Monday, February 09, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Fewer student dropouts reported in Lenoir County, North Carolina – February 6, 2009
For three consecutive years, Lenoir County Schools' student dropout rate has declined, a recent state Department of Public Instruction report showed. "We have a hands-on approach," Harvey said. "The students see the statistics about what happens to students when they drop out of school. It's usually a big eye-opener for the students." Dropout prevention efforts start early with elementary school students. Before starting his current position, Harvey was the school district's dropout prevention coordinator. Many of the same programs he ran are implemented today.

Dropout numbers fall in Gaston for first time in 5 years
Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, NC – February 6, 2009
For the first time in five years, Gaston County Schools saw a drop in the number of times students dropped out. "The numbers are still higher than we'd like them to be but we're headed in the right direction," said Gaston County Schools Superintendent Reeves McGlohon. McGlohon credited the decrease in dropouts to a combination of things - small learning communities and graduation coaches in high schools, an attendance campaign last year, principals emphasizing the need to stay in school and more.

Why drop out? Youths say what's wrong, what's needed
The Modesto Bee, Modesto, CA – February 6, 2009
Joseph Cox went from straight F's to straight A's in school. Before that turnaround, the teenager spent his time stealing cars instead of going to school. But the Modesto High School sophomore was steered into a mentor program.

Juvenile Justice

Minnesota law enforcement authorities meet with Klobuchar; urge reform of juvenile system, MN – February 5, 2009
A delegation of top law enforcement leaders from Minneapolis, St. Paul and across Minnesota recently met with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar in Washington, D.C. to discuss reforms to the juvenile justice system that will cut crime, reduce juvenile violence and save taxpayers far more than they cost. The Minnesotan law enforcement leaders discussed with Sen. Klobuchar the value of evidence-based intervention programs for juvenile offenders as well as increased federal funding for early childhood education and care.

East Palo Alto poised to launch youth court
Palo Alto Daily News, Palo Alto, CA – February 3, 2009
Fed up with a juvenile justice system they say doesn't do enough to keep kids out of jail, East Palo Alto leaders are turning to those same kids to provide an alternative. The vehicle is a youth court, staffed almost entirely by teens trained as legal advocates and jurors. The court met last week for a final test run before it starts receiving actual cases of young people who vandalize, steal and smoke pot, among other similar crimes.

Foster Care

Cafe training gives Oakland foster kids a fresh start
Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA – February 4, 2009
Tony Montoya is looking forward to earning his food-handling certificate in a couple of weeks from his job at the new Fresh Start Cafe. "It's sort of like a diploma," said Montoya, 19, who recently aged out of the Alameda County foster care system and now is working in the vocational training program through the cafe.

Programs available for emancipated foster youth
The Santa Ynez Valley Journal, Santa Ynez, CA – February 5, 2009
The county offers services for emancipated foster children — those who have reached the legal adult age of 18 and are not wards of the court any more. Starting when the children turn 16 years old, social workers from the Independent Living Program — ILP — begin working with them to determine what their plans will be when they graduate high school or emancipate.

4 friends have 1 cause — helping foster kids moving out on their own
Sun Sentinel, South Florida – February 8, 2009
Alli Weiss, 15, of Weston and Alex Rubin, 16, of Weston are part of a group of 4 high school girls who've started an organization that collects and donates luggage and other goods for foster kids who age out of the system when they turn 18 and go to live on their own. It began when four friends read about a girl in foster care turning 18. Aging out, as it's known to the state bureaucrats. Freaking out, is how the friends figured they'd react if they were in her shoes.

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