Young girl says ex-Yankee exposed himself at after-school program

Categories: After School Programs
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Published on: July 22, 2014

A young girl who claims former New York Yankees player Rosendo “Rusty” Torres sexually abused her testified Monday that she felt forced to inappropriately touch the ex-major leaguer after he took her into a van at an after-school baseball program.

The 11-year-old said Torres would “bump” his genitals against her while she was on the pull-up bars during the baseball lessons in April and May 2012. Torres, who was a youth coach for the Town of Oyster Bay, has pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse and sexual conduct against a child charges. Prosecutors allege he rubbed up against the girl – who was 8 years old at the time – before allegedly exposing himself and encouraging her to touch him.

The girl, whose name is being withheld from this story because she is the alleged victim of a sex crime, said Monday that Torres bumped her “a whole bunch of times,” as she demonstrated the act for jurors by thrusting her hips. She said she initially did not report the “bumping” because she “wasn’t sure what he was doing was wrong,” but later told her mother that Torres had allegedly exposed himself to her in his van. She also described incidents where she allegedly bounced on his lap and where Torres allegedly had her touch him.

“I told him there was something in his pants or pocket making me uncomfortable,” the girl said as she fidgeted with stuffed animals on the witness stand. “He asked me if I wanted to see it. I shrugged my shoulders.” She said Torres then led her into his yellow van, which was filled with sports equipment, where he allegedly exposed himself and encouraged her to inappropriately touch him.

Torres’ defense lawyer, Troy A. Smith, said there was “a lot of inconsistencies” with the girl’s testimony. He said the girl had previously testified at the grand jury that she couldn’t remember where Torres exposed himself. On Monday, she said he made her touch him in his van with the doors closed, but previously told investigators the doors were open when it happened, Smith said.

“We’re pleased with the way the evidence is moving along,” the White Plains-based attorney said. “There were a lot of inconsistencies with her testimony today and there were a lot of inconsistencies with her testimony to the grand jury a couple of years ago.” Prosecutors declined to comment on the assertion the victim’s testimony was inconsistent.

When asked if she saw Torres, who was seated with his lawyer in court, the girl said no. She responded, “I don’t think I see him,” when pressed about it. Smith said he was surprised the girl couldn’t identify his client.

Torres declined to comment as he left the courthouse. The trial will continue Tuesday before Judge Tammy S. Robbins at the Nassau County Court. A second victim is expected to take the stand.

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After-school program applications open

Categories: After School Programs
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Published on: July 22, 2014

Registration for after-school programs for the 2014-15 school year offered by Beaufort County Parks and Leisure Services will open Wednesday.

The programs are for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. They are Monday through Friday, from school dismissal time until 6 p.m., and cost $65 per child per month.

In-person registration is required for the after-school program at the Buckwalter Recreation Center in Bluffton or the Burton Wells Regional Park in Burton.

For registration forms and more information, go to

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AT&T Commits $18 Million To Youth Programs With Mentoring At White House … – Virtual

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Published on: July 22, 2014

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – ATT Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson joined President Obama today to commit $18 million to education programs with a youth mentoring component. This funding supports the company’s goal of providing youth across the country 1 million hours of mentoring by ATT employees through the end of 2016.

“Research shows that the presence of a mentor in a young person’s life significantly improves their potential for success. That’s why thousands of ATT employees volunteer to mentor students across the country,” said Randall Stephenson, ATT Chairman and CEO. “I am proud to be a part of this initiative with the president.”

At today’s event, the White House released a new report from the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. The findings reinforce previous research and calls to action found in the Building a Grad Nation Report and Mentoring Effect Report, both released earlier this year and supported by ATT. The research makes clear that the presence of caring adults is essential to helping young people succeed in academics, life decisions and careers.

For the 2014-2015 school year, ATT Aspire – a $350 million commitment focused on high school success and workforce readiness for students at risk of dropping out of school – will expand employee mentoring efforts through the Aspire Mentoring Academy. These employees work with underserved middle and high school students to provide academic tutoring, expose students to a variety of career paths and connect the importance of learning in the classroom to their future. Today, employees are more than half-way to meeting the 1 million hour mentoring goal set in 2012.

As part of today’s announcement, ATT will launch a new public-private partnership with AmeriCorps and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to provide mentoring to thousands of young people at risk of dropping out of high school.

In addition to ATT’s collaboration with AmeriCorps and MENTOR, Aspire will reach more students and provide experiences tailored to the unique needs of each local community through programs that include:

  • Boys Girls Clubs of America will work with ATT employees at Club locations across the country in after school mentoring activities and at ATT locations during the summer break.
  • Communities In Schools will expand work with ATT to connect employees with opportunities to mentor students in cities across the country – both at ATT offices and in schools.
  • ATT will announce this fall the winners of a national Aspire funding competition that focuses on high school success and college- and career-readiness programs.  The recipients will implement verifiable, evidenced-based high school dropout prevention initiatives with the presence of a mentor as part of a comprehensive program that addresses student needs.

Throughout many of the programs, technology will be incorporated into mentoring opportunities through online tools, teaching the development of mobile apps, and by providing students with IT certification opportunities and STEM skills development. 

About Philanthropy at ATT
ATT Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, ATT has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and ATT Foundation-giving programs. ATT Aspire is ATT’s signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring./

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A Better Way to Bridge the Skills Gap

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Published on: July 22, 2014

For a long time now, business leaders have been saying that the American workforce lacks sufficient skills to fill 21st century jobs. Those of us at the frontlines of social services — doing the work of preparing low-income young people — share these concerns and hear you loud and clear. The education gap is holding back not just workers but businesses and our whole economy.

That’s why I was quite interested to hear about the innovative new educational credential called the “nanodegree,” announced last month with great heraldry by ATT and Udacity, an online education company founded by a Stanford professor and former Google executive. For $200 a month and in less than a year, students can receive online training that prepares them for immediate entry into technology jobs.

Making it cheaper and simpler to become qualified to get a well-paying job is, of course, a good idea. But for students in poverty, it is not good enough. As Eduardo Porter noted  in The New York Times, students most likely to pursue the nanodegree (and other degrees like it) are the ones who are already well educated, simply looking to switch their specialties.

Like Mr. Porter, I believe that education needs to be tied to real-life work experiences — especially if it is going to give low-income students a leg up. And companies, not colleges, are better at that. This itself is not news: Experts have been calling for more apprenticeships, more on-the-job learning, for some time. (See this Harvard Business Review article. The latest plea comes from the Hamilton Project’s new report on ending poverty, which notes that the U.S. offers about one-tenth the apprenticeships of other industrialized nations.)  Despite these repeated affirmations, the teen and young adult employment rate has plummeted over the last dozen years.

But if businesses are really serious about securing a stable pool of future employees, they are going to have to invest in young people more comprehensively and earlier. Research shows that successful employment programs provide not just technical training and job opportunities but also mentoring and real-life skills. Young people do best when they receive behavioral coaching, training in workplace communication and time management, and counseling and stipends to reward good performance. Corporations and schools are not terribly good at this kind of holistic training.

But we in the social services and youth development fields are experts at it.

What I propose is this: a new partnership, between industry and organizations like ours, The Child Center of NY. If you give our kids a chance by offering them meaningful internships and apprenticeships, we in the nonprofit sector can, in return, give these interns and apprentices the support they need to succeed. In effect, we can help to insure your investment in them.

Each day The Child Center of NY and other nonprofits like us work with thousands of low-income young people who have talent and ambition but face enormous barriers to success. Poverty is a barrier, yes, but so too is access to opportunities. Many have never even met anyone who has gone to college.

At our afterschool programs, counseling sites, and community centers, we provide tutoring, academic enrichment, and opportunities to learn the teamwork, good work habits, and problem-solving skills that are so essential to the workplace. Our mentors help youth discover what they are good at and want to do, and then help them build the confidence, discipline, and social-emotional skills they need to do it. As early as middle school, we take students on college trips and to visit companies where they can dream of working one day.

But what we cannot do is offer our young people high tech jobs. For this, we need businesses. Most companies invest their training dollars in management or specialized workers, but some new research is showing that ROI for investing in entry-level workers is more than respectable. A report by Corporate Voices for Working Families, “Why Companies Invest in ‘Grow Your Own’ Talent Development Models” found a range from first-year loss of 10 percent to a net gain of at least 179 percent.

Online learning schemes such as the nanodegree, with its pocket-sized appeal, may indeed funnel more qualified workers into the economy. But millions of at-risk young people will be unable to take advantage of such opportunities. Can we really afford to overlook this enormous untapped pool of human capital? Our future workforce needs a way to connect to that world. They need experience, training, and a chance to get, and keep, a job. For these kids, for the big picture, the nanodegree is just too small.


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School options abound in East Valley

Categories: After School Programs
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Published on: July 22, 2014

Parents will find few states that offer families as many schooling options as Arizona. A longtime leader in the national school choice movement, Arizona has an education marketplace with a school for nearly any income, interest or situation.

And nowhere in the state do options abound like they do in the East Valley.

From Apache Junction to Mesa and Tempe, from Queen Creek to Gilbert and Chandler, the traditional neighborhood school is a popular mainstay. But there are also schools where your son or daughter can learn to sculpt or sing, focus on horses and equine science, or study aviation, to name a few specialties. And those are just a few of the public school options. Arizona’s tuition tax credit scholarships and empowerment savings accounts also make it possible for families to send their children to private schools that were unaffordable to them before.

The following definitions and resources can help you as you navigate Arizona’s K-12 market.

Public schools

There are two general types of public schools: charter schools and schools operated by districts. Charter schools and district schools are both tuition-free and regulated by the state Board of Education, but charter schools are privately operated and exempt from some regulations that districts are required to follow. For instance, charter school teachers are not required to be certified, although many are. School districts and charter schools both have governing boards, but district boards are elected by the community and charter boards are appointed by the charter operator.

Charter schools also have sponsoring boards, such as the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools or a school district, that monitor them and provide oversight. Most charter schools are sponsored by the state’s charter board.

School districts

The traditional neighborhood school remains the most popular type of public school in Arizona. School districts draw boundaries to determine which neighborhoods are served by each school. But under the state’s open-enrollment law, children can attend other schools within the district or in another district by applying to that school.

Many districts offer different types of schools as alternatives to traditional neighborhood schools. For example, district options may include campuses with International Baccalaureate programs, schools that focus on bioscience, back-to-basics elementary schools, or classrooms that use the Montessori method of instruction.

School districts also offer career and technical education programs, such as automotive or culinary arts, at their own campuses and by sending students interested in vocational careers to the East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa. EVIT offers high school students in about a dozen districts a wide range of career and technical programs, from health care and radio broadcasting to cosmetology and firefighting. Students attend EVIT part time, taking academic courses in their home school district.

Students in East Valley school districts are often at the top when it comes to statewide competitions, such as the Arizona Academic Decathlon or the Arizona Science Engineering Fair, among others. And for years, schools in East Valley districts have dominated the upper levels of high school athletics.

To learn more, contact the district office in your community:

• Apache Junction Unified School District (superintendent Chad Wilson): (480) 982-1110 or

• Chandler Unified School District (superintendent Camille Casteel): (480) 812-7000 or

• East Valley Institute of Technology (superintendent Sally Downey): (480) 461-4000 or

• Gilbert Public Schools (interim superintendent Christina Kishimoto): (480) 497-3300 or

• Higley Unified School District (superintendent Denise Birdwell): (480) 279-7000 or

• J.O. Combs Unified School District (superintendent Gayle Blanchard): (480) 987-5300 or

• Kyrene School District (superintendent David K. Schauer): (480) 541-1000 or

• Mesa Public Schools (superintendent Michael Cowan): (480) 472-0000 or

• Queen Creek Unified School District (superintendent Tom Lindsey): (480) 987-5935 or

• Tempe Elementary School District (superintendent Christine Busch): (480) 730-7100 or

• Tempe Union High School District (superintendent Kenneth Baca): (480) 839-0292 or

Charter schools

Charter operators sign a contract, or charter, with the state to provide a free public education to any child.

Many charter schools serve niche populations, such as performing arts students or at-risk students, while others offer different types of curriculum and instruction from those found in traditional district schools, such as a project-based learning approach, back-to-basics focus or block scheduling. Charter schools are often smaller than district schools, offering more individualized instruction.

In recent years, some Arizona charter schools, such as Tempe Preparatory Academy and the BASIS schools, which have several campuses in Arizona — including Mesa, Ahwatukee and Chandler — have garnered state and national recognition for outstanding academic achievement. Arizona State University entered the charter market by offering ASU Preparatory Academy K-12 schools at or near ASU Polytechnic in both east Mesa and Phoenix.

To learn more and get a current list of charter schools in your area, contact the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, (602) 364-3080 or

Private and parochial schools

Private and parochial schools have been expanding in the East Valley, especially since the state passed a tuition tax credit law that helps fund scholarships for students wanting to attend a private school. Arizonans receive a tax credit for donating to school tuition organizations, or STOs, which give scholarships to private school students.

The East Valley is home to many private and parochial K-12 schools that excel in academics and athletics. The National Center for Education Statistics lists 53 private schools in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek, and five private schools in Ahwatukee. Many parents also opt to send their kids to private and parochial schools in nearby Scottsdale and Phoenix.

To learn more about private schools, tuition tax credits and to obtain a list of school tuition organizations (STOs), contact the Arizona Department of Revenue at

Empowerment scholarship accounts

In 2011, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law that provides for state-funded education savings accounts to help children with disabilities enroll in private schools or online classes, or to receive instruction at home. Since then, the law has been expanded to include children in foster care, children of active military members and children attending failing schools or entering kindergarten. The law also permits these students to take college classes while still in high school or to save the money in their account for college after they graduate.

If your children qualify, the amount they get will vary. The state will determine the amount based on the student’s public school funding level under the state school finance formula. The scholarship is equal to 90 percent of the funding a public school would have received to educate that child. Families must submit documents showing how the funds were used.

To qualify, students must have attended a public school recently, be entering school for the first time, or previously received a savings account. Students who use a savings account are required to withdraw from public school.

The deadline for applications is in the spring. Awards are only given once a year.

The account funds must be used to provide your child with an education that includes, at minimum, reading, grammar, math, social studies and science. Eligible expenses include tuition, textbooks, therapies, and tutoring, among others.

For more details, visit the Arizona Department of Education website at

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MoneySaver: Surprising Military Discounts – WTVD

Categories: After School Programs
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Published on: July 22, 2014

Anyone who has served or is serving in the military knows shopping on base can save you a lot of money. But the savings don’t have to end when you shop off base.

It’s no secret many retailers offer military discounts, but there are a few that you may not know about.

For summer travel, Southwest and United are just a few of the airlines that offer discounted airfare for members of the military.

If you are hitting amusement parks this summer, make sure you ask if there’s a special price for tickets. Six flags, Legoland, and Disney Parks all offer discounted tickets. Seaworld and Busch Gardens give free admission for members of the military.

If you have a child already back in the classroom in a North Carolina year-round school or if you want to get your child some extra help this summer, offers free tutoring for students in military families. Many of the free tutoring offers are for active duty members, but there are some programs for inactive members, so read eligibility requirements.

Warehouses also offer military discounts. At Costco, a family membership costs $55, but military service members will automatically receive over $50 in savings upon joining.

BJ’s Warehouse also offers a military membership at a reduced rate of $35. Military memberships have the same features and benefits as an inner circle membership, which is $50.

Sam’s Club gives military members a $15 gift card for joining or renewing.

When it comes to cell phones – many give discounted military rates on plans including Verizon, Boost Mobile, ATT, and Sprint to name a few. Some carriers also discount devices and accessories.

And don’t forget-if you are shopping on base, check fliers and online prices at other retailers because Navy Exchange, Marine Corps Exchange, and Army and Air Force Exchange all offer price matching if you show them proof of a competitors price. Saluting those who serve with the most bang for their buck.

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President Obama at My Brother’s Keeper Town Hall: “America Will Succeed If …

Categories: After School Programs
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Published on: July 22, 2014

This afternoon, President Obama visited the Walker Jones Education Campus in Washington, D.C. to participate in a town hall with youth, and to announce new commitments in support of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.

As the President said today, “We want fewer young men in jail; we want more of them in college. We want fewer young men on the streets; we want more in the boardrooms. We want everybody to have a chance to succeed in America. And it’s possible if we’ve got the kind of team that we set up today.”

Watch President Obama answer questions during today’s town hall:

Watch on YouTube

In February, as part of his plan to make 2014 a year of action focused on expanding opportunity for all Americans, the President unveiled the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.

The Administration is doing its part by identifying programs and policies that work, and recommending action that will help all our young people succeed. Since the launch of My Brother’s Keeper, the President’s Task Force has met with and heard from thousands of Americans, through online and in-person listening sessions, who are already taking action.

Today, leading private sector organizations announced independent commitments that further the goals of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and directly address some of the key recommendations in the Task Force ReportThese commitments include:

  • The NBA, the National Basketball Players Association, and the National Basketball Retired Players Association announced a five-year commitment in partnership with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, Team Turnaround, and the Council of Great City Schools. The partnership will focus on recruiting new mentors and work with educators in at-risk schools to provide incentive programs that increase attendance and improve overall school performance.
  • ATT announced an $18 million commitment to support mentoring and other education programs with a mentoring component.
  • Becoming A Man (B.A.M.) and Match tutoring programs announced $10 million in new funding to expand to 3-5 new cities over the next three years and support a large-scale study on the programs’ long-term effects.
  • Along with their partners from Silicon Valley and elsewhere, the Emerson Collective, founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, will collaborate with districts and educators to launch a competition to find and develop the best designs for next generation high schools. Together, they will contribute $50 million for this effort.
  • Citi Foundation is making a three-year, $10 million commitment to create ServiceWorks, a national program to help 25,000 young people in ten cities across the U.S. develop skills they need to prepare for college and careers.
  • Today, the leaders of 60 of the largest school systems in the country, which collectively educate nearly three million of America’s male students of color, have joined in an unprecedented pledge to change life outcomes of boys and young men of color by better serving these students at every stage of their education. 
  • The College Board is investing more than $1.5 million for “All In,” a national College Board program to ensure that 100 percent of African American, Latino, and Native American students with strong AP potential enroll in at least one matched AP class before graduation.
  • Discovery Communications will invest more than $1 million to create an original independent special programming event to educate the public about issues related to boys and men of color and address negative public perceptions of them. 

Learn more about the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, including previous commitments and steps the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force is taking.

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On Campus: UW-Madison diversity plan confusion; MATC’s letter malfunction

Categories: After School Programs
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Published on: July 22, 2014

One line related to UW-Madison’s recently approved plan for diversity — a line that is not actually in the plan — has sparked outrage among some commenters online, outrage that the university argues is misplaced since the line in question is not even in the 53-page diversity plan. .

Patrick Sims, chief diversity officer at UW-Madison, called a retired UW-Madison professor’s column criticizing the plan “a gross misrepresentation of our current efforts.”

The statement in question appears in a 2009 plan for diversity approved by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. Retired economics professor W. Lee Hansen recently wrote an online column saying that UW-Madison’s new diversityplan, approved in May, relies on the earlier Regents plan.

He drew particular attention to this definition in the Regents document related to a goal of representational excellence: “proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution, including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.”

Hansen in his column speculated it calls for grade inflation: “Professors, instead of just awarding the grade that each student earns, would apparently have to adjust them so that academically weaker, ‘historically underrepresented racial/ethnic’ students perform at the same level and receive the same grades as academically stronger students.”

Sims wrote in an online response Monday that the analysis is far off: “Contrary to Hansen’s claims, our framework absolutely does not extend to how instructors should or could grade students.”

MATC congratulates, invites ‘recent’
high school grads of all ages

John Hart was one of thousands locally to open a letter last week that began: “On behalf of the Madison Area Technical College community, please accept my heartfelt congratulations on your recent high school graduation.”

One problem: Hart, a State Journal photographer, is 54 years old.

He graduated from high school in 1978.

Turns out he’s not alone. among “recent high school graduates” targeted by MATC.The college paid a vendor, Infogroup, for a list of all 2014 high school graduates in the school’s enrollment area, which stretches across 12 counties.

They sent out 27,000 of the letters and started hearing back soon from people long removed from high schoolwho obviously should not have been on the list, said Vicki Saffran, interim marketing manager at MATC.

Recipients they’ve heard from range in age from 35 to 85. InfoGroup will eat the cost of approximately $10,000, she said.

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Toxic Lives of Drug Endangered Children

Categories: After School Programs
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Published on: July 21, 2014

An 8-month-old baby drowns in the bathtub while his father gets high smoking marijuana with friends. A baby girl is barricaded inside her playpen, ignored while her parents party with friends. A grade school boy wanders the early morning streets alone in his Halloween costume, not knowing how to get to his school party because his mother is at home, passed out on drugs.

In her 20 years of experience in law enforcement, Lori Moriarty has seen heartrending stories of children like these caught in the cycle of substance abuse—the root cause of child abuse and neglect.

Moriarty spoke to a gathering of about 150 tribal officials, law enforcement officers, educators, attorneys and victims’ advocates on developing a successful collaborative response to drug endangered children at the 2014 Indian Country Conference, July 16-17 at Prairie Band Casino and Resort in Mayetta, Kansas. “I’m going to tell you today,” Moriarty said, “children plus drugs equals risk.”

Today, Moriarty serves as vice-president of the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children in Westminster, Colorado, an organization working to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect by empowering practitioners to identify and respond to children living in dangerous drug environments.

The NADEC defines drug endangered children as children who are at risk of suffering physical or emotional harm as a result of illegal drug use, possession, manufacturing, cultivation or distribution. They may also be children whose caretaker’s substance misuse interferes with the caretaker’s ability to parent and provide a safe and nurturing environment.

In Indian country, American Indian/Alaskan Native children experience child abuse and neglect at much higher rates than their non-Native peers, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

aef5f child endangered by drug abuse Toxic Lives of Drug Endangered Children

“Why are we not looking for the kids?”

Moriarty said one of the biggest challenges of substance abuse and drug endangered children has been competing goals between law enforcement and child welfare advocates. While the goal for child welfare advocates may be family reunification, law enforcement’s primary focus has been arrests and seizures. “Why are we not looking for the kids?”

After a parent is arrested, children are placed in foster care, which can also prove traumatic for the child. “I want us to have a common vision,” Moriarty said. “Where do we come together?”

Moriarty pointed to FBI statistics that indicated an illegal drug arrest is made in the U.S. every 21 seconds. In 2011 alone, 1.5 million drug arrests were made. For Moriarty, the big question is this: How many children were associated with the arrestees?

In 2005, for example, Moriarty said the North Metro Drug Task Force in Adams County, Colorado made 88 arrests. Of those 88 arrests, 137 kids were associated with the arrestees.

According to a 2005 study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 9.2 million children live in homes where parents or other adults in the home engage in substance abuse. Substance abuse in the home is a huge stressor in a child’s life, Moriarty said. “It’s called toxic stress.”

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University defines toxic stress in kids as frequent, prolonged adversity, such as exposure to violence and substance abuse, without adequate adult support. This can have long-term negative consequences in children’s lives.

Drug endangered children are at risk to develop emotional, behavioral and cognitive issues such as problems with language development, poor memory and the inability to learn from mistakes. They also have a higher risk of becoming substance abusers themselves.

Moriarty said children who suffer child abuse and neglect are 59 percent more likely to be arrested as juveniles, 28 percent more likely to be arrested as adults, and 30 percent more likely to commit violent crimes.

A Collaborative Mindset

Early intervention and developing a collaborative mindset increases the likelihood of breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect. Moriarty told conference attendees that a collaborative mindset involves the exchange of information between law enforcement, child protective services, judicial, emergency and medical providers to make each other stronger. “Let’s not have that next generation wanting to use,” she said. “We have to start sharing information,”

On that note, Daniel Goombi (Kiowa-Apache), Tribal Victim Services advocate for the Prairie Band Potawatomi, said good communication and knowing the cultural dynamics of small, Native communities is crucial. “Everything we do is about relationships,” Goombi said. “You have to know the people you’re working with.”

Although social change may take decades, Moriarty said the goal in Indian country should be 100 percent healthy, happy and safe children. “These kids are resilient. Don’t ever forget that. We can make a difference in their lives.”

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Two Staten Island youth agencies to get state grants for after-school programs

Categories: After School Programs
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Published on: July 21, 2014

STATEN ISLAND — Two Staten Island youth agencies have been selected to share in  $10.9 million in state grants for after-school programs.

The Police Athletic League (PAL) of Staten Island, based in Sunnyside, will get $123,750, while the Children’s Aid Society, New Brighton, will receive $137,500, from the grant money announced Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The two provide after-school activities at several Island schools on the North and East shores.

The two are among 68 Advantage After School Programs (AASPs) across New York State, providing thousands of school-age children with youth development opportunities for three hours at the end of each school day.

According to Cuomo, the statewide programs reduce the burden on parents and guardians who work in the evenings and are proven to boost academic achievement, enrich relationships with their peers and increase school attendance.

“By funding these after-school programs, we are ensuring that children in communities across the state have access to learning opportunities and cultural exposure that will further their development for years to come,” the governor said.

The contracts, administered by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), are scheduled to begin in September.

OCFS spokeswoman Jennifer Givner, said the funding is awarded for a five-year cycle and includes state funds and $500,000 from the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program.

The city is already planning to spend more than $145 million in state funding for after-school programs in the coming school year, and Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes to expand after-school programs to every middle school in the city.

Tell us how you or your children benefit from the city’s after-school programs, in the comments section below.

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    Welcome , today is Tuesday, July 22, 2014