Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The Prospect Sierra students cleared and cultivated a garden that will be planted, nurtured and harvested by younger students who participate in the THINK Together after-school program at Rancho Elementary.
THINK Together’s students at Rancho Elementary created and presented a remembrance quilt as a thank you gift for the students from Prospect Sierra to take back to Northern California.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Taking place every month, 2nd Sunday features art pieces from different galleries and artists and benefits a different local charity each month. The November event will highlight art from The Surf Gallery Laguna Beach, live music and fine wine provided by Coppola Diamond Series as well as light appetizers offered by the popular new restaurant, Zimzala. The art exhibition will take place in the lobbies of The Shorebreak Hotel. Covered parking is available below The Strand/Shorebreak Hotel.
Admission is $10 and includes two wine tickets and a plate of appetizers, and 100% of this admission fee benefits THINK Together as do proceeds from art sales.
For on-line reservations, visit THINKtogether.org/WineEvent.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
See Official Proclamation"Much of a child’s learning takes place outside the classroom. As they grow, it is crucial that our kids have opportunities to explore interests, discover talents and develop skills so that they can become successful adults. I am a big believer in after-school programs, which provide great ways to foster continued education and engage our students in meaningful activity once the last school bell rings."Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor of California
"Learning doesn't just happen in a classroom between school bells. Children learn all day long. So it's vital to give students and their families the tools, the facilities and the opportunity to continue working on traditional academic subjects as well as a place for broader lessons in areas like art and music to enrich their lives."Arne Duncan
U.S. Secretary of Education
See ED.gov Press Release
THINK Together Site Coordinator Delia D'Aguilar shared the pictures in this slideshow.
click arrow below to play slideshow here
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Site Coordinator Delia D'Aguilar forwarded these pictures.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
After-school programs are a cost-effective way to boost student achievement, reduce juvenile crime and help overstressed working parents. Yet a new study finds that the number of after-school slots continues to lag far behind parents’ demand. Even in these hard economic times, it should be possible to narrow the gap.
There is good news in the study — “America After 3” — by the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group. It reports a big increase in the number of schoolchildren participating in after-school programs: 8.4 million youngsters compared with 6.5 million in 2004. Parents say they are generally satisfied with the programs their children attend.
But the most striking and disturbing finding is the large number of latchkey children — children left alone and unsupervised at the end of the regular school day: 15.1 million — more than a quarter of America’s schoolchildren and an 800,000 increase from 2004. That number includes 4 percent of elementary school students and 30 percent of middle school students who are on their own until their parents return home.
Parents of 18.5 million students say they would enroll their children in an after-school program if one were available. These numbers represent a huge missed opportunity. A majority of publicly financed after-school programs serve low-income students. They offer help with schoolwork, sports activities and other enrichment known to translate into improved school attendance and higher graduation rates and lower rates of teenage pregnancy, drinking, delinquency and drug use.
During the 2008 campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama promised that he would double the financing for after-school programs under the No Child Left Behind Act. His budget plan unveiled in February called for no increase in the current $1.1 billion appropriation. The House has approved a spending bill that adds another $50 million for after-school programs. The Senate should at least agree to that.
President Obama, his education secretary, Arne Duncan, and Congress must all acknowledge that a lot more is needed — and quickly come up with a plan to increase financing for quality after-school programs.
Three volunteers from Santa Ana College visited the THINK Together after-school program at Sepulveda Elementary School in Santa Ana, CA, on 10/13/09.
Linda Baird, Renee Geriette and Kevin Breitman are studying to be Occupational Therapy Assistants. They talked with 3rd graders about skeletal structures and the important of taking care of their bones.
See more pictures on Flickr: An Afternoon at Sepulveda Elementary
Monday, October 19, 2009
Afterschool Alliance: California After 3PM
A Top Ten State for Afterschool Programs
In 2009, California families were surveyed to see how many children are in afterschool programs, how many are unsupervised after school and how these numbers compare to five years ago. America After 3 PM provides the most comprehensive and accurate picture to date of what this nation's youth are doing each day after school. With a sample size of nearly 30,000, the report provides an in-depth view of every state in the nation.
Overall, America After 3PM finds that while more kids are in afterschool programs today than five years ago, the demand for programs has also increased. As would be expected, there is variability in the findings from state to state. Through an examination of a number of key indicators, a set of "Top 10 States for Afterschool" emerged. While they all have significant unmet need for afterschool programs, comparatively these "Top 10 States for Afterschool" in 2009 have some of the lowest rates of self-care combined with the highest rates of afterschool participation and satisfaction - all of which adds up to a winning combination for children and parents in these states. Yet, even in these top 10 states, too many children and families do not have access to quality afterschool opportunities.
Visit Afterschool Alliance's "America After 3PM" page.
NOTE: America After 3PM was conducted for the Afterschool Alliance and sponsored by the JCPenney Afterschool Fund.
Friday, October 16, 2009
click arrow below to view slideshow here
Thursday, October 15, 2009
"Lights on Afterschool" is just one week away (October 22, 2009).
To celebrate "Lights on Afterschool," the THINK Together after-school program at Ellington Elementary School in Covina (Azusa Unified) will host, “Cheers to Afterschool.”
THINK Together Site Coordinator Jami Mendoza reports that on Wednesday, October 21, at 3:00 pm, cheer leaders from Pioneer High School (Whittier, CA) will visit her site to perform for students and conduct a mini cheer camp teaching Ellington's kids cheers and chants developed exclusively to promote their 2009 "Lights on Afterschool" event.
Then on Thursday, October 22, national "Lights on Afterschool" day, students at Ellington will peform their newly learned after-school cheers and chants for their teachers and peers throughout the normal school day to bring awareness to the THINK Together after-school program and the importance of after-school activities aligned with school day learning.
Find out more about "Lights on Afterschool."
Find a "Lights on Afterschool" event near you.
What will you do to celebrate "Lights on Afterschool?" Leave a comment and let us know.
click arrow below to view slideshow here
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Drawing will take place on Monday, October 19th. Individuals selected will be contacted the same day. Unless special arrangements are made, tickets that are not picked up by end of the business day on Tuesday, October 20, will be given away to others on the list.
QACs/SCs – you can also use these tickets as a form of thank you to your school administrators and teachers that have been great partners (however, please be sure they WILL use the tickets).
Please note: these tickets are in-kind donations and are to be used for our students, staff, volunteers and our families only. THEY MAY NOT TO BE SOLD.
Daren Howard (THINK Together Program Leader at Center Middle School in Azusa, CA) took the pictures of the students' excursion featured in this slideshow.
click arrow below to view slideshow here
Follow Just Cause on Facebook
Follow Just Cause on Twitter
Monday, October 12, 2009
Change needed to qualify California for $4.5 billion in federal funds.
By FERMIN LEAL and SCOTT MARTINDALE
The Orange County Register
...The Race to the Top funds are the largest competitive grants in U.S. history. The program is intended to reward states actively pursuing education innovation and reforms. Only states that permit linking student achievement data and teacher and principal data for the purposes of teacher and principal evaluation are eligible to apply.
If California becomes eligible, school districts would be able to submit applications for funds that could pay for programs and services that would help improve achievement of students in low-performing schools. In Orange County, districts could use funds to pay for after school services, tutoring.
Habermehl says school districts locally will also use the federal funds to further implement programs like the MIND Research Institute or THINK Together, two non-profit programs provide tutoring and other services to schools serving high concentrations of low-income students and English learners. Both programs already work in schools in districts including Santa Ana Unified, Newport-Mesa Unified and Anaheim City School District. (See Complete Story)
Once again, THINK Together wants to acknowledge the generous support of the Vazquez Family (and THINK Together Quality Assurance Coach/QAC Katherine Vazquez) owners of Downey Brewing Co.
Downey Brewing Co. Web Site
EIF's mission is to harnesses the collective power of the industry to raise awareness and funds for critical health, educational and social issues in order to make a positive impact in our community and throughout the nation. People from every facet of the entertainment community – actors and executives; guild and union members; and employees of studios, networks and talent agencies – volunteer their time, talent and services to support our work.
Founded 67 years ago by Samuel Goldwyn and other Hollywood luminaries, EIF has raised millions of dollars for cancer research and prevention; diabetes awareness; education and creative arts; and other social programs.
Next Monday, EIF will kick off a week-long television event starting running from October 19 - 25, 2009 to promote iParticipate and connect people with volunteer opportunities. Programs on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and other broadcast networks will spotlight service through scripted programming, segments and Public Service Announcements with inspirational messages, and storylines about volunteerism.
For more information visit the iParticipate Movement page.
Follow iParticpate on Twitter
Become a fan of iParticipte on Facebook.
click arrow below to play slideshow here
Friday, October 9, 2009
click arrow below to view slideshow here
Christine Slattery will be our new Interim Site Coordinator for Cope Middle School in the Redlands School District. Christine began her journey with THINK Together as a Substitute Program Leader in the Inland Empire Region two years ago. In the past school year, Christine got placed at Shandin Hills Middle School in San Bernardino as a permanent Program Leader. Christine graduated from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) with a Bachelors in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Math.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
November 8, 2009
Owners of The Strand in downtown Huntington Beach, along with the new Shorebreak Hotel & Zimzala Restaurant (located @PCH and 5th Street -- one block west of the Huntington Beach pier) will generously host a wine/food/art auction on Sunday, November 8, 2009, from 3-6:00 p.m. benefiting THINK Together ... the cost of admission is just $10 per person and that includes two wine tickets, plate of appetizers and live music … and all proceeds, including $10 admission charge, go directly to THINK Together!
Mark your calendars now! Share this with your family and friends now! More info to come…
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The following is from the press release issued today by the U.S. Department of Education. More details are available at Ed.gov.
Washington — U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the Department's priorities for grants under the $650 million Investing in Innovation Fund (i3). The fund, which is part of the historic $5 billion investment in school reform in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will support local efforts to start or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve outcomes for students.
"We're making an unprecedented investment in cutting-edge ideas that will produce the next generation of school reforms," Secretary Duncan said. "The i3 competition will provide seed money for fresh ideas, help grow promising programs with a good track record and scale up programs with proven results to a national level."
Individual school districts or groups of districts can apply for the i3 grants, and entrepreneurial nonprofits can join with school districts to submit applications. Colleges and universities, companies and other stakeholders can be supporters of the projects.
Applicants must demonstrate their previous success in closing achievement gaps, improving student progress toward proficiency, increasing graduation rates, or recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and principals.
"The $650 million Investing in Innovation competition that we are unveiling today is a challenge to school districts and nonprofits," Secretary Duncan said. "We're looking to drive reform, reward excellence and dramatically improve our nation's schools."
Grant recipients will be required to match federal funds with public or private dollars. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate how their programs will be sustainable after their federal grants are completed. (More)
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
As testament to the strength of the partnership between THINK Together, the next generation of after-school, and the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine or UCI), the pair have established a UCI/THINK Together PhD Fellowship in Education.
The Fellowship has been awarded to Ms. Tracy Bennett, THINK Together's Manager of Program Evaluation, who begins UC Irvine’s PhD Program in Education this Fall.
Under the advisement of respected after-school expert Dr. Deborah Vandell, Tracy’s research will investigate the academic alignment of THINK Together’s after-school programs with the instructional school-day.
Tracy's work will identify the best practices within districts that are intentional about aligning the instructional school-day with THINK Together's high quality after-school programs, and the effect that has on program quality and student achievement. Tracy's body of work will serve to inform the after-school community about promising practices, techniques and strategies that will help develop after-school programs that can deliver high-quality programming that has a measurable impact on the academic success of students.
Read more about Tracy’s experience and interests here. If you would like to discuss her research or have any questions about the PhD program, email Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
- Students showed significant improvements in the areas of math efficacy, reading efficacy, and positive peer relations.
- Program, effects on reading efficacy were greater for students in 2nd-3rd grade and 6th-8th grade.
- Students who received individual tutoring showed significantly greater improvements in math efficacy and reading efficacy than students who received group tutoring.
- Over 90% of parents perceived that the program had positive effects on their child, in all six study areas.
- There was a significant improvement in parents' perceived improvement in their child's academic and relationship skills, from pre-participation to post-participation.
Report Executive Summary
Monday, October 5, 2009
The study, released Thursday by the Center on Education Policy (CEP), examines student performance in all 50 states since 2002, when the No Child Left Behind Act took effect. It paid particular attention to the achievement gaps for minority and low-income students.
The chart above was published as part of a story about the study's findings in the Christian Science Monitor (csmonitor.com).
Friday, October 2, 2009
- All subgroups showed more gains than declines in grade 4 at all three achievement levels—basic-and-above, proficient-and-above, and advanced.
- As measured by percentages of students scoring proficient, gaps between subgroups have narrowed in most states at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, although in a notable minority of cases gaps have widened.
- Most often gaps narrowed because the achievement of lower-performing subgroups went up rather than because the achievement of higher-performing subgroups went down.
- Gaps in percentages proficient narrowed more often for the Latino and African American subgroups than for other subgroups.
- Although average (mean) scores indicate that gaps have narrowed more often than they have widened, mean scores give a less rosy picture of progress in closing achievement gaps than percentages proficient.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Tickets will be awarded to members of the THINK Together family via raffle. To enter the raffle, immediately email your request to Lisa Tran. Requests must be received by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, October 2, 2009). Due to the limited number of tickets and because of the popularity of these tickets, each individual selected will receive a pair of tickets (two tickets per recipient).THE SHOW: Hosted by Olympic Champions Brian Boitano and Kristi Yamaguchi, “Improv-Ice” will require each skater to perform to one contemporary piece of music chosen in advance by Lea Ann Miller, Artistic Director of Disson Skating, and one of The Goo Goo Dolls greatest hits, performed live by the band. To close the show, there will be a group number with The Goo Goo Dolls featuring music from their new album. The skaters will not get to hear any of the music before performing. The live audience and viewers will have the opportunity to vote for the skater they feel performed the most creative routine. Results will be announced on the television special.
THE CAST: Includes 2009 World Champion Evan Lysacek; 2006 Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen; four-time World Champion and four-time Canadian National Champion, Kurt Browning; 2008 World Champion Jeffrey Buttle; three-time U.S. National Champion, two-time World Bronze Medalist and two-time U.S. Olympic team member, Michael Weiss; two-time Olympic Medalist Nancy Kerrigan; 2009 World Silver Medalist, five-time Canadian champion Joannie Rochette; and ten-time Canadian National Ice Dancing Champion Shae-Lynn Bourne.
Diana Medel has been promoted to Site Coordinator at Lathrop Intermediate (SAUSD) in THINK Together's Orange County Region. Diana has been with THINK Together since February 2009, where she was first hired as a Program Leader. Shortly after, she was promoted to Site Assistant at Sierra Intermediate. Diana graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2008 with a Bachelors degree in Liberal Studies. She hopes to eventually become an elementary school teacher.
THINK Together is serious about helping kids achieve!
THINK: Teaching, Helping, Inspiring & Nurturing Kids.