Upcoming lectures, grant opportunities, and awards. Don't miss them! (February, 2010)

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WCCC Spotlight February 5, 2010
A frequent reminder that our kids and families matter!
Still time to sign up
for this lecture on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, February 9

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Using CBT with Diverse Populations: Lessons
from the Field

This is the second of four in the Spring 2010 Evening Lecture Series co-sponsored by the Coalition and the Brown Alpert Medical School for mental health clinicians, medical staff, and school professionals. This dinner lecture takes place at The Village Inn in Narragansett from 5-7 p.m. and offers CEUs in various professions. The $35 registration includes dinner and educational materials as well. Download a brochure for this and the two remaining lectures and/or call or email the Brown CME office: 401-863-3337, CME@Brown.edu.
Two unusual grant opportunities

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Get Ur Good On

Miley Cyrus recently partnered with Youth Service America (YSA) to create Get Ur Good On, a social network that brings together youth to support each other in their mission to do "good" in their communities. In support, YSA is offering Get Ur Good On Grants, supporting youth-led service initiatives on Global Youth Service Day, April 23-25. Available to children and youth around the world, YSA will award 100 $500 grants to support projects addressing critical community needs such as poverty, education, and environmental sustainability. Grant applications are due February 22, 2010.
We Can Change the World Challenge
Climate change; polluted air, water and soil; endangered species; shrinking coastlines; and a rapidly increasing population are among the many issues that threaten our global environment. The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge gives students the opportunity, tools and inspiration to become those agents of change. Beginning August 19, 2009 through March 15, 2010, middle school student teams from across the country will be challenged to create sustainable, reproducible environmental improvements in their local communities. Top prizes will include a chance to appear on Discovery Network's Planet Green, savings bonds, a Discovery Adventure trip and more. Applications must be received by March 15, 2010.

More children living with unemployed,
new report reveals

One in seven American children - 10.5 million kids under the age of 18 - are living with an unemployed parent as a result of the current recession, according to the new report Families of the Recession: Unemployed Parents & Their Children. The figure has doubled since December 2007.
     According to First Focus, young people with an unemployed parent have a greater chance of experiencing homelessness, suffering from child abuse, failing to complete high school or college, and living in adult poverty than other children.
     The study reports that another 3.3 million young people - those seeking jobs between the ages of 16 and 24 - are themselves unemployed.

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Your Coalition didn't slow down in 2009
From the annual forum to accredited lectures, teaching children how to express their emotions, videoconferencing with teachers and doctors

Whew! 2009 was a tough year for most nonprofits as well as families, but it didn't slow the Coalition down. With little funding, one part-time staffperson, but lots of dedicated volunteers and committee members, we covered impressive ground in our key areas.

Major activities
  • the Annual Children's Issues Forum featured essential statistics about the County's children and families, encouragement from keynote speaker Tony Maione of the United Way, and deserved awards to community leaders
  • the Teen Gift Drive (see below) raised $4,500 in gifts to be distributed throughout the holidays
  • inaugurated Spotlight, this online ebroadcast update
Children's Mental Health. To address gaps in local children's mental health services:
  • Continued implementation of Collaborative Office Rounds. In 2009, the program involved primary care providers at both South County & Westerly Hospital, mental health providers, and school personnel. Activities included 14 small study group sessions, four community-wide trainings, and six videoconferences
  • Organized a state-of-the art, six-month continuing education training program in CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) for 40 experienced mental health providers & school personnel
  • Expanded "The Way I Feel" Emotional Literacy Project to eight elementary schools and 420 2nd graders.
Child Care and After-School Programming.To expand the capacity of child care and after school providers to care for children with special needs
  • Conducted three local training series on:
    • How Do Children Learn Through Open Ended Activities?
    • Developing Family Partnerships: Beyond the Tea Party Approach
    • Infant Toddler & Beyond: Social Emotional Brain Development
  • Promoted participation in the state's new quality rating system for child care: Bright Stars by hosting an  informational session  and organizing training on the ITERS (Infant & Toddlers Environment Rating Scale) Evaluation Tool
  • Promoted and support routine developmental screening in six primary care practices & 18 child care centers
Family Support. To better connect parents, schools, medical providers, and community resources
  • Rolled out UWRI School Success Initiative at Curtis Corner Middle School, focusing on after-school support, internal case review, outreach to parents for at-risk students
  • Launched planning process for the Initiative at Westerly Middle School and secured grant funding
Westerly Infant & Child Health Partnership. To explore the root causes of delayed prenatal care, teen pregnancy, and food insecurity in Westerly and look for solutions
  • Conducted seven focus groups with area parents, clergy, social services providers, and school personnel
  • Designed, distributed, and analyzed resident surveys with in-kind support from the RI Dept of Health and Alpert Medical School at Brown University
  • Researched and prepared 'Models That Work' report
  • Began strategic panning with Westerly stakeholders about effective release of the findings
Affordable housing.To improve access to information about housing and other resources
  • Participated in the 2-1-1 Advisory Committee
  • Supported HousingWorks RI activities and legislative platform

Never a dull moment. Join us in 2010!
You showed up for Washington County teens
6th annual Teen Gift Drive at Casey's Grill & Bar
raises more than $4,500 in gifts, certificates, and cash

It rained cats and dogs during our 6th Annual Teen Gift Drive for the holidays, but generous folks from all over Washington County came anyway to Casey's Grill & Bar in Wakefield and donated more than $4,500 in gifts, gift certificates, and cash to make the holidays a bit brighter for teens in need in our region.
casey logo     Everyone helps out - local businesses, URI faculty and students, and countless volunteers - that's what makes this event so special every year. But the Coalition gives special thanks to Casey's and General Manager Noelle Brousseau, the fantastic employees and owner, who go above and beyond just being great hosts. They are the heart of the Teen Gift Drive!
     We were also thrilled to have eSKape performing again. South Kingstown High School's jazz vocal ensemble, led by Director Andrea Theroux, spread the holiday spirit with magnificent music. They have a busy schedule in December. We're grateful they included us.
     Last but not least, great credit to the staff from local social service agencies who distributed the gifts to families they knew would appreciate them. The staff work hard all year; it's wonderful that they can take gifts during the holidays.
     And we thank you who gave! Thanks to your support, many disadvantaged teens in our community were able to enjoy a special holiday this year, just like other kids their age.

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What you need to know about the WCCC

The Washington County Coalition for Children brings together everyone in Washington County who cares about children.
The Coalition is known for: 

  • Tracking and publishing the trends in children's issues, and convening public meetings around the needs.
  • Convening monthly meetings that bring together more than 40 organizations
    to tackle the most compelling problems facing children and their families.
  • Establishing a website to help parents of children with mental health and substance abuse problems connect with local treatment providers
  • Sponsoring an annual "How Are the Children?" Forum, a must-attend event
    for anyone working on children's issues: community leaders, advocates, and elected officials.
  • Holding monthly workshops to help doctors and mental health professionals care for children with behavioral health problems and  developmental disabilities.
  • Organizing a holiday gift drive for teens in conjunction with Casey's Grill & Bar in Wakefield.
     The Coalition achieves astounding results, with just one part-time staff person, dedicated volunteers, and administrative support from VNS Home Health Services.
We cover all Coalition costs through voluntary contributions
of Coalition members, grants, and your generous donations.

     For more information about the Washington County Coalition for Children,
go to www.washcokids.org or contact Coalition Coordinator Susan Orban at wccc@washcokids.org or
(401) 788-2061.