Youth, Education & Technology News : September 2008

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+ Superstar Foundation Direct Service Grants
+ Assessing What Kids Think About Themselves
+ Youth Voices: Tell Your Students to Speak Up
+ Lights On Afterschool! October 16
+ Tech giants invest in global ed reform

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September 30, 2008

Superstar Foundation Direct Service Grants

The Superstar Foundation 2008 Veronica Grants will be awarded to five outstanding direct service professionals, one for each of the following categories: Youth Development, Afterschool/Out-of-School Youth Services, Adult Men's Services, Adult Women's Services, and Family Services. Grant awards are $2000 each. Applications must be postmarked October 31, 2008.

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 30, 2008 | Funding

Assessing What Kids Think About Themselves

"Children in the United States tend to experience a decline in positive self-concept during their adolescent years. This decline often begins around age 12 for girls and around age 14 for boys. For some, the decline can become severe in early adolescence (between the ages 14 and 16) before generally recovering
in the mid-teen years.1 Having a negative selfconcept during adolescence has been associated with maladaptive behaviors and emotions. In contrast, having a positive self-concept has been linked to positive social and emotional development. This brief discusses child and adolescent self-concept and provides
information for out-of-school time program practitioners on how to assess self-concept among program participants. The brief also suggests ways that program practitioners can foster positive self-concept in adolescents."

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 30, 2008 | Resources

Youth Voices: Tell Your Students to Speak Up

"Calling All Modern Students! wants to hear from you about which skills you think your school should teach to help you succeed in life. Kids are experts on the modern digital world, and we think it's time adults listened. Create a video stating your opinion, and submit it by October 15 -- we'll publish our favorites on"

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 30, 2008 | Activities

Lights On Afterschool! October 16

"Lights On Afterschool is set for Thursday, October 16 this year. It is the only nationwide rally in support of afterschool programs. More than one million children, parents, community leaders and others are expected to participate in events across the country...

This year's Lights On Afterschool events will mark the end of a year-long celebration of the 10th anniversary of 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the chief federal funding stream for afterschool programs. To commemorate the anniversary, the Alliance will unveil an Afterschool Storybook featuring the stories of diverse people whose lives have been improved by afterschool programs."

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 30, 2008 | News

Tech giants invest in global ed reform

"Looking to produce their next generation of employees (and customers), technology giants such as Cisco Systems, Intel, and Microsoft are setting their sights beyond just the United States and are investing heavily in global education reform initiatives.

Developing nations such as India, Jordan, and Kenya are among the beneficiaries of these efforts, which underscore the need for U.S. schools to prepare their students for an increasingly global, information-based workforce...

According to Intel, by 2011 the Teach program will have helped 13 million teachers in more than 40 countries develop new skills to incorporate technology into their curriculum."

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 30, 2008 | News

Adobe Youth Voices - Resources for Educators

The Adobe Youth Voices Program provides resources for educators, including links to a wide range of instructional materials and tutorials on digital photography, digital video, and digital storytelling. It is one of the resources highlighted in the recently launched Technology Curriculum Database, developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.

This global philanthropic initiative to empower youth serves educators and afterschool practitioners who are integrating digital media into their classrooms and learning centers. Through media arts production, young people can give voice to issues that they care about—and share their movies, animation, Web sites or other works with a wide audience. Housed in the Adobe Digital Kids Club, the resources for educators feature lesson plans and curriculum ideas as well as expert advice. In addition, galleries in the Digital Kids Club and on the Youth Voices Web site exhibit a variety of works that model techniques for media making and inspire young artists.

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 30, 2008 | Resources

September 16, 2008

National Education Association Foundation Accepting Grant Applications

"The NEA Foundation supports a variety of efforts by teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff to improve student learning in America's public schools, colleges, and universities.

The foundation is accepting applications for the following programs:

Learning & Leadership Grants provide opportunities for teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff to engage in high-quality professional development and lead their colleagues in professional growth. The grant amount is $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study.

Student Achievement Grants provide grants of $5,000 to improve the academic achievement of students by engaging in critical thinking and problem solving that deepen knowledge of standards-based subject matter. The work should also improve students' habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection."

Referred by: Foundation Center
Posted by wrivenburgh on September 16, 2008 | Funding

Ił: Invention, Innovation, Inquiry

Through challenges and questions posed in thematic units, I3: Invention, Innovation, Inquiry gives young people the opportunity to experience the excitement of invention and innovation, and to learn how technology is integral to their everyday lives. It is one of the resources highlighted in the recently launched Technology Curriculum Database, developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.

I3 thematic units, 10 in all, consist of teaching and learning resources designed to enhance technology literacy in grades 5–6. They are based on technological and science literacy standards. This project is supported in part by the National Science Foundation and implemented by the International Technology Education Association and California University of Pennsylvania.

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 16, 2008 | Activities

Report: Retool instruction, or U.S. will fail

"Creating a 21st-century education system that prepares students, workers, and citizens to triumph in the global skills race is the central economic competitiveness issue currently facing the United States, according to a new report from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21). The report provides a sobering wake-up call for the nation's civic and education leaders.

The report, called '21st Century Skills, Education, and Competitiveness,' argues that for the United States to be globally competitive--and for states to attract growth industries and create jobs--the nation requires a fresh approach to education that recognizes the critical role 21st-century skills play in the workplace."

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 16, 2008 | News

Geoffrey Canada: 'Whatever It Takes' To Teach Kids

"The Harlem Children's Zone, writes New York Times reporter Paul Tough, is 'the first and so far the only organization in the country that pulls together ... integrated social and educational services for thousands of children' — all under one umbrella, all in one place, all at one time.

It's the brainchild of education and social-services reformer Geoffrey Canada, and it's nothing less than an audacious poverty-eradication effort that, as Publishers Weekly explains, is 'predicated upon changing everything' in the New York City neighborhoods it targets, 'creating an interlocking web of services targeted at the poorest and least likely-to-succeed children.'"

An interview with Geoffrey Canada and Paul Tough just aired on the NPR program Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 16, 2008 | Resources

Strengthening Out-of-School Time Organizations

"Modestly funded and often stretched to their limits, the organizations that provide out-of-school time (OST) programming face mounting demands to deliver higher quality services to more children. The Wallace Foundation recently asked several experts in the OST field to identify what they think are the key organizational, administrative and management obstacles impeding OST providers from lifting the quality of their programs and discuss how those might be overcome."

Download the white papers for free at the Wallace Foundation website: "Strengthening Out-of-School Time Nonprofits: The Role of Foundations in Building Organizational Capacity," by Heather B. Weiss and Priscilla D. Little of the Harvard Family Research Project; "A New Day for Youth: Creating Sustainable Quality in Out of School Time," by Harvard researcher Gil G. Noam; "A View from the Field: Helping Community Organizations Meet Capacity Challenges," by Lucy N. Friedman, president of The After-School Corporation, a New York City-based nonprofit.

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 16, 2008 | Resources


Looking for online literacy activities? Starfall, a bright, colorful portal that features reading materials and interactives, comes highly recommended by teachers and other educators. It's designed for first graders, but offers age-appropriate activities and games for preschool through second grade levels. The four main sections of the website serve non-readers up to independent readers: ABCs - Let's get ready to read; Learn to Read; It's Fun to Read; and I'm Reading.

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 16, 2008 | Activities

September 02, 2008

YouthLearn Team Seeking Your Feedback

We're redesigning the YouthLearn website! We need you, our YouthLearn subscribers, to tell us what you think about our site, content, and newsletter.

Specifically, we hope that your feedback will help us make the site more user-friendly. We want to present the content, information, and resources in ways that work best for you. Additionally, we are exploring what we can add to support afterschool educators in pursuit of professional development, resources, activities, and community.

The survey will only take a few minutes to complete. Please follow the link below.

We greatly appreciate your feedback and will keep you posted on new developments.

Thank you,
The YouthLearn Team

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 02, 2008 | YouthLearn Updates

National Learn & Serve Challenge Week

"The National Learn & Serve Challenge, October 6-12, 2008, is a concentrated week of special events and activities designed to spotlight service-learning successes around the country. It is also designed to show support for Learn and Serve America and inspire other schools and communities to launch their own service-learning initiatives."

Suggestions for events include hosting a "service-learning t-shirt or button day at your school or organization" or presenting to your local school board and/or community groups.

The Learn & Serve Challenge is a signature event of the National Service-Learning Partnership, made possible with support from State Farm® Companies Foundation.

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 02, 2008 | News

Blueprint for 21st Century Civic Engagement

The Media Education Lab at Temple University announces the release of its "latest multimedia curriculum, developed in partnership with PBS Teachers, just in time for Election 2008: ACCESS, ANALYZE, ACT: A Blueprint for 21st Century Civic Engagement.

This curriculum is designed to help develop students' understanding of the Presidential campaign process by harnessing the power of Web 2.0 for teaching media and information literacy, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and technology skills. There are more than a dozen social media tools showcased in this curriculum that can engage young learners in the political process. Teachers will gain confidence in using social media for student learning when viewing these videos and using these lesson plans."

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 02, 2008 | Resources