering reality competition series, is offering kids a chance to get in on the action this summer. Complement your summer education efforts and increase the chances of someone from YOUR program appearing on the next season of Design Squad by encouraging kids to enter.

The 2010 Trash to Treasure Competition challenges kids, ages 5-19, to recycle, reuse, and re-engineer everyday materials into out-of-the-box inventions. Three winners will win a trip to Boston to see their designs built and appear on an episode of Design Squad. Twenty-five finalists will be featured on the series website and will receive a Design Squad t-shirt. Entries will be accepted through September 5, 2010 at

To help share the excitement, we have the following resources:

1. Contest Flyer
Print, post, and distribute the promotional flyer. You can find a PDF on the Design Squad website.

2. Invent It, Build It Activity Guide
Explore the invention process with kids through fun, hands-on challenges from this award-winning activity guide.

3. Promotional Language
Include a message about the competition in your announcements, newsletters and bulletin boards. We can provide you with a formal press release or customized blurbs.

4. Logo and Images
Include a web button on your website linking to our contest page. Or, spice up your newsletters with some fun signature images.

If you would like any of the resources listed above, please feel free to contact me at or 617-300-3639.


Natalie Hebshie
Outreach Coordinator, Design Squad
WGBH Educational Foundation
T. (617) 300-3639
F. (617) 300-1040

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High School Challenge

Monday, July 19th, 2010

The RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge invites high school students to work cooperatively as engineers and scientists to solve real-world problems related to the James Webb Space Telescope.

In Phase 1 of this education initiative, students explore and design solutions to two real-world problems related to the James Webb Space Telescope. For this phase, participants work in teams of three-to-five students.

Final RealWorld project solutions from this first phase of the challenge are due on Dec. 15, 2010.

Teams who complete Phase 1 are then paired with participating college engineering students to begin Phase 2, the InWorld phase of the challenge. Working in a virtual world setting, each newly formed InWorld team uses 21st-century tools to refine designs and create 3-D models of the Webb telescope.

For more information about the challenge, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to