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December 2009 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Calls to Participate


9th Annual Inclusive Schools Week: Inclusive Technologies (December 7-11, 2009)
Inclusive Schools Week is an annual event sponsored by the Inclusive Schools Network (ISN) at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), held each year early in December. Inclusive Schools Week began in 2001 and has celebrated the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference and other factors. The Week also provides an important opportunity for educators, students and parents to discuss what else needs to be done in order to ensure that their schools continue to improve their ability to successfully educate all children.


Braille Readers Are Leaders Annual Contest for Blind and Visually Impaired Youth
The Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest is a national contest for students who read Braille, kindergarten through twelfth grades, and all adult Braille readers. The purpose of the program is to promote the joy of reading for pleasure, to promote a pride in Braille as a viable literacy medium equal to print, and to demonstrate the importance of independent reading in the development of Braille literacy skills. All contest material must be received by January 22, 2010.


NCIL 2010 Annual Conference Workshop Proposals
Ideas and experiences will be shared in the Independent Living Movement at the National Council on Independent Living 2010 Annual Conference, “20 Years of the ADA: The Fight Goes On!” July 19-22, in Washington DC. In addition to topics on the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, workshops for new advocates and attendees that offer basic as well as historical information on the Independent Living Movement, Centers for Independent Living, Statewide Independent Living Councils, advocacy, systems change and non-profit management are welcome. Deadline for submissions: January 15, 2010.


PAC Rim Youth Advocacy Youth Leadership and Empowerment Proposal Submissions
“Nothing About Us, Without Us,” are the words echoed by many a disability rights advocate. As the first wave of disability advocates makes various transitions, young people have an opportunity to continue the dialogue for equality and justice and formulate an action plan. The Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities Youth Leadership and Empowerment topic area is seeking proposals written and targeted for young people in the areas of: youth leadership models, non-profit sector, support systems, cultural and international perspectives on youth leadership and empowerment, and youth action plans. Creative contributions that steer away from traditional paper presentations are encouraged, as the target age range for this strand is age 13-30. Deadline for submissions: December 18, 2009.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


Creating an Inclusive Environment: A Handbook for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities in National and Community Service Programs  (November 2009)
The Corporation for National and Community Service has published a guide that provides information on how to make national and community service programs more inclusive for persons with disabilities. The “Handbook for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities in National and Community Service Programs” provides information about creating an inclusive environment, a brief historical overview of social perceptions of people with disabilities, disability-related laws, how to write inclusive service descriptions, recruitment and outreach, and accommodations issues and legal requirements.


Helping Students Navigate the Path To College: What High Schools Can Do  (September) PDF document
A well-educated workforce is critical for maintaining the economic competitiveness of the United States. The strength of the economy hinges on the education system’s ability to meet the demand for educated workers, so calls are always being made to improve access to higher education and to encourage students and adults to continue their education beyond high school. But reaching college remains a challenge for many low-income and potentially first-generation students who are not academically prepared or who lack knowledge about how to apply to, and pay for, college. College enrollment rates for these students lag behind those of their peers despite improvements in college attendance. This practice guide from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) recommends five steps that educators, administrators, and policy makers can take, beginning in 9th grade, to prepare students for college, assist them in completing the steps to college entry, and improve their likelihood of enrolling in college, as well as the research evidence that supports these recommendations. (Available in pdf, 1.96 MB, 86 pp.)


Including Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools: Primers  (December 2009)
Primers provide background information and resources to facilitate the inclusion of students with disabilities in charter schools. These reports address critical issues in the field of special education in charter schools, such as: testing students with disabilities, virtual charter schools, accessing Medicaid reimbursements, schools designed for students with disabilities, standards-based IEPs, and the TA Customizer Model.


Linking Data Across Agencies: States That Are Making It Work  (November 2009)
As a condition for receiving funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, every governor and chief state school officer agreed to develop statewide longitudinal data systems that follow students from early learning to postsecondary education and into the workforce. This report, co-authored by the Data Quality Campaign and the Forum, looks in detail at the collaborative, cutting-edge work of Children's Cabinets and others to share data across agencies in order to improve the planning and delivery of services. The brief also presents highlights of work going on in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Florida, Washington, Minnesota, South Carolina, New Mexico, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and the District of Columbia.


New Guide for Parental Engagement  (December 2009)
A new publication from the National PTA provides key facts, background, analysis, noteworthy statutes, and policy recommendations for state PTAs and other family and child advocates for crafting successful school-family engagement legislation at the state level. Research shows that children benefit from family engagement in their schools, and that family engagement helps close educational gaps between children from different racial groups and socioeconomic backgrounds.


Publications Emerging From Research Funded through the National Center for Education Research  (September 2009) PDF document
This document, released by the National Center for Education Research, contains a list of publications that demonstrate the breadth of work from more than 400 research grants funded since 2002. Organized by topic areas such as reading, writing, mathematics, science, and education policy, the publications include scientific articles describing the impacts of instructional practices on student achievement, articles describing new curricula written for teacher use, and brief summaries of research aimed at the general public. (Available in pdf, 922 KB, 91 pp.)


State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08: Has Progress Been Made in Raising Achievement for Students with Disabilities?  (November 2009)
This report by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) examines progress in raising achievement for students with disabilities. It also describes the factors that make it difficult to clearly discern achievement trends for this particular subgroup. The data within this analysis were collected by CEP with technical support from the Human Resources Research Organization, and come from the state reading and mathematics tests used for NCLB accountability in all 50 states.


Strategic Use of Individualized Learning Plans: Preparing Students with Workforce Readiness Skills for 21st Century Jobs  (July 2009)
Research Brief
Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) are described as strategic planning tools that assist students in course selections and provide opportunities for coordinated learning experiences, including career development and career exploration activities intended to help them identify and achieve post-secondary goals. The National Collaborative on Workforce and disability (NCWD) proposes that electronic ILPs can be an effective means for schools to coordinate workforce development activities, which are led by school counselors, career and technical education coordinators, and special education administrators. Strategies for helping schools identify workforce development activities and increase the impact of these activities are described within this brief. (Available in pdf, 546 KB, 9 pp.)


Successful Systems of Care  (May 2009)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released “Working Together to Help Youth Thrive in Schools and Communities,” a report showing that systems of care in communities really are successful. Systems of care are able to dramatically improve the academic, behavioral and emotional performance of participating youth. The report measured performance outcomes of system of care programs and found that these improvements occurred among many young people within 12 months of their enrollment in these programs, and that system of care programs are associated with higher graduation rates among high school youth with emotional challenges.


Surrogate Parents and Children with Disabilities: State-Level Approaches  (November 2009)
Policy Analysis
“Surrogate Parents and Children with Disabilities: State-Level Approaches,” an in-depth policy analysis from Project Forum, in collaboration with the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education, is based on survey findings from 41 state departments of education. It provides a detailed introduction to the intricacies of the provision of surrogate parents for children identified for service under IDEA. The survey found that most states have issued policy or formal guidance pertaining to surrogate parents and children with disabilities; most also described efforts to ensure that the educational decision-making rights of biological and adoptive parents were preserved whenever possible.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


What Happens to High School Dropouts Who Return to School?
Web-based Event
December 8, 2009
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
This free webinar, part of a series of WestEd-sponsored webinars from WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp website on the education goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will present new information about a previously overlooked student population group: those who drop out but subsequently re-enroll. A better understanding of their challenges, demographics, re-enrollment histories, and outcomes can provide educators and policymakers with critical information to shape dropout prevention and intervention practices and policies. Presenters include BethAnn Berliner and Vanessa Barrat, Senior Research Associates at the Regional Educational Laboratory West at WestEd, and Paul Shirk, Assistant Superintendent of Research and Technology, San Bernardino City Unified School District, California.

On the Job, Now What? Supporting Youth to Succeed
Web-based Event
December 9, 2009
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM   (Eastern)
This webinar from TransCen Inc focuses on knowing the best ways to support youth in the workplace. It will present a six-step method to provide effective supports that lead to effective work performance, as well as how to combine workplace supports with suitable accommodations. Takeaways include tools for ensuring support on the job and for evaluating and improving the work experience.

The Ready by 21 Tool Kit: Tools for Building Better Partnerships and Designing Bolder Strategies
Web-based Event
December 17, 2009
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
This webinar will deal with: how to ask and find the answers to the more complex questions about who and where children are; how well they are doing; what they are participating in; and how these critical supports are being viewed and supported. The broad range of tools and services offered by the Ready by 21 Partnership to help leaders collect, analyze and use information will also be covered.

Youth Development and Outcomes 2010
February 8, 2010 - February 10, 2010
Arlington, VA
The Youth Development and Outcomes conference will focus on how to address the needs of today’s youth to inspire success in the 21st Century and on youth development initiatives in social media, entrepreneurship, and leadership to promote positive outcomes, as well as how to leverage funding and resources to sustain youth services programs. Other topics will include implementing strategies to win grants and comply with federal financial standards for reporting and implementation, developing performance measures aligned with a program’s mission and developing performance measures that increase an organization’s results. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Connect a Million Minds
Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds introduces youth to opportunities and resources that inspire them to develop the science, technology, engineering, and math skills they need to solve the economic, environmental, and community challenges of the future. The “Connectory” is a searchable guide to activities and resources in local communities.


Global Youth Justice, LLC
Global Youth Justice, LLC strives to promote solutions which alleviate some of the world’s most pressing social problems, especially reducing crime and incarceration rates around the world and supporting the empowerment of youth to become global youth justice champions and activists for positive social change. The Web site contains a comprehensive catalog of organizations and links helpful in finding funding, relevant information, media contacts, or potential organizational partners in working to improve youth outcomes.


The Resource Center on YouTube
The Corporation for National and Community Service's Resource Center's YouTube page has grown. More than 60 videos have been added on national and community service topics, including social media webinars and training. Focusing national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how individuals can work together to increase the number of mentors, helps assure brighter futures for young people. Service as a mentor enriches the mentor’s own life as much as it does the life of a child, leading to new experiences, new connections, new insights, and new satisfactions.



Big IDEAs Newsletter from the National Dropout Center for Students with Disabilities (NDPC-SD)
“Big IDEAs” is NDPC-SD’s quarterly newsletter, which addresses current issues in dropout prevention and school completion. It features evidence-based dropout-prevention and recovery programs from around the nation as well as information about past and upcoming NDPC-SD events. “Big IDEAs” is available via electronic subscription.


Education Research News from the Institute of Education Sciences
The Institute of Education Sciences is announcing the latest on research initiatives from John Easton, recently sworn in as IES director, and news from the four centers of IES. Other items in Education Research News include an update on the 2010 research conference, a link to the new financial aid calculator, and new staff introductions.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


FY 2009-2010 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.


FY 2009-2010 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation: Christopher Columbus Awards
The Christopher Columbus Awards Program combines science and technology with community problem-solving. Students work in teams with the help of an adult coach to identify an issue they care about and, using science and technology, work with experts, conduct research, and test their ideas to develop an innovative solution. Maximum award: $25,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World to attend the program’s National Championship Week, plus a U.S. Savings Bond of $2,000 for each student team member. Eligibility: middle-school-age (sixth, seventh, and eighth grade) children; teams do not need to be affiliated with a school to enter. Deadline: February 8, 2010.


General Mills Champions for Healthy Kids Grant Program
The General Mills Foundation, in partnership with the American Dietetic Association Foundation and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, developed the Champions for Healthy Kids grant program in 2002. Each year since inception, the General Mills Foundation awards 50 grants of $10,000 each to community-based groups that develop creative ways to help youth adopt a balanced diet and physically active lifestyle. Deadline: January 15, 2010.


Intel Foundation: Schools of Distinction
The Intel Foundation Schools of Distinction Program honors U.S. schools that have demonstrated excellence in math and science education. To be considered as an Intel School of Distinction, schools must develop an environment and curricula that meet or exceed benchmarks, including national mathematics and science content standards. Maximum award: $25,000. Eligibility: middle and high schools in the U.S. Deadline: February 17, 2010.


Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation Invites Grant Applications for Music Education Programs
Grants of up to $12,000 will be awarded to public schools and nonprofits working to fund existing or planned public school or independent music programs across the nation. Music education, vocal or instrumental, must be the key component of any music program requesting funds. Applications will be accepted from public school programs (qualifying for Title I federal funding and serving a minimum of 70% low-income students) and nonprofit 501(c)(3) programs directly funding music education (serving students regardless of their ability to pay). Deadline: February 5, 2010.


NEA: The Big Read
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts to restore reading to the center of American culture by giving citizens the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their communities. The initiative includes innovative reading programs in selected cities and towns, comprehensive resources for discussing classic literature, and an extensive Web site providing comprehensive information on authors and their works. Maximum award: varies. Literary organizations, libraries, and community organizations across the country are eligible. Deadline: February 2, 2010.


President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities: Coming Up Taller Awards
The Coming Up Taller Awards recognize and support outstanding community arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people, providing them learning opportunities and chances to contribute to their communities. The awards focus national attention on exemplary programs fostering the creative and intellectual development of America’s children and youth through education and practical experience in the arts and the humanities. Maximum award: $10,000. Eligibility includes: programs initiated by museums, libraries, performing arts organizations, universities, colleges, arts centers, community service organizations, schools, businesses, and eligible government entities. Deadline: January 29, 2010.


Sprint Character Education Grant Program Seeks to Support Positive Development of Young People
Sprint has announced the 2010 entry dates for the Sprint Character Education Grant Program, its annual character-education grant program for schools and school districts across the United States. The 2010 program will run January 4-February 5, 2010. Now in its third year, the program awards Sprint Foundation grants to school districts and individual schools in support of resources that facilitate and encourage character education among K-12 students. The program is open to all U.S. public schools (K-12) and U.S. public school districts. Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to school districts and individual schools. Deadline: February 5, 2010.


Toshiba/NSTA: ExploraVision Awards
The Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Awards Program encourages kids to create and explore a vision of future technology by combining their imaginations with the tools of science. All inventions and innovations result from creative thinking and problem solving. ExploraVision, more than a contest, can be the beginning of a lifelong adventure in science, as students develop higher-order thinking skills and learn to think about their role in the future. Maximum award: $10,000. Eligibility: students K-12. Deadline: February 2, 2010.


Welch’s/Scholastic: Harvest Grants
Welch’s, a family farmer owned company that is proud to grow and nurture grapes, is partnering with Scholastic to teach the value of sustainable agriculture and healthy eating by supporting school garden programs through Welch’s Harvest Grants. Entries will be judged by experts at the National Gardening Association, and two schools in every state will be selected to receive a Welch’s Harvest Grant. Winning schools will receive a customized indoor or outdoor garden package filled with a variety of tools, seeds, educational materials, and more. Maximum award: packages valued at $1,000 each. Eligibility: K-8 teachers. Deadline: February 6, 2010.

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End of Issue

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