Summer Youth Activities - Saved in this Year’s Budget - May Deter Gangs

Mwende Hahesy | San Jose’s Safe Summer program has provided creative activities and athletics for teens during the weeks of the school break. The program has coincided with a reduction in gang activity in San Jose. MACLA, one of the participating organizations, offers performance and other art activities for a group of teens. 

Cultural Council and a Parcel Tax Preserve Arts Education 

"Summer" 5th Grade Mural at Gault Elementary June 24 | Mwende Hahesy • In recent decades pottery, painting and music have been disappearing from California schools. Meanwhile, evidence has been accumulating that if we hope for students to stay in school and to excel in core topics like reading, math and science, art may help. 





Some related information:
Edutopia reports on arts education
Arts Education Partnership reports on benefits of arts education
SRI report on disparities in arts achievement
President’s Committee on Arts and the Humanities: 
"Reinvesting in Arts Education Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools"
Pioneering study on benefits of arts education: 
"Nonmusicol Effects of the Kodaly Music Curriculum in Primary Grade Children"
Community School of Music and Arts 
Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County SPECTRA program

A New Court in San Jose Focused on Improving Education for Foster Youth
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May 13, 2011 | J.D. Hillard Court is a fact of life for foster youth. Judges rule on whether children will return to their parents and other crucial decisions. KUSP’s J.D. Hillard reports that a San Jose court now focuses just on factors affecting foster youths’ education.

Some links to partners in the Middle School Education Court:

Child Advocates of Silicon Valley

Legal Advocates for Children and Youth

Santa Clara County Superior Court announces Middle School court

Dependency Advocacy Center

Santa Clara County Office of Education

Research Institute for Foster Youth Initiatives

Silicon Valley Children’s Fund

Science by Nature Proves Science Education Has a Place in Elementary School
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Photo courtesy of Environmental Volunteers

May 11 | Sean Rameswaram • Science by Nature is a collaboration between industry experts, museums, non-profits, and volunteers that works inside and out of the classroom to help young students get a head start on science education. The collaborative is gradually expanding in Mountain View and hopes to serve as a model for elementary schools nationwide. 

Visit the Science by Nature website.
Visit the Environmental Volunteers website.

O’Neill Sea Odyssey: Enhancing Science Education 

April 28 | Sean Rameswaram • The O’Neill Sea Odyssey has been taking 4th, 5th and 6th graders out sailing on the Monterey Bay since 1996. In early April the program served its 60,000th student. It’s free, fun and promises a day of activities on the Pacific Ocean; but the trip can also enhance student learning and performance.

March 28, 2011 | Mwende Hahesy — CCPY students and mentors enthusiastically turn out on a Saturday in March to support each other. Each student makes goals and works with their mentor to progress toward those goals. For one CCPY student the organization was part of choosing a path away from violence and drugs.

Courtesy of Fresh Lifelines for Youth | Fresh Lifelines for Youth students giving thanks during Leadership Training Program’s ritual FLY hug.

Courtesy of Fresh Lifelines for Youth | Fresh Lifelines for Youth students giving thanks during Leadership Training Program’s ritual FLY hug.

Courtesy of Jeff Bornefeld | California Community Partners for Youth connects students with adult mentors and organizes activities to help teens build confidence and cooperation. Here students participate in a rafting trip.

Courtesy of Jeff Bornefeld | California Community Partners for Youth connects students with adult mentors and organizes activities to help teens build confidence and cooperation. Here students participate in a rafting trip.

Courtesy of Jeff Bornefeld | KUSP’s Mwende Hahesy interviews a CCPY mentor and student in San Jose in March.

Courtesy of Jeff Bornefeld | KUSP’s Mwende Hahesy interviews a CCPY mentor and student in San Jose in March.

Two Nonprofits Help Teens Improve Their Lives Through Mentorship

March 21, 2011 |  Mwende Hahesy • Professionals who work with at-risk youth say kids’ lives change for the better when they have a positive mentor.  KUSP’s Mwende Hahesy explored two programs that have demonstrated success steering kids away from gangs, drugs, or dropping out of school.

California Community Partners for Youth connects teens who begin to have trouble in schools or encounters with the criminal justice system to adult mentors.

Fresh Lifelines for Youth connects at-risk youth with mentors, teaches them about the law and engages them in long term community improvement projects.

 California Partnership Academies Change High School Experience

February 21, 2011 | Sean Rameswaram • California Partnership Academies are schools within high schools, created in the 1980s to improve graduation rates for at-risk students. The idea was to take kids who might drop out and engage them in smaller, career-focused learning environments. Despite their success, the state budget crisis threatens to drastically reduce the number of programs available to students.

Raising the Bar in California High Schools


February 9, 2011 | Sean Rameswaram •
Santa Cruz City Schools is raising the bar for its high school students and it’s not the first school district in the region to do so. Administrators say university preparation and classes that directly connect to careers will help keep students engaged.

You can find more information on A-G requirements here, and on California Partnership Academies here.