Monday, April 13, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Summit leaders: Kids’ wisdom key to saving dropouts
Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Princeton, WV – April 10, 2009
When a group of concerned Mercer County youth leaders asked students what they could do to keep more kids in school, the solutions were overwhelmingly simple. In fact, Creating Opportunities for Youth Coalition Chairwoman Michelle Williams said the suggestions to a recent survey sounded brilliant when stated in a child’s plain-spoken wisdom.

Charter school graduating drop outs, Revere, MA – April 13, 2009
Phoenix Charter Academy is keeping former public school dropouts in class and boosting grade point averages by 100 percent over the past year, said representatives of the Chelsea school. Currently in its third year, Phoenix Charter Academy (PCA) serves 150 students in Revere, Chelsea and surrounding cities. Fifty percent of incoming PCA students have previously dropped out of school and with the average incoming GPA of a PCA student at 0.7.

Tracking Dropouts
Alexandria Gazette Packet, McLean, VA – April 9, 2009
When a group of students at T.C. Williams High School began skipping classes on Friday afternoons, school officials began trying to figure out what the problem was. In the words of Margie Walsh, who is executive director of secondary programs for the city’s school division, the students "had engaged in behavior they should not have." Walsh relayed the anecdote during a recent City Council meeting to demonstrate the variety of ways that youths can become disengaged as they make their way through high school.

Juvenile Justice

Grant aims to keep kids out of trouble
The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, VA – April 7, 2009
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For the people working with at-risk youth, the old saying is more than a trite cliche. It's the difference between young people realizing their potential or ending up in foster care or juvenile detention. And, during tight budget times, prevention programs are usually among the first cuts. But Fredericksburg's Family Assessment and Planning Team hopes a new $250,000 grant will help many city youth stay out of jail.

Program seeks to steer youths away from crime
The Arizona Republic, Buckeye, AZ – April 12, 2009
Buckeye youths teetering on the edge of a criminal lifestyle soon will have a new lifeline. The town is launching a youth-diversion program aimed at steering kids who have run into trouble with the law back onto the right path. "We are excited because we think this is going to give our kids a hope that they didn't have before," said Buckeye police Lt. Phil Harris, who helped develop the Targeted Juvenile Intervention Program.

Quinn makes program to keep youths out of prison permanent
The Southern, Springfield, IL – April 7, 2009
state program aimed at keeping young people out of the state corrections system moved past its experimental phase Tuesday. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Tuesday to make permanent the Redeploy Illinois program. It’s been running recently as a pilot program in Macon, McLean and some southeastern Illinois counties, among others.

Foster Care

Landrieu amendment opens door for reforming foster care-financing system
The Louisiana Weekly, New Orleans, LA – April 13, 2009
The United States Senate recently approved a foster care financing reform amendment authored by Senator Mary Landrieu. The amendment to the Senate's budget would allow for reforming the foster care-financing system to shift resources to promote safe, stable and permanent homes for foster children. It represents another example of Sen. Landrieu's fight to improve the government's support for foster care children and families.

Sanctuary program aids those outgrowing foster care
The Florida Times-Union, Avondale, FL – April 12, 2009
A new board is pouring energy into a financially strapped foster care agency in Avondale. Teresa Eichner, newly elected chairwoman of the Jacksonville Youth Sanctuary, is about to launch a $150,000 fund-raising campaign to help pay for a transitional program for foster children ages 18-23, an at-home reading program for the struggling readers in care, renovations to group homes, plus money for birthday parties and holiday celebrations.

Program prepares foster children for the future
Contra Costa Times, La Verne, CA – April 7, 2009
James Lindemann has been in the foster care system since he was 5 years old. He's lived in many different homes, never really having the stability others his age have been afforded. Now 17 years old, he faces yet another huge transition - he graduates from high school this year and will move forward to Cal Poly Pomona next year. The LeRoy Haynes Center, where Lindemann attends school, has added the "Transition to Life" program to its list of services in an effort to prepare young men and women for life when they are emancipated at age 18.

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