Education Summit: Improving Education for Children in Foster Care

Apr 20, 2011  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

The Department of Children and Families — Circuit 4 invites you to participate in an Educational Summit, “Everybody’s a Teacher: Improving Education for Children in Foster Care.”

The event will take place Friday, April 29, 2011 from 9am to 12pm at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, Haut Hall, 1649 Kingsley Ave. Orange Park, Florida 32073.

Please RSVP via email to Summer Saladino, Summer_Saladino@dcf.state.fl.us, by April 22nd.

Register for the Children’s Campaign legislative breakfast

Apr 19, 2011  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

The Chartrand Foundation, the Community Foundation and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund are hosting Children’s Campaign breakfast on April 27. Seating is limited, so make your reservations here today.

Roy Miller, president of the Children’s Campaign, will present: “What’s Happening and What’s Next for Kids.”

The breakfast is Wednesday, April 27 from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. at the Kinne Center at Jacksonville University.

Mapping Child Well-Being in Duval County

  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  1 comment

Even though they all live within the city boundaries, Jacksonville’s children are not afforded equal opportunities — often based on where they live.

A report released in March 2011 looked at how more than a dozen indicators affect the well-being of children in Duval County. The report was conducted by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University for the Jacksonville Children’s Commission. The Jesse Ball DuPont Fund paid for the study.

The indicators were divided into three specific areas: Neighborhood Indicators, Education and School-Related Indicators, and Health and Environmental Indicators.

The results showed that there is a division of opportunity between the eastern and western parts of the county. While the southeastern portion of the city has seen opportunity improvement for children, there has been a persistent concentration of opportunity-poor communities in the Urban Core and an opportunity decline in areas in the southwest over the last twenty years.

There is also a significant racial disparity: While only 16.56 percent of white children live in lower opportunity areas, the percentage for African American children is 59.73 percent.

Poverty rates and related indicators have a notable impact on health outcomes. For example, Health Zone 1 has the worst neighborhood conditions and the highest incidence of health outcomes like diabetes and teen births. The Coalition has also seen a similar trend in this area with infant mortality.

The Kirwan Institute also looked in depth at the New Town Success Zone area in North Jacksonville, a neighborhood-based city initiative modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone. The report revealed that the NTSZ area has a very high concentration of non-whites (98 to 100 percent ), alongside a concentration of poverty and low-income families — which is reflected in the high percentage of economically disadvantaged students in the two schools in the area.

Combating teen pregnancy with real life examples

Apr 11, 2011  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

Move aside, fake pregnancy bellies and life-like take-home babies. The latest classroom tool used around the county to deter teen pregnancy is a line-up of hit MTV shows.

The New York Times featured an article in the April 10 edition with a slew of examples of how the shows “16 & Pregnant,” “Teen Mom” and “Teen Mom 2” are used to prompt discussions and lessons about the negative effects of teenage parenthood. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy even distributes DVDs and discussion guides for that purpose.

The shows aren’t just discussion prompters in the classroom — they’re also a means for parents to start conversations about sex, contraception and pregnancy with their children. And although it’s often an awkward conversation, teens in Northeast Florida and throughout the country want to be able to have those talks with their parents.

The latest CDC report shows a decline in teen birth rates, but it is still a significant issue that has a negative effect on society and birth outcomes. Teen birth rates in the United States are higher than other industrialized countries — and locally and statewide, rates are even higher than the nation. The NEFL Teen Pregnancy Task Force meets the second Wednesday of the month at Shands and will develop strategies and iniatives — like educating parents about how to talk to their kids about sex — to combat the issue in the region.

New Town Success Zone’s PhotoVoice Exhibit Unveiled at Art Walk

Apr 7, 2011  •   Written by admin   •  no comments

 

Community photographers from the New Town Success Zone debuted their work at the April Jacksonville Art Walk last night.

The PhotoVoice Project, Strengthening the Voices of Women in New Town: Making Our Neighborhood Better for Children, allowed women from the New Town community of North Jacksonville to act as recorders and potential catalysts for social action in their neighborhood through photography. Their pictures reflect the strengths and concerns they see in New Town.

Participants stood proudly by their photos, which were accompanied by personal narratives, and talked with visitors about their experiences throughout the process. The next phase of the project will including advocacy training, empowering the women to address their concerns and enabling them to bring positive changes in their community.

The project is a collaboration between the Early Childhood Committee of the New Town Success Zone and the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women and is funded by the Women’s Giving Alliance, the Chartrand Foundation, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers and individual donors.

The exhibit will remain on display throughout April at the main library, at 303 N. Laura St., Jacksonville, FL 32202.