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August 2008 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


New E-Mentoring Program for Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Transition
An e-mentoring program developed by the Nisonger Center in Ohio connects students with disabilities transitioning from high school to college with mentors who share their transition experiences. Students complete an online course that helps them prepare for the transition to employment or college while communicating weekly with their mentor.

Legislative Announcements


National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2008 Theme Announced
“America’s People, America’s Talent... America's Strength!” is the official 2008 theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced. Celebrated each October by congressional designation, The Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy leads activities and produces materials to increase the public’s awareness of the contributions and skills of American workers with disabilities.

Calls to Participate


Disability Mentoring Day
Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) is a national program that promotes career development for students and job-seekers with disabilities through job shadowing and hands-on career exploration. DMD is looking for participants from all regions for Disability Mentoring Day, October 15, 2008, as either mentees or employer mentors.


Help Create America’s After-School Storybook
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the Afterschool Alliance is creating a storybook featuring people whose lives have been improved through out-of-school time programs. Stories can be shared, programs nominated, and sample stories read online.


Schools to Pilot Test School Review Process Guide Sought

The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement seeks schools not meeting adequate yearly progress requirements to pilot test their School Review Process Guide. Schools will be engaged in a school review process during fall 2008 and receive technical assistance from The Center at no charge. The Center’s School Review Process Guide provides detailed guidance for forming and working with a school leadership team; gathering, organizing, analyzing, and interpreting data; and developing an implementation plan. The research-based guide includes surveys for gathering data from teachers, students, staff, administrators, and parents. More information is available by phone (202-223-6725) or e-mail from Stephanie Wood-Garnett.


ServiceNation Campaign and Poll
With approximately 4.7 million K-12 students engaged in service-learning, experience and research have shown that service-learning can have a profound effect on student academic and civic engagement and community development. Service Nation is a 12-month non-partisan grassroots and grass top political campaign intent on pushing the issue of National Service to the forefront of American life and convincing the next President and Congress to put into law a Voluntary National Service Act in 2009. The Campaign kicks off with a national summit September 11-12, 2008, in New York City, followed by a nationwide Day of Action on September 27, with hundreds of events across the United States celebrating the power and potential of voluntary citizen service. Take the poll and submit a question to be asked at the September 11 presidential candidate’s forum. ServiceNation will select up to five of the best questions and offer the authors a ticket to the event.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


Breath & Shadow: A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature – Potpourri Issue  (April 2008)
Monthly Journal
A project of AbilityMaine, “Breath & Shadow” is the only online literary journal with a focus on disability and the only cross-disability literature and culture magazine written and edited entirely by people with disabilities. It offers poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, drama, and other writings that examine the human experience of living with disability.


Career and Technical Education in the United States: 1990-2005  (July 2008)
The National Center for Education Statistics within the Institute of Education Sciences has released this report, the fourth volume in their series on trends in career and technical education (CTE, formerly known as vocational education). The compendium looks at CTE offerings, who participates in CTE, what types of CTE students take, who teaches CTE, and the labor market and further education outcomes attained by CTE participants.


Culturally Responsive Literacy  (2008)
The National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt) modules on Culturally Responsive Literacy discuss the changing definition of literacy and its role in each of the core content areas for diverse populations of students.


HSC Foundation’s Partnership Network  (April 2008)
The HSC Foundation released “Partnership Network” at its annual Youth Transitions Initiative Briefing. The booklet provides information on the Foundation’s youth transitions partners, describing each of the partners, the role of each in the partnership, and contact information, to encourage further collaboration among the organizations committed to serving at-risk young people and youth with disabilities. Available in pdf (11 pages, 655 KB).


Improving Long-Term Labor Market Prospects for Youth: Evidence from Career Academies  (June 2008) PDF document
“Career Academies” is a popular and lasting school-to-work transition and high school reform strategy. This report from MDRC describes how Career Academies influenced students’ labor market prospects and postsecondary educational attainment in the eight years following their expected graduation. The results are based on the experiences of more than 1,400 young people, approximately 85 percent of whom are Hispanic or African-American. Available in pdf (63 pages, 1.32 MB).


Incorporating Positive Youth Development in Juvenile Justice Programs  (2008)
“Building on Strength: Positive Youth Development in Juvenile Justice Programs,” by William H. Barton and Jeffrey A. Butts, explores six juvenile justice programs that use positive youth-development principles to improve their intervention approaches. This new report describes the factors that facilitate the adoption of such principles as well as implementation challenges.


Money Smart for Young Adults  (2008)
Curriculum Modules
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Money Smart for Young Adults curriculum helps youth ages 12-20 learn the basics of handling their money and finances, including how to create positive relationships with financial institutions. Each of the eight instructor-led modules includes a fully scripted instructor guide, participant guide, and overhead slides. The materials also include an optional computer-based scenario that allows students to complete realistic exercises based on each module.


National High School Center Briefs for Practitioners (August 2008)
Information Brief
The National High School Center has released a set of briefs by MDRC consultants Michael Bangser and Thomas J. Smith that examine what is known about educational interventions that help students prepare for postsecondary education and employment.


Next Generation Youth Work Coalition: Youth Work Counts Toolkit  (2008)
This Next Gen toolkit is designed to help organizations collect and use local survey and focus group data about frontline youth workers to make the case for investing in workforce development. The tools include a guide, survey and focus group instruments, data entry and analysis worksheet and a sample presentation.


Out of Many, One: Toward Rigorous Common Core Standards (July 2008)
Achieve’s new report, “Out of Many, One: Toward Rigorous Common Core Standards from the Ground Up,” shows that individual state efforts to set college- and career-ready standards for high school graduates have led to a common core of consistency in English and mathematics requirements. The report tracks the voluntary standard-setting efforts in 16 early-adopter states, all members of Achieve's American Diploma Project Network, which helps state policymakers collaborate with K-12 public education, postsecondary education, the business community, and other state partners to identify the skills and knowledge required for their graduates to succeed after high school.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


What to Treat First? The Addiction or the AD/HD?

August 6, 2008
9:00 PM - 10:00 PM   (Eastern)
The first of the August Teleclasses sponsored by the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) is “What to Treat First?” with speaker Pauline Laurent, CPCC.

SABE 2008 National Self-Advocacy Conference
September 4, 2008 - September 7, 2008
Indianapolis, IN
The 9th National Self-Advocacy Conference, sponsored by Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), is in Indianapolis, IN.

Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth

September 9, 2008 - September 10, 2008
Portland, OR
This workshop, sponsored by Youth Change Workshops, offers answers to turnaround problems like violence, apathy, truancy, defiance, ADD, school failure, bad attitudes, and poor motivation, with a special focus on children with challenges and disabilities. The class is for teachers, youth workers, counselors, psychologists, court workers, social workers, justice workers, foster parents, and school administrators. There is no registration deadline but early registration is encouraged. Free Sample Interventions from the course are available. Financial Aid is offered, plus $50 college credit and free CEUs are available. The class is also available on DVD with college credit and CEUs. In addition to the presentation in Portland in October, the workshop will be in Kansas City, MO, Nov. 13-14, 2008; Los Angeles, CA, Dec. 4-5, 2008; Phoenix, AZ, Dec. 11-12, 2008; and Seattle, WA: May 7-8, 2009.

It’s September! Getting Your Kids Organized for the School Year

September 10, 2008
9:00 PM - 10:00 PM   (Eastern)
Sponsored by the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), this teleclass is “Getting Your Kids Organized for the School Year,” with speaker Carrie Greene, ACC.

Employment First! A Manifesto for Change

September 17, 2008 - September 18, 2008
Kansas City, MO
Sponsored by the Institute for Community Inclusion, "Employment First!," the 5th Annual Organizational Change Forum, will discuss policy and system change, leadership and management, transition and career development, integrated employment and establishing a National Agenda on Organizational Change and Employment First.

Mayor's Academy on Asset Development for Persons with Disabilities
September 17, 2008 - September 18, 2008
Chicago, IL
Sponsored by the National Disability Institute and its partner IRS SPEC. For more information contact Judy Stengel, REI Tour Resource Manager, National Disability Institute, 316-619-2776 or by e-mail,

Autism Spectrum Symposium

October 10, 2008
Washington, DC
The George Washington University Office of Disability Support Services is hosting this day-long symposium which aims to provide academic, student affairs, and rehabilitation professionals with a framework for understanding students with autism spectrum diagnoses and to share best practices when working with these students.

Empowering Youth Achievement in a New Economy
November 17, 2008 - November 20, 2008
Chicago, IL
The goal of the 9th Annual National Youth Development Symposium is to provide best practices and program guidance to workforce development professionals who serve youth, and leadership growth opportunities for the youth they serve. Workshop proposals must be submitted online by August 11. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Education World
The Education World Web site includes topics relevant to disabilities, such as "School Issues/No Educator Left Behind" and "Professional Development/Strategies That Work."


Smart Education Systems
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University is leading school reform, especially in urban communities, through smart education systems for developing, sharing and acting on knowledge that leads to school improvement and improved student outcomes. Smart systems are "nimble, adaptive and efficient," building and maintaining partnerships with the surrounding community, businesses, community organizations, and cultural institutions.


Smithsonian Education
The Smithsonian Education Web site includes topics relevant to disabilities, such as its online exhibition, “The Disability Rights Movement,” and information for visits by individuals with disabilities (“Planning Your Smithsonian Visit” and “A Guide for Groups: Planning a Smithsonian Visit”).



Achieve, Inc.
Achieve, Inc., is a bipartisan, non-profit organization that helps states raise academic standards, improve assessments and strengthen accountability to prepare all young people for postsecondary education, work, and citizenship.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


FY 2007-2008 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.


FY 2007-2008 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


Best Buy Invites Applications for K-12 Technology Education Program
Awards of up to $10,000 will be given to K-12 schools in the United States and Puerto Rico working to incorporate interactive technology in the classroom. Awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 will be granted to programs that engage students at any grade level, or up to $10,000 for 9th grade programs, by creatively integrating interactive technology into the curriculum. All awards are in the form of Best Buy Gift Cards. Deadline: October 12, 2008


ING Foundation Educational Grants
The ING Foundation, as part of its commitment to educators, honors excellence in education through a series of programs and sponsorships in the areas of the arts, community involvement/volunteerism, general education, health/PE, math, reading, science/environmental, social studies, and vocational. Eligibility: public school, private/charter school, higher education. Total Amount: $3.3 million; average amount: $200.00-$450,000.00. Deadline: September 14, 2008


Kids In Need Foundation Accepting Applications for Teacher Grants
Grants of up to $500 will be awarded to K-12 teachers in the U.S. working to provide innovative learning opportunities to their students. Teacher Grant awards are used to finance creative classroom projects; 200-300 hundred grants are typically awarded each year. Applications are judged on the basis of innovativeness and merit, clarity of objectives, replication feasibility, suitability of evaluation methods, and cost effectiveness. Deadline: September 30, 2008


Native Plant Landscaping
The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program gives small monetary grants to schools, nature centers, or other non-profit educational organizations to establish outdoor learning centers. Funds will be provided only for the purchase of native plants and seed. Eligibility: schools, nature centers and other non-profit and not-for-profit places of learning including houses of worship with a site available. Deadline: November 15, 2008.


Nonprofit Music Programs
The Guitar Center Music Foundation’s mission is to aid nonprofit music programs across America that offer music instruction so that more people can experience the joys of making music. Maximum Award: $5000. Eligibility: 501(c)(3) organizations. Qualifying applicants are established, ongoing and sustainable music programs across the United States that provide music instruction for people of any age who would not otherwise have the opportunity to make music. Deadline: N/A.


School Improvement Grants for Parent Involvement
Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant program finances school-improvement projects initiated by parents. Maximum Award: $5,000. Eligibility: K-12 schools (including charter, private, and parochial schools) and parent groups associated with a nonprofit, K-12 schools. Deadline: October 17, 2008.


Siemens High School Competition in Math, Science, & Technology
The Siemens Competition in Math, Science, & Technology recognizes remarkable talent early on, fostering individual growth for high school students who are willing to challenge themselves through science research. Through this competition, students have an opportunity to achieve national recognition for science research projects they complete in high school. Maximum Award: $100,000. Eligibility: U.S. high school students. Deadline: October 1, 2008.


Staples Foundation for Learning Supports Job Skills and Education Programs
Grants will be awarded to nonprofits working to provide job skills and/or education for all people, with an emphasis on disadvantaged youth; public schools without 501(c)(3) status and organizations located in Alaska or Hawaii do not qualify. For the Foundation’s January meeting, grant proposals must be submitted between October 10-24, 2008. Deadline: October 24, 2008

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End of Issue

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The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition disseminates E-News to enhance public access to information about secondary education and transition activities. Our intention is to provide resources that are current and accurate. Although every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we can make no guarantees. We will, of course, make every effort to correct errors brought to our attention.

E-News was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Cooperative Agreement No. H326J000005). However, the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, or any of the six partners of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

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