Monday, December 15, 2008

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Program aims to get high school students at risk off to a good start
Star Tribune – December 13, 2008
Ryan Gresafe wants to be a professional boxer, but he's staying in school to get an education "in case anything goes wrong, like I break my hand or something," says the 112-pound division fighter who's in ninth grade at North High School in North St. Paul. The school is fighting for Ryan to get a good education, too, by enrolling him into what it calls "Freshman Academy" -- North High School's new, first and, perhaps, last-ditch effort to keep kids on track to graduate.

Students get the Big Picture, find success
Houston Chronicle – December 13, 2008
It sounds like a student's dream school — no teachers, no homework, no weekly tests, no grades. At the Lafayette Big Picture High School, students get to design their own learning plan, set their own goals and spend two days a week away from school — bending the ear of a mentor.

'Upper houses' for Danville High School students taking shape
The News-Gazette – December 12, 2008
Danville High School freshman Tatiana Atcher said she's been able to make the leap from middle to high school without much problem, and she credits that to being part of a small learning community. A cornerstone of Danville High's state-lauded restructuring plan, the program creates an environment stressing rigor, relevance and relationships to improve things like student engagement, achievement and graduation rates and decrease things like discipline problems and drop-out rates.

Juvenile Justice

Prison system in need of correction
Star-Ledger – December 14, 2008
Faced with spending up to eight years at Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility in Annandale on drug and robbery charges, William Blaine -- for the first time in his 21 years -- had a moment of forced stillness to reflect on his future. Reinstating educational programming inside New Jersey's prisons is just one of the recommendations that has come out of "Counting The Costs," a series of public hearings seeking to elicit public input on how to improve the state's criminal justice system and the process of reintegrating ex-offenders into society upon their release.

Lawmakers, judge making strides in juvenile justice
Press-Register – December 14, 2008
When it comes to overall child welfare, Alabama historically has ranked at or near the bottom of nationwide studies, because in no small part of the state's high juvenile incarceration rate. But with new strategies being put in place in Mobile County and other metropolitan areas of the state, Alabama appears to be turning that around, according to one juvenile justice expert.

Channahon may get peer jury program
Chicago Tribune – December 9, 2008
Channahon teenagers may soon find themselves sitting on a jury judging one of their peers. With a new high school in town, Police Chief Joe Pena wants Channahon to become the next Will County community to use peer juries to help get first-time offenders back on track and give teens a look inside the justice system.

Foster Care

Aging out of foster care
The Daily Reflector – December 14, 2008
"Our sole mission is to help young people leave foster care and go on to post-secondary schooling,” said Eileen McCaffrey, executive director of the Orphan Foundation of America. And she's reaching that goal a little easier these days by spearheading a modern statewide program called NC Reach.

Maryland Based Group Helps Get Housing Vouchers for Foster Care Kids
Southern Maryland – December 13, 2008
When Temple Hills resident Crystal Skinner turned 21 in 2006 and was too old to stay in foster care, she was not sure where she would live. After switching between living with her biological mother and her aunt, Skinner received a voucher from the Prince George's County Housing Authority that paid rent and allowed her to find a job nearby.

Youth ranch gets $1 million grant
The Oklahoman – December 13, 2008
Little more than a year ago, 19-year-old Bre'Ann Hansen's prospects looked bleak -- at least in her own eyes. The statistics were stacked against her, and she worried that she'd end up like many of her peers who, after leaving foster care, found themselves alone, without help and in dangerous situations. But on Thursday morning, she beamed with excitement. She's now employed as a teacher's aide at the Hill Country Youth Ranch, where she was a resident and student for six years prior to graduating in 2007. Plus, she is planning to begin college in January, all furthered by a $1 million grant the youth ranch received on Tuesday.

No comments: