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   In This Issue:

November 10, 2008     

    
Bridges4Kids NewsDigest
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   National News

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Parents Desire Better Tools, Information to Help High School Students Succeed, Report Finds

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/10-08/PND10-08.html

Parents with students in low-performing high schools say their schools don't give them the tools and information they need to be more effective in helping their students succeed, a new report from Civic Enterprises finds.

 

Stand-up Desks Provide a Firm Footing for Fidgety Students

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=797414

Fifth-grade reading teacher Pam Seekel thinks maybe she did kids a disservice over the years when she told them to sit still, to quit fidgeting so they could focus. “As a teacher, I never sit down,” said Seekel, who works in the School District of Somerset. “I started to think: Why should I make the kids sit down?”

 

Recalculating The 8th-Grade Algebra Rush

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/21/AR2008092101813.html

Nobody writing about schools has been a bigger supporter of getting more students into eighth-grade algebra than I have been. I wrote a two-part series for the front page six years ago that pointed out how important it is to be able to handle algebra's abstractions and unknown quantities before starting high school. I have argued that we should rate middle schools by the percentage of students who complete Algebra I by eighth grade. Now, because of a startling study being released today, I am having second thoughts.

 

Free Virtual Field Trips Bring the World into Any Classroom

http://r.smartbrief.com/resp/mSzQeLfEkJrzwuCibTadAZee?format=standard

When virtual field trips began, most of such journeys were underwhelming, but recent technology has allowed the development of impressive -- and free -- adventures. Blue Zones Quest encourages healthy behaviors through scientific exploration of cultural practices, GoNorth! brings students to the North Pole via dogsled, Windows into Wonderland explores the geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park, and National Geographic: Lewis & Clark traces the famous explorers' path from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.

 

We Teach Teens Trigonometry, Why Not Money 101?

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/9-08/CSM9-23-08.html

Today's financial crisis is a prime example of why the next generation needs financial literacy.

 

Monster Launches Admissions.com to Help Students Get into the School that's Right for Them

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/9-08/CentreDailyTimes9-24-08.html

Admissions.com provides unbiased research and expert advice from educational leaders to aide prospective college students in selecting the right college.

 

TestToob Allows Young Scientists to Collaborate

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/9-08/Courier9-14-08.html

TestToob, an online community where young people can collaborate on science, was "born in the backyard and incubated on the kitchen table," its founder says. Now the promising Louisville startup is leaving the nursery.

 

Empathy in the Classroom

http://coultervideo.com/empathyintheclassroomessay.htm

Let me tell you about the worst "teacher" I ever had. He was a salesman standing in for a trainer who’d gotten ill. He’d come to our company’s location to teach a roomful of us to use a complicated, computer controlled, multi-projector slide show system. This salesman made a classic teaching mistake. He assumed that because something he worked with every day was easy for him to understand, it should be easy for others to pick up. He rattled off information about the system in machine-gun fashion. When he repeatedly asked us if we understood something and various class members said, "No," he impatiently snapped his fingers at us and barked, "Keep up, keep up!" Some students got disgusted and left the class at the break. Others stuck it out, but learned little.

 

Bridges4kids Featured Math Resource: PlaneMath

http://www.planemath.com/planemathmain.html

One of the best academic sites for students with -- and without -- physical disabilities is Plane Math. This Internet-Based Curriculum on Math and Aeronautics for Children With Physical Disabilities site was developed in cooperation with NASA. It is designed to provide students in grades 4 and above with mathematics-based activities that don't require manipulative materials -- and are therefore accessible for people with physical limitations -- and that increase awareness of career opportunities in aeronautics. The exciting movies and activities in Pioneer Plane and PlaneMath Enterprises make full use of the interactive medium with lessons such as Gone With the Winds (mapping the flight of Amelia Earhart) and Mission Possible (sharing the adventures of Jimmy Doolittle). The Applying Flying section has word problems that include people with disabilities, as well as interviews with people with disabilities who are working in the field of aeronautics. The site also provides instructional strategies, a forum for teachers, and links to additional resources. This is a terrific inclusion site that allows all students to compete and collaborate in exiting and highly educational activities. (Thanks to Education World for information used in this review.)

 

College Applicants, Beware: Your Facebook Page Is Showing

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/9-08/WSJ9-22-08.html

High-school seniors already fretting about grades and test scores now have another worry: Will their Facebook or MySpace pages count against them in college admissions?

 

USA Map Test: A Great Way to Know Your States!

http://jimspages.com/States.htm

A fun way to test your knowledge. Try to put the states in their correct locations.

 

   Michigan News

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More Inroads for Contractors at Cash-strapped Schools

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/10-08/CNS10-3-08.html

For decades, Deputy Superintendent Ken Siver has faced the same budgetary challenges common to school districts across Michigan. So with state aid on the decline and dwindling enrollment, his Southfield district has carried out one of the most comprehensive privatization schemes in the state.  One month into this school year, private contractors are providing the district's food, busing and custodial services for the first time.

 

Applications Available to Michigan Teachers for DTE Energy Foundation Mini Grants for Educators

http://dteenergy.com/community/

The DTE Energy Foundation is accepting applications from Michigan teachers for its Energy & Our World Mini Grants for Educators program. K-12 teachers in public, non-public, and charter schools within DTE Energy's service territory may apply for a grant. Recipients will be selected by a panel of education personnel, who will look for the best interdisciplinary projects that incorporate problem- solving, decision-making, and critical thinking skills. Grants typically range from $50 to $250 each, but some proposals may be funded for more. Deadline: November 21, 2008.

 

Bridges4Kids Mourns the Passing of Board President Bernie Travnikar

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/10-08/BernieTribute10-7-08.html

It is with sadness and a sense of disbelief that we share news of the passing on September 26, 2008 of Bernie Travnikar, our Governing Board President, supporter and friend. Bernie was one of the founding mentors of Bridges4Kids. His counsel and vision helped guide us from the very beginning and he has been there for us every step of the way during the past six years. His is a life of accomplishment and so full that it is hard to know where to start as we try to tell you about the man we knew.

 

Michigan Senate Says Yes To High School Charters

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/9-08/MIRS9-24-08.html

A bill that would OK background checks on substitute bus drivers turned into a way for the Senate to greenlight charter high schools aimed squarely at Detroit.

 

Western Michigan University Helps ex-Foster Kids with College; Program Provides Money and Support

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/9-08/Freep9-22-08.html

Perhaps it should have been an odd feeling -- being delivered to your freshman year at college by a caseworker rather than parents. o matter, said Mike Baker. He had other things on his mind.

 

New Foster Care Law Seeks To Increase Stability

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/10-08/DetroitNews10-14-08.html

Bill provides incentives for adoption, requires 'reasonable efforts' to keep siblings together.

 

   Parenting/Parental Involvement

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Bridges4kids Featured Resource: VirtueGame

http://www.virtuetoys.com

VirtueGame is a fun and easy board game that demonstrates ten virtues - such as responsibility, respect, cooperation and friendliness - in the course of playing the game. Great for young children and K-8 and a great game for parents to play with their children.

 

Book & Product Reviews & Recommendations by Home Schooling Mom, Penny Ray

Penny's Book Recommendation: Clean N' Flip Laundry For Kids: A Fun Step-by-Step Laundry System!

http://www.theoldschoolhousestore.com/

This cute, sturdy, spiral bound, 8.5" X 5.5" flipchart walks children through the process of doing laundry by breaking it down into step-by-step instructions. Complete a step and flip the page. The fun simple pictures make it easy! Makes laundry FUN! Complete a task & flip the page. Boosts self-esteem and organizational skills.

Penny's Book Recommendation: My Days... My Pictures

http://www.teachersbookshoppe.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=90

This is another adorable book that when finished by your child, will be priceless! Sturdily wire-bound with cute and colorful covers, this book covers an entire year. As the author and illustrator, your child will rightfully be extremely proud of their very own book. You as the parent, will consider it one of life's greatest treasures and for 3 cents a day that is quite a bargain!

Penny's Review: Parent Success Cards

http://www.horizonsdrc.com/store/parent-success-cards

Parent Success Cards are a boxed set of 50 double-sided high quality cards that contain 100 affirmations and reflections for parents, produced by Horizons Developmental Remediation Center, a center that provides RDI (r) or Relationship Development Intervention consultation to many parents of children on the autism spectrum.

 

For more information on Parenting, Siblings, Adoption and Foster Care, visit http://www.bridges4kids.org/Parenting.html

 

   Early Childhood

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MI Parents: Free Services Help Children Succeed in Childcare

Are you a parent or child care provider looking for help with a difficult child between the ages of 0 to 5 or in need of resources to best handle tantrums, aggression, biting, or possible developmental delays?  The Care Connections program offers free services designed to help young children succeed in any child care setting.  To find out more please call Ms. Lynnell Morrison at (313) 531-2500 ext. 2125. 

 

EPA Weakens New Lead Control Rules After White House Objects

http://www.freep.com/article/20081023/NEWS07/81023109

After the White House intervened, the Environmental Protection Agency last week weakened a rule on airborne lead standards at the last minute so that fewer known polluters would have their emissions monitored. The White House Office of Management and Budget objected to the way the EPA would have some facilities, such as lead-emitting battery recycling plants, monitored.

 

EPA Places Stricter Regulations on Airborne Lead

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/16/AR2008101601618.html

The Environmental Protection Agency tightened the regulatory limit on airborne lead for the first time in 30 years, lowering the legal maximum to a tenth of what it was on the grounds that it poses a more serious threat to young children than officials had realized.

 

Even Tiny Lead Levels are Bad

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/10-08/MuskegonChronicle10-4-08.html

"There is no safe level of lead in the blood in terms of effects on the brain. Any amount of lead has the potential to affect neurobehavioral performance."

 

High Calcium Levels During Pregnancy Lowers Fetal Lead Levels

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/10-08/NewsLocale9-10-08.html

Women who consume high levels of daily calcium supplements during pregnancy show a marked reduction in lead levels in their blood, according to a new study, which suggests that calcium could play a critical role in reducing fetal and infant exposure.

 

2008 Health Plus Lead Alert

http://www.bridges4kids.org/Lead%20Alerts%20update_2008%20092408.pdf

 

For more information on Early Childhood issues, visit www.EarlyChildhoodMichigan.org

 

   Disability News

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Talk Therapy, Antidepressants Help Children's Anxiety

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/31/health/research/31anxiety.html?_r=2&ref=health&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

A government-funded study of nearly 500 patients showed that combining cognitive-behavior therapy with an antidepressant drug was better than either treatment on its own in helping 7- to 17-year-old patients with chronic anxiety. "It's surprising that they found such a dramatic difference between combined treatment and the others," said Dr. Sanjiv Kumra, director of the University of Minnesota's child and adolescent psychiatry program. "I think this should be reassuring for parents interested in finding good treatment for a child."

 

A Walk In The Park Improves Attention In Children With ADHD

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/10-08/ScienceDaily10-16-08.html

For children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) tasks that require concentration such as doing homework or taking a test can be very difficult. A simple, inexpensive remedy may be a "dose of nature."

 

Rental Robotic Suit Helps Disabled Walk

http://www.bridges4kids.org/articles/10-08/JapanTimes10-11-08.html

A robotic suit that reads brain signals and helps people with mobility problems became available this week to rent in Japan for ¥220,000 ($2,100 U.S.) a month — an invention that may have far-reaching benefits for the disabled and elderly.

 

Inclusion Champion Award to Honor Efforts on Behalf of Youth With Disabilities

The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, which works to help young people with disabilities to lead full and productive lives, is accepting nominations for the MEAF Inclusion Champion Award. The award honors individuals who have made significant efforts to promote the full inclusion of youth with disabilities in society. Deadline: December 1, 2008. Visit http://meaf.org/ for more information.

 

FL Disabled Palm Beach County Students Unfairly Punished for Behavior, Group Claims

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/local_news/epaper/2008/10/01/1001complaint.html

Palm Beach county students with documented behavioral or emotional disabilities are not getting the academic or emotional services they need and are instead being unfairly punished for behaviors that are due to their disabilities, according to a complaint submitted today to the State Department of Education. The complaint was filed on behalf of four county students and the Florida State Conference of the NAACP by the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, the Southern Legal Counsel and the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights advocacy group.

 

FL Florida Medicaid Recipients Want Out of Nursing Homes

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080920/ap_on_re_us/medicaid_lawsuit

Charles Todd Lee spent a lifetime going backstage at concerts, following politicians on the campaign trail and capturing iconic shots of everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to Mick Jagger to Mickey Mantle. Today, he enjoys such freedom only in his dreams.

 

Information and Resources: Websites and Links

http://www.bridges4kids.org/fswg/WebsitesLinksResourcesInfo.pdf

Information & Resources for Families from the Family Support Workgroup of the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council.

 

My Voice, My Vote

http://www.myvoicemyvote.org

A new Web site for young adults with disabilities who want to learn about the voting process and make a difference in their communities. The site includes resources for voters in Minnesota and across the country, including the many different ways one can vote and what it means to be a good citizen. The Web site also includes an open-captioned video on the voting process.

 

A Non-Partisan Look at the 2008 Presidential Candidate Positions on Disability-related Issues

http://www.olrs.ohio.gov/prescompare.htm#list

Prepared by the Ohio Legal Rights Service, September 2008; This side-by-side comparison of the candidates' positions on disability-related issues is based on information found on the candidates' Web sites, the candidates' Senatorial Web sites and supplemented by other sources. OLRS neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office. Information provided on this page is strictly for educational purposes only.

 

For more information on Disabilities, Disorders and Diseases, visit http://www.bridges4kids.org/Disabilities.html

 

   Special Education Issues

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Florida’s Positive Behavior Support Project

http://flpbs.fmhi.usf.edu/

 

Slide show of Beach Elementary School’s implementation of Positive Behavior Supports through The WAVE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oMuAV3I_b0

 

Legal Analysis of IDEA from The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA)

http://www.copaa.net/news/idea04.html

 

For more information on Special Education, IEPs and Section 504, visit http://www.bridges4kids.org/Rules.html

 

   Ask the Attorney/Advocate

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Visit http://www.bridges4kids.org/AA.html for dozens of Attorney John Brower's previously posted Q&As.

  

   Upcoming National Events

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These are NEW calendar listings that have been added this week, along with events taking place this week.  To view a complete calendar of National events, visit http://www.bridges4kids.org/Conferences.html

 

Upcoming Wrightslaw Conferences

Save the Date: The Sixth International Conference on Positive Behavior Support

WHEN: March 26-28, 2009

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Jacksonville, Florida

 

Save the Date: Postsecondary Disability Training Institute
WHEN: June 2-5 & 6, 2009 from 8:30-4:00
WHERE: Philadelphia, PA
DESCRIPTION: The objective of this Training Institute is to assist dedicated professionals to meet the unique needs of college students with disabilities.

COST: Cost is $395.00 per person (early registration).
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit our website at http://www.cped.uconn.edu for detailed information.
 

Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc. Presents "What’s Out There and How to Get It" 2008-2009 Free Training Series For Families and Professionals Needing Programs and Services for Children with Disabilities
DATES/LOCATIONS: These workshops are being held throughout 2008-2009. Visit http://www.resourcesnyc.org/rschedule.php for specific dates, times and locations across New York state.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Gary Shulman, MS.Ed. (212) 677-4650, gshulman@resourcesnyc.org, www.resourcesnyc.org, www.resourcesnycdatabase.org (searchable website). For more information or to register, visit http://www.resourcesnyc.org/rschedule.php.

 

   Upcoming Michigan Events

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These are NEW calendar listings that have been added this week, along with events taking place this week.  To view a complete calendar of Michigan events, visit http://www.bridges4kids.org/Conferences.html

  

Flutes, Friends and FA LA LA
WHEN: November 20, 2008 - 5:30 PM FAR Bazaar Shopping, 7:00 PM Performance
WHERE: Detroit Country Day Seligman Center 22305 W. 13 Mile Road, Beverly Hills, Oakland County MI 48025
DESCRIPTION: Join us for an evening of music, song and dancing featuring Alexander Zonjic and the Special Students from Variety FAR Conservatory. Proceeds fund our scholarship program. Come early to shop the FAR Bazaar featuring items created by our students. Variety FAR Conservatory promotes understanding and provides education for children and adults with special needs through music, art and recreation therapy. Benefactor tickets $100 and above (includes strolling dinner, afterglow...call for details). Cost is $10 General admission $25 and $50 reserved seating
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact info@varietyfar.org for more information or visit http://www.varietyfar.org.

 

Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do. Part 1: What To Know.
WHEN: December 2, 2008. January 6, 2009. February 3, 2009. March 3, 2009. April 7, 2009. May 5, 2009. June 2, 2009.

Each workshop is held from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm.
WHERE: St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center, 5305 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti Michigan 48197
DESCRIPTION: Free, 2-part program to learn to understand, identify and address teen alcohol/other drug problems. Presented by Ron Harrison, SW. Sponsored by Dawn Farm, St. Joseph Mercy Health System and Livingston/Washtenaw Safe and Drug Free Schools Consortium. Targeted to parents; inclusive of teens, family, professionals, students, others. Registration not required.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See http://www.teensusingdrugs for info. To register, contact Jess Antanaitis at 734-973-7892.
 

Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do. Part 2: What To Do.
WHEN: November 11, 2008. December 9, 2008. January 13, 2009. February 10, 2009. March 10, 2009. April 14, 2009. May 12, 2009. June 9, 2009. Each workshop is held from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm.
WHERE: St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center, 5305 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti Michigan 48197
DESCRIPTION: Free, 2-part program to learn to understand, identify and address teen alcohol/other drug problems. Presented by Ron Harrison, SW. Sponsored by Dawn Farm, St. Joseph Mercy Health System and Livingston/Washtenaw Safe and Drug Free Schools Consortium. Targeted to parents; inclusive of teens, family, professionals, students, others. Registration not required.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See http://www.teensusingdrugs for info. To register, contact Jess Antanaitis at 734-973-7892.

 

Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do. Part 1: What To KNOW.
WHEN: March 18, 2009 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
WHERE: St. Joseph Mercy Woodland Health Center, 7575 Grand River Road, Brighton Michigan 48114 (Livingston County)
DESCRIPTION: Free, 2-part program to learn to understand, identify and address teen alcohol/other drug problems. Presented by Ron Harrison, SW. Sponsored by Dawn Farm, St. Joseph Mercy Health System and Livingston/Washtenaw Safe and Drug Free Schools Consortium. Targeted to parents; inclusive of teens, family, professionals, students, others. Registration not required.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See http://www.teensusingdrugs for info. To register, contact Jess Antanaitis at 734-973-7892.

 

Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do. Part 2: What To Do.
WHEN: March 25, 2009 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
WHERE: St. Joseph Mercy Woodland Health Center, 7575 Grand River Road, Brighton Michigan 48114 (Livingston County)
DESCRIPTION: Free, 2-part program to learn to understand, identify and address teen alcohol/other drug problems. Presented by Ron Harrison, SW. Sponsored by Dawn Farm, St. Joseph Mercy Health System and Livingston/Washtenaw Safe and Drug Free Schools Consortium. Targeted to parents; inclusive of teens, family, professionals, students, others. Registration not required.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See http://www.teensusingdrugs for info. To register, contact Jess Antanaitis at 734-973-7892.

 

Bridges4Kids NewsDigest Staff

 

Deborah Canja

Chief Executive Officer
deb@bridges4kids.org

Jackie Igafo-Te'o

Director of Information Technology & Information Systems
jackie@bridges4kids.org

 

Bella Djordjevski

Resource Assistant
news@bridges4kids.org

 

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