Monday, October 29, 2012

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Virginia’s on-time graduation rate for class of 2012 rises to 88 percent, dropout rate falls
The Washington Post, Richmond, VA – October 23, 2012
Nearly 90 percent of students in the class of 2012 graduated after four years of high school, the Virginia Department of Education said Tuesday.  The on-time graduation rate for the 97,865 public high school students who were first-time ninth-graders in 2008-09 was 88 percent, an increase of more than a percentage point from the previous year’s class, officials said.

Dropout rate falls in Greenwood
San Francisco Chronicle, Greenwood, MS – October 27, 2012
The Greenwood Public School District is crediting implementation of a plan to tackle dropout and graduation rates for major improvements in its high school completion rates between 2010 and the current academic year.

Juvenile Justice

'A door to anywhere': Juvenile Justice Center aims to get kids on the right track
The Daily Courier, Arizona – October 27, 2012
"When the juvenile court system started in Chicago 110 years ago, they realized that there's hope for children," Arizona Supreme Court Justice Robert Brutinel told an audience of 300 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday for the new Yavapai County Juvenile Justice Center in Prescott.

Youth Court Program Separates Teen Defendants from Adults, New York – October 22, 2012
On Wednesday afternoon last week, Judge Felicia Mennin quickly made her way through cases typical of Midtown Community Court — a series of petty crimes, like illegal vending, and various summonses for parking and other minor violations.  But Mennin took a moment to pause before her last case of the day, when a 16-year-old sporting purple Uggs and a pink North Face backpack appeared before her.

Kids Count Report Demonstrates New Jersey’s Successes In Juvenile Justice, Trenton, NJ – October 24, 2012
Advocates for Children of New Jersey today released a special juvenile justice Kids Count report entitled, “Measuring Change in New Jersey’s Treatment of Young Offenders.” The report details the successful reforms in juvenile justice since the implementation of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Justice Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) in New Jersey.

Foster Care

Hearing on Aging Out of Foster Services
NBC6, Nebraska – October 28, 2012
Nebraska lawmakers have scheduled a hearing on children who "age out" of the state's foster care system.  The Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee will hear testimony Thursday about the services that are available for youths who leave the system because of their age.

Teen Pregnancy

Education, alcohol awareness keys to preventing teen pregnancy
Great Falls Tribune, Cascade County, MT – October 26, 2012
Cascade City-County Health Department Health Officer Alicia M. Thompson has data, pages and pages of it, pointing to a correlation between alcohol and unintended teen pregnancy. The challenge comes with interpreting the data and using it to educate the public.

Fathers play key role in teens’ sexual behavior, says study
The Washington Post – October 22, 2012
Fathers’ attitudes toward teen sex and the emotional closeness of their relationship with their teens have a sizable influence on their teens’ sexual behavior, separate from the influence of moms, a new review of studies suggests.

Monday, October 22, 2012

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


FCHS senior addresses drop out problem
Daily American News, West Frankfort, IL – October 18, 2012
There are many factors that are common to all high schools. Most are good and positive. Some, like the “drop-out" rate, raises its ugly head in all districts. Frankfort Community High School is no exception. But “Freshman Focus,” a new program implemented this year by FCHS principal Danny Stevens, seems to be making a difference.

In southern Iredell, 'Stay in School' is more than a slogan
Mooresville Tribune, Iredell County, NC – October 15, 2012
Public high schools in southern Iredell County have some of the lowest student dropout rates in the state.  The Mooresville Graded School District reported that in 2011-12 it had its lowest dropout rate – 2 percent -- in six years. Lake Norman High School had a dropout rate of less than one percent -- .6 percent to be exact.

The Cornerstone of Success: Education
Chicago Tribune, IL – October 17, 2012
It might begin with a child discovering a new word through a volunteer reading to them. Or perhaps a teen struggling in class receives the additional attention needed to pass a math test. These small acts can trigger years of learning and academic success . And when one child succeeds, an entire community is uplifted.

Juvenile Justice

Commission Examines Youth Court System
WTOK ABC 11, Mississippi – October 21, 2012
To make sure all three branches of state government are on the same page, the Commission  on Children's Justice held its final public hearing Thursday.  It brought together judicial, foster care and educational sectors to get a better understanding of what happens when juveniles face the state's judicial process.

Foster Care

Hart: Judges listen, make difference in children's lives
Houston Chronicle, Texas – October 16, 2012
On paper, the plan made no sense to Juvenile Judge Angela Ellis. Sixteen-year-old twin girls in foster care wanted to go live with a 21-year-old sister. But after several face-to-face meetings with all of the young women, the judge changed her mind and agreed to the arrangement.

Horses Make a Difference in the Lives of At Risk Youth
The Herald, Old Bethpage, NY – October 17, 2012
Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE), a not-for-profit agency that supports more than 3,000 individuals with different abilities on Long Island, will join Heart Gallery NYC at an Open House and Press Conference to introduce an ongoing series of Life/Job Skills and Workforce Development Workshops for children in care and for those young adults transitioning out of foster care.
Teen Pregnancy

Milwaukee's teen birthrate drops for fifth year in row
Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI – October 19, 2012
Milwaukee's teen birthrate - the second highest in the nation less than a decade ago - last year dropped for a fifth year in a row to a new historic low.  The drop wasn't as dramatic as those seen in 2009 and 2010, but the city remains on pace to reach a goal of reducing the teen birthrate to 30 per 1,000 teens ages 15 to 17 by 2015 - a goal set in 2007 by United Way of Greater Milwaukee, the Center for Urban Population Health and the Milwaukee Health Department.

Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy Gets Grant Funds to Target Teens
DelRay Patch,  Alexandria, CA – October 18, 2012
More teens in Alexandria will be learning about how to prevent pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections through a new federal grant to the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP).  ACAP was awarded a three-year Personal Responsibility Education Program federal grant to provide prevention programs that address teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Class aims to lower teen pregnancy, build life skills
The News Herald, Panama City, FL – October 18, 2012
Ninth-grade students at Bay High are in a class designed to prevent teen pregnancies and build life skills.  The Teen Outreach Program, called TOP, is a youth development program that, in addition to covering safe sex and contraceptives education, reaches into the social aspect of the lives of adolescents, helping them to find a sense of purpose.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


CPS announces low one-year dropouts and high freshmen “on-track-to-graduate” rate
Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago, IL – October 5, 2012
Chicago Public Schools officials early Friday hailed more positive signs for the system: a record low one-year dropout rate and a record high freshmen “on-track-to-graduate” rate.  Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said in an embargoed statement that the 2011-2012 numbers were “another encouraging sign of progress.’’

In Fight Against Dropouts, ‘The Meat Of The Sandwich Is Middle School’
KERA News, Texas – October 4, 2012
In the battle to keep students in school, experts often target the ends of the educational spectrum: early childhood, when kids pick up basic skills, and high school, when most dropouts happen. But some are starting to look in a different direction – the middle.

Beyer High program in Modesto gains national honor
The Modesto Bee, Modesto, CA – October 1, 2012
Beyer High's AdvancePath Academy will be honored this month by the National Dropout Prevention Network for its success in keeping kids in school.  The program was announced Monday as one of two nationwide to earn the network's Crystal Star Award. Terri Salaiz, head teacher in the Beyer program, will travel to Orlando, Fla., for the Oct. 16 ceremony.

Juvenile Justice

Georgia considers juvenile justice reforms
The Augusta Chronicle, Atlanta, GA – October 8, 2012
After overhauling its adult criminal justice system to provide alternative sentences for nonviolent offenders and reduce skyrocketing prison costs, the state of Georgia is turning its attention to the juvenile justice system.

Mayor Highlights "Close To Home" Juvenile Justice Program
NY1, New York – October 4, 2012
Juvenile offenders are now living within the five boroughs and attending schools here after years of serving time upstate. The Close to Home initiative transfers the majority of young offenders to the city's control from the state. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in Brooklyn Thursday to highlight the program. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

Juvenile Justice wins Harvard award
The Advocate, Louisiana – October 5, 2012
The Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice has been recognized by Harvard University for its innovative programming, an OJJ spokeswoman said Thursday.  OJJ’s Service Coordination Model was recognized through the “Bright Ideas” program, an initiative of the broader Innovations in American Government Awards program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Jerel M. Giarrusso, OJJ’s spokeswoman, said in a news release.

Foster Care

Local Program Teaches Independence to Foster Kids
WSET ABC13, Lynchburg, VA – October 8, 2012
Kids in foster care have a tough transition when they leave the system and go out on their own. But one area organization is bridging that gap and seeing a lot of success. Lynchburg's Impact Living Services opened its doors in July.

Footsteps to the Future offers mentoring for girls aging out of foster care
Naples News, Naples, FL – October 4, 2012
Turning 18 can be an exciting milestone for teens, but for those in foster care it's a number they dread.  But a Fort Myers-based nonprofit is trying to offer young women in foster care a chance at success.  Footsteps to the Future, which helps young women transition out of foster care, has developed a new mentoring program that pairs at-risk teens with mentors who will push them to graduate, while also guiding them into adulthood.

Foster kids can overcome extra financial obstacles
Chicago Tribune, Illinois – October 2, 2012
Eddye Vanderkwaak's life story is really two tales.  There's the girl who grew up in a dysfunctional home in Iowa until she was 14, living primarily with her father. It was a week-to-week existence, with her father borrowing from friends and family members to cover the bills.  It's been a dramatic transformation -- one that Vanderkwaak admits might not have happened if not for Opportunity Passport, a financial education program developed by the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative.

Teen Pregnancy

Alternative schools focus on pregnancy
Tulsa World, Tulsa, OK – October 8, 2012
Some kids hold hands in the hallway, work on school work during lunch break or chat about their upcoming weekend plans.  Pregnant and parenting teens have the option of staying in their schools, but many choose to attend alternative schools.

Fewer abortions, teen pregnancies with free birth control
Chicago Sun-Times, Washington, DC – October 5, 2012
Free birth control led to dramatically lower rates of abortions and teen births, a large study concluded Thursday, offering strong evidence for how a bitterly contested Obama administration policy could benefit women’s health.

Monday, October 01, 2012

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Boston Center Helps Dropouts Get Back On Track
WBUR 90.0, Boston, MA – September 25, 2012
The start of a new academic year is often a painful reminder for the 1,100 or so students who drop out of high school in Boston every year.  Dropouts cite three main reasons for leaving: they fall too far behind, have problems with school, or have overwhelming personal obstacles. But the Boston Public Schools’ Re-Engagement Center in Roxbury is now clearing a path back to their diploma.

AU program works to cut high school dropout rate
Opelika-Auburn News, Opelika, AL – September 25, 2012
It was celebration of achievements as well as an investment in their futures as members of Auburn University’s Truman Pierce Institute shared the results of their Building Individual Capacity for Success program at the Auburn Alumni Center on Tuesday.

District officials go door-to-door encouraging dropouts to return to school
WISTV Channel 10, Orangeburg County, SC – September 29, 2012
Cynthia Wilson is in charge of Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5.  She spent Saturday making house calls.  She was looking for her high school students who have not shown up to class this school year.  "We're interested in Kadijah coming back to school," Wilson told a mother. "She hasn't returned yet. We want her to come back so that she can finish her education and graduate."

Juvenile Justice

Gov. Brown signs bill giving juveniles 2nd chance
KSWT News 13, Sacramento, CA – September 30, 2012
Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday announced signing a bill that could one day bring the release of some criminals who were sentenced as juveniles to life in prison.  There are 309 inmates serving life-without-parole sentences in California for murders committed when they were younger than 18.

Youth Justice Awareness Month Returns
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange – September 27, 2012
Four years after a Missouri mother started a homemade campaign about the judicial system that led to her son’s suicide in prison, more than half of the states are hosting events aimed at increasing awareness of the treatment of youth in adult courts, jails and prisons.

Bill would cut sentences of juvenile murderers in Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania – September 27, 2012
The state House of Representatives is considering a bill that would dramatically reduce sentences for some juveniles convicted of murder as the state moves to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Foster Care

Learning the Value of Money, From Inside the Foster Care System
Huffington Post - September 28, 2012
The financial crisis may have at least one silver lining. A new survey by TD Ameritrade shows that young people who watched their parents deal with the difficult economy have taken the value of money to heart: Three in four young people said they think saving money is important, and four in 10 said they have a budget, which they follow closely.

Open houses seek to fill gaps in foster-care system
The Republic, Arizona – September 29, 2012
Courtney Hofstede was a homeless 23-year-old when she got connected with Open Table, a non-profit that helps teens aging out of the foster-care system transition into the real world. Nearly one in four foster kids will become homeless after transitioning out of the system, according to Open Table officials.

Teen Pregnancy

Task force: Curbing teen pregnancy is community effort
The Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi – September 28, 2012
It’s not easy to be a kid who takes a stand against getting pregnant as a teenager, Gov. Phil Bryant says.  “Imagine going into a high school as a student and saying you want to get a group together to talk about teenage pregnancy,” Bryant said today. “Imagine the peer pressure you’d get. You might not be able to get in the popular girl group.”  But that’s exactly what Bryant wants to happen with high school members of his task force Healthy Teens for a Better Mississippi.

NYC Schools Offer Morning-After Pill - What It Means for Latina Teen Pregnancy
ABC News, New York, NY – September 24, 2012
For the past year, New York City schools have tested a pilot program that provides Plan B, or the "morning-after pill," free of cost to teenage girls without parental consent in 13 high schools across the city. The program has had a particular impact on Latina students -- many of the pilot schools are located in areas with high Latino populations, including Queens and the Bronx.