Youth, Education & Technology News : February 2009

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Recent February 2009
+ National Center for Summer Learning on the Recovery and Reinvestment Act
+ Online opportunities for meaningful professional development: learning with Wikis & blogs
+ Making college a Latino rite of passage
+ Social websites harm children's brains warns top neuroscientist
+ Invent Your World Challenge for Young People

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February 24, 2009

National Center for Summer Learning on the Recovery and Reinvestment Act

"On Tuesday, February 17, 2009 President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) into law. The $787 billion bill includes an unprecedented amount of funding for education, with significant opportunities for summer learning programs.

While none of the funds are explicitly targeted to summer learning programs, nearly all can potentially be used for summer programs. And while much of the funds will be used to prevent state budget cuts and prevent layoffs, additional funds are identified specifically to encourage reform and innovation in education and will likely be the primary federal vehicle for education policy until No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is reauthorized....

The Center is leading efforts to provide tools for summer learning advocates, including talking points to make the case for summer with key stakeholders, and important information on how to access these funds for summer programs."

Referred by: Promising Practices in Afterschool
Posted by wrivenburgh on February 24, 2009 | News

Online opportunities for meaningful professional development: learning with Wikis & blogs

"In an essay in ASCD's Educational Leadership, Bill Ferriter writes that the Internet has the potential to revolutionize professional development for teachers, which has been susceptible to business-driven reform fads that have little effect on student achievement. 'Thousands of accomplished educators are now writing blogs about teaching and learning,' he points out. 'In every content area and grade level and in schools of varying sizes and from different geographic locations, educators are actively reflecting on instruction, challenging assumptions, questioning policies, offering advice, designing solutions, and learning together.' This accumulated wisdom, which is driven by personal interests and connected to classroom realities, is available for free... Ferriter provides suggested links and tips for getting started as a consumer of and participant in this forum."

Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
Posted by wrivenburgh on February 24, 2009 | Resources

Making college a Latino rite of passage

"Latino high school students have put a twist on a traditional rite of passage, the quinceaera, according to The Arizona Star. The ceremony, which Latina girls celebrate upon turning 15, has been transformed at two Tucson high schools into 'Quince para mis Quince,' or 'Fifteen for my Fifteenth,' school-sanctioned clubs that include boys and enlist students to undertake 15 activities that will help them prepare for college. The goal, according to Elizabeth Arnot-Hopffer, is to 'create a college-going culture' in the high school. Participating high school freshmen are often the first in their families to even consider college, and don't have the family experience and resources to help them navigate the complicated application and financial aid process. The clubs also involve parents and help the students to stay on track."

Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
Posted by wrivenburgh on February 24, 2009 | Resources

Social websites harm children's brains warns top neuroscientist

"Social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users, an eminent scientist has warned.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centred.

The claims from neuroscientist Susan Greenfield will make disturbing reading for the millions whose social lives depend on logging on to their favourite websites each day.

But they will strike a chord with parents and teachers who complain that many youngsters lack the ability to communicate or concentrate away from their screens.

More than 150 million use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, share photographs and videos and post regular updates of their movements and thoughts.

A further six million have signed up to Twitter, the 'micro-blogging' service that lets users circulate text messages about themselves.

But while the sites are popular - and extremely profitable - a growing number of psychologists and neuroscientists believe they may be doing more harm than good."

Posted by wrivenburgh on February 24, 2009 | News

Invent Your World Challenge for Young People

"Through the Invent Your World Challenge, Ashoka GenV and the Lemelson Foundation will help fifty young inventors use their creations to address a local or global challenge and create positive change.

Young people are invited to submit their ideas for a new technology or the adaptation of an existing technology that will help make life easier, the planet greener, or the world better. Youth whose ideas are selected for support will receive an action plan so that they can apply for funding... The challenge is open to all individuals between the ages of 12 and 20 in North America and Europe, and 12 and 24 everywhere else... The last day to submit a project idea is March 15, 2009."

Referred by: Foundation Center
Posted by wrivenburgh on February 24, 2009 | Funding

Afterschool Academies Guidebook for Action

For the last four years, YouthLearn has been working with educational leaders from around the country to develop a new professional development model for afterschool practitioners. The training was piloted in cities around the country and now, The Afterschool Academies Guidebook for Action is available for download! The Guidebook is designed for leaders and organizations who want to build from the Academies model to create their own professional development that makes a difference: professional development for afterschool education and educators.

The Academies model addresses core principles and practices, as well as strategies to ‘take it home’, whether in the form of staff development, techniques, program design, organizational processes, or other improvements. The Afterschool Academies Guidebook for Action was developed in collaboration with the Center for Afterschool Education, Foundations Inc., Community Network for Youth Development, Citizen Schools, Gary and Eve Moody, and the YouthLearn Initiative at EDC, under a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Download the guide at the Center for Afterschool Education website (it's free - though registration is required).

Posted by wrivenburgh on February 24, 2009 | YouthLearn Updates

February 03, 2009

Women Helping Others Foundation Invites Applications for Education/Literacy Grants

"The WHO Foundation: Women Helping Others supports grassroots charities serving the overlooked needs of women and children in the United States.

WHO Foundation Education/Literacy grants provide funding to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico to support free after school organizations and for the implementation or expansion of education and/or literacy programs for low-income children of all ages...

The maximum request amount per organization is $5,000. Suggested funding requests include healthy snacks, books, educational field trips, etc. The foundation does not provide funding for salaries."

Referred by: Foundation Center
Posted by wrivenburgh on February 03, 2009 | Funding

Kohl's Kids Who Care Scholarship Program to Recognize Young Volunteers

"Through the Kohl's Kids Who Care scholarship program, the Kohl's Corporation plans to award a total of over $350,000 in scholarships and prizes this year to more than two thousand kids whose volunteer efforts have made a positive impact on their communities. The program recognizes and rewards young volunteers (ages 6 to 18) who help make their communities a better place.

To be eligible for an award, the young person's efforts should be above and beyond what is normally expected of a child his or her age. Volunteer efforts should have made a positive impact on others and occurred in the last twelve months. The activity cannot be performed solely to benefit a family member. Creativity, initiative, generosity, leadership, and project reach will be evaluated during the judging process... The program will accept nominations from February 1 through March 15, 2009."

Referred by: Foundation Center
Posted by wrivenburgh on February 03, 2009 | Funding

Federal Programs & Youth Workers: Opportunities to Strengthen Our Workforce

"Policymakers increasingly view youth development and after-school programs as solutions to a host of problems confronting youth, communities and our country overall. Yet, funds for these programs as a whole are scarce and when resources are devoted to training or workforce development, they appear to be included as afterthoughts or minor priorities. The Next Generation Youth Work Coalition undertook a scan of a broad range of federal programs to determine how federal funds are being used to strengthen, support and retain youth workers and to begin dialogue about increasing policy supports for this workforce that we trust to foster the positive development of our nation’s young people."

Posted by wrivenburgh on February 03, 2009 | Resources

Teens prepared for math, science careers, yet lack mentors

"American teens are embracing the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with increasingly positive attitudes; yet many lack the necessary encouragement from mentors and role models in these fields, according to this year's Lemelson-MIT Invention Index.

The annual survey, which gauges Americans' perceptions about invention and innovation, also reveals teens' altruistic intentions and feelings of preparedness to pursue careers in STEM fields."

Posted by wrivenburgh on February 03, 2009 | News

U.S. school children need less work, more play: study

"Researchers reported on Monday that a growing trend of curbing free time at school may lead to unruly classrooms and rob youngsters of needed exercise and an important chance to socialize.

A look at more than 10,000 children aged 8 and 9 found better classroom behavior among those who had at least a 15-minute break during the school day compared to those who did not, Dr. Romina Barros and colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York reported... 'The available research suggests that recess may play an important role in the learning, social development, and health of children in elementary school,' the research team said in a study published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics... The researchers also found that children not getting recess were more likely to be black, from poor families and attending public schools in large cities."

Posted by wrivenburgh on February 03, 2009 | Research