Monday, July 20, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


School helps curb student dropout rate
The Times Herald, St. Clair County, MI – July 19, 2009
In the statewide fight to lower school dropout rates, success stories are relatively rare, but we've got one in St. Clair County. In 2002-03, the St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency opened its Academic Transitional Academy in the former Ruth Bacon Elementary School in Port Huron Township. Today, seven years later, the hard numbers show it is making a real difference in keeping kids in school.

$3 Million Aimed at Helping Potential High School Dropouts
ABC News 4, Columbia, SC – July 17, 2009
More than $3 million in grants to support programs aimed at helping potential high school dropouts has been announced by the South Carolina Department of Education’s Office of Regional Services. The awards include innovation grants ranging from $25,000 to nearly $250,000 for programs that help at-risk students graduate from high school, plus supplemental grants of $6,000 each to sustain existing efforts at 60 schools across the state. Schools have an opportunity to apply for the grants each spring.

Schools implementing plan to lower dropouts
The Advocate, Morganza, LA – July 19, 2009
Nearly one in five Louisiana public school students will never put on a cap and gown, walk across a stage and receive a high school diploma, state Department of Education records show. That trend has stayed steady over the past several years, the records show. Advance Baton Rouge, a nonprofit now running five schools in the Baton Rouge area, is trying to change that with its Dropout Prevention Program starting in the fall at Pointe Coupee Central High School.

Juvenile Justice

Budget Cuts Eroding Progress in Juvenile Justice
The New York Times, Columbia, SC – July 10, 2009
Her first night inside the razor wire at the state juvenile prison came as a 14-year-old in the mid-1970s, when she was locked up for running away from home. Her next experience came the following decade, when she began work as a correctional officer. As Velvet McGowan tells it, care was a word not then in the lexicon of the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice. Teenagers were warehoused like problematic inventory, with as many as 80 crammed into spaces built for 40.

Beyond the Fence
The New York Times, South Carolina – July 10, 2009
South Carolina's juvenile detention system once had some of the worst conditions in the nation. And now, because of the stagnant economy, the system's successful reforms are in danger of eroding.

Foster Care

Saving Grace: Giving Hope to Women Aging Out of Foster Care
KFSM Channel 5, Rogers, AR – July 19, 2009
About one-third of foster kids aging out of the system will live their adult lives at or below the poverty level. It's one of many staggering statistics. But one local couple is trying to change those numbers by building a place of hope and transtition. A place where young women coming out of foster care can have a fair chance at beating the odds. It's still a work in progress, but in just a couple of months, the old convent at 1229 West Poplar in Rogers will once again become a place of hope and restoration. It will be called "Saving Grace", A transition home for women aging out of foster care. A place that's a dream come true for the center's Executive Director Becky Schaffer.

BCFS enables teens to embark on ‘road to independence’
The Baptist Standard, San Antonio, TX – July 17, 2009
More than 125 San Antonio teenagers took their first steps toward a college degree and brighter future by participating in “The Road to Independence”—a self-sufficiency conference and job fair sponsored by Baptist Child & Family Services. For 10 years, the BCFS transitional living program has sponsored the conference for young adults aging out of the foster care system, answering questions about how to build and maintain relationships, find housing and employment, apply to college and receive financial aid, and manage money.

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