Youth, Education & Technology News : May 2009

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Recent May 2009
+ Parents' Choice Award-winning Websites
+ Opportunity in Hard Times: Building Out-of-School Time Learning Systems that Last
+ American Legion: Grants for Child Welfare
+ A comprehensive look at the opportunities to learn in the U.S.
+ Inside ITEST - Showcasing STEM Learning Experiences

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May 26, 2009

Parents' Choice Award-winning Websites

Are you or the parents of kids in your program looking for great websites that young people can explore? The Parents' Choice organization has been reviewing children's media and toys for more than 30 years. They've selected a variety of websites, appropriate to different age groups, that offer entertaining and educational content. Among their top picks are Reading Rockets,, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Design Squad.

Posted by wrivenburgh on May 26, 2009 | Activities

Opportunity in Hard Times: Building Out-of-School Time Learning Systems that Last

"A number of U.S. cities have been building high-quality citywide after- and out-of-school time systems. This Wallace Foundation conference report suggests forging closer ties with schools, using new data systems to inform budget decisions and making the recession an opportunity for bold changes to make sure these systems endure."

Referred by: Connect for Kids
Posted by wrivenburgh on May 26, 2009 | Resources

American Legion: Grants for Child Welfare

"American Legion Child Welfare Foundation Grants to Help Children fund proposals that contribute to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual welfare of children through innovative organizations and/or their programs designed to benefit youth. Maximum award: $70,000. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations. Deadline: July 15, 2009."

Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
Posted by wrivenburgh on May 26, 2009 | Funding

A comprehensive look at the opportunities to learn in the U.S.

"The Schott Foundation for Public Education has released a new 50-state report on the opportunity to learn in America. 'Lost Opportunity' is a state-by-state analysis of student performance data reported by state departments of education that determines the opportunity to learn in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Schott Foundation used resource models to identify the four core minimum resources that are necessary if a child -- regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status -- is to have a fair and substantive opportunity to learn: high-quality early childhood education; highly qualified teachers and instructors in grades K-12; college preparatory curricula that will prepare all youth for college, work, and community; and equitable instructional resources. As the nation observes the 55th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education U.S. Supreme Court decision, the study shows that minority and low-income students have half the opportunity to learn in public schools that their white, non-Latino peers do."

Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
Posted by wrivenburgh on May 26, 2009 | Research

Inside ITEST - Showcasing STEM Learning Experiences

YouthLearn staff have been a part of the National Science Foundation-funded ITEST (Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers) Learning Resource Center at EDC since its inception in 2003. Recently, a media showcase called Inside ITEST debuted online. It was produced by WGBH in Boston with assistance from YouthLearn Director and ITEST LRC Co-PI Tony Streit. The website features video clips and profiles of several ITEST projects and people from across the country. Check out these great examples of hands-on activities designed to cultivate the next generation of STEM leaders.

Posted by wrivenburgh on May 26, 2009 | YouthLearn Updates

May 12, 2009

Exploratorium's Digital Library

"Welcome to the Exploratorium's Digital Library. The different collections in the library include digital media and digitized museum materials related to interactive exhibits and scientific phenomena, including images, educational activities in PDF and html formats, QuickTime movies, streaming media, and audio files. You may search, select and download digital files for individual, noncommercial educational use."

Posted by wrivenburgh on May 12, 2009 | Resources

Disney Minnie Grants Available to Fund Children's Community Improvement Efforts

"Youth Service America and Disney are accepting applications for the Disney Minnie Grants program to fund children's efforts to improve their communities.

The program provides grants of $500 each to children between the ages of 5 and 14, or the organizations that engage them, to implement youth-led service projects that address the issues of poverty, hunger, education, environment, global citizenship, sustainable community development, and disaster prevention and relief.... Applications are accepted from all over the world. Applicants from India, China, and Russia are especially encouraged to apply.

Applications will be accepted in English only. Visit the YSA Web site for complete application guidelines and examples of funded projects."

Deadline: June 15.

Referred by: Foundation Center
Posted by wrivenburgh on May 12, 2009 | Funding

Planned Reflection Time in Afterschool

"Afterschool programs are increasingly considered partners in supporting youth academic achievement by providing enriching school-related learning opportunities during the out-of-school time hours. In fact, many afterschool programs offer directed homework support, tutoring, science and math-based exploratory activities and standardized test prep. Another pedagogical strategy which supports learning and is naturally suited to youth development and afterschool programs is planned reflection time.

In the field of service-learning, planned reflection time is widely used to promote personal development and learning. Through oral and written reflection, participants give attention to the types of personal changes taking place through the activities and linking actions and effects.... Too few afterschool and youth development programs include planned reflection as a standard component of everyday activities."

Posted by wrivenburgh on May 12, 2009 | Resources

Afterschool Alliance Releases Roadmap to Afterschool for All

"With the Harvard School of Public Health and support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Afterschool Alliance initiated the Roadmap to Afterschool for All - a scientific study that for the first time assesses the current investment in afterschool programs from the public sector, parents, foundations and businesses, and estimates the additional investment needed from each sector to provide quality afterschool programs for all children.

The research shows that parents are paying the lionís share of afterschool costs, even among programs serving high poverty children, and that funding of all types is insufficient. We need greater investment from all sectors to help ensure that all children and especially the neediest children are able to access quality, affordable afterschool programs - programs that keep kids safe, inspire learning and help working families. Currently the federal government contributes only 11% of the cost of afterschool, while 29% of the children in afterschool meet the federal governmentís definition of low-income and in need of federal assistance."

Posted by wrivenburgh on May 12, 2009 | News

EPA/ Generations United/Rachel Carson Council: Sense of Wonder Contest

"To honor the late preservationist and ecologist Rachel Carson, the EPA, Generations United, and the Rachel Carson Council, Inc., announce a photo, essay, and poetry contest "that best expresses the Sense of Wonder that you feel for the sea, the night sky, forests, birds, wildlife, and all that is beautiful to your eyes." In her book The Sense of Wonder (written in the 1950s and published in a magazine in 1956), Carson used lyrical passages about the beauty of nature and the joy of helping children develop a sense of wonder and love of nature. Maximum award: publication on the websites of EPA Aging Initiative, Generations United, and Rachel Carson Council, Inc. Eligibility: entries must be joint projects involving a person under age 18 and a person age 50 or older. Deadline: June 10, 2009."

Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
Posted by wrivenburgh on May 12, 2009 | Activities