National Summer Learning Day-Indy Style

Written by: Monette Viduya
I am so excited to go to a free Indianapolis Indians game tonight! FREE?! Can you get excited?! Yes!  Today is *drumroll please* National Summer Learning Day! And one of the awesome things that MCCOY does is sponsoring this wonderful day at Victory Field with the help of the Summer Youth Program Fund.
Though it has been the ninth annual celebration nationally, this is Indianapolis’ second time it has held National Summer Learning Day.  Many different public agencies, non-profit organizations, schools, faith-based organizations, and camps around Indianapolis will be coming together tonight (with free tickets and t-shirts provided) to combat the harmful effects of learning loss. As we are all at Victory Field watching the Indians, we will be recognizing and celebrating the great work that summer programs do in both preventing summer learning loss and promoting learning gains during the months when school is not in session.
From working on this event, I have learned that there is countless research that shows that children form lower income families can lose up to 3 months of academic progress in math and reading skills in the summer time if they are not active in positive and stimulating summer programs. Because of this, I want to encourage every child to take the initiative to engage in summer learning activities and programs. For a quick look at what Indianapolis has to offer, click here to look at MCCOY’s Youth Activity Directory, which is a comprehensive list of youth programs.
In Indianapolis, there are over 175 programs funded by the Summer Youth Program Fund (SYPF), which is a partnership of 10 public and private funders. Through the fund, $2.3 million in grants have funded these summer programs that serve over 40,000 youth. While the SYPF encourages and financially supports high quality programs, I am absolutely amazed about the opportunities summer programs create for children as well as the safe environments they are able to provide.  
Over the past week, I’ve been sorting shirts and tickets to all of the organizations participating in this event. While it was a pretty tedious job, I am very excited to see everyone on the Victory Field lawn with a super summery, bright green shirt. Can you just imagine how awesome that sight will be? There is a certain joy that is found in people coming together as a community and that is mostly why I am excited for tonight and having the opportunity to be involved in such a great occasion.
After tonight, I’ll be sure to write again and let everyone know about National Summer Learning Day’s success! 🙂

 

Goodbye and Hello!

Hey Friends of MCCOY!
This is Anne West and Danielle Guerin, the new Americorps VISTA members at MCCOY. Danielle is a 2012 graduate of Bradley University where she majored in Entrepreneurship. She was born and raised in Indianapolis and is excited to be back in Indy. In her free time she likes to read, take long walks on the Monon Trail, and engage in retail therapy. 
Anne is a 2011 graduate of the University of Michigan where she majored in Environmental Science. She was born in Indianapolis and moved to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where she grew up on the shores of Lake Superior. She spent the last year working with college aged students in Thailand. In her free time she likes to read and bake pies. Yum. 
Together they are so excited to begin working for MCCOY and the Student Success Initiative. And they’re very thankful for the work of past VISTAs, Shahana and Kashif!
This is Shahana Ansari and Kashif Ahmed, the 2011-2012 Americorps VISTAs. As our AmeriCorps VISTA term with MCCOY concludes, it’s amazing to reflect on how much we’ve learned in one short year! Coming into last summer, we would’ve never thought that we’d be able to participate in a White House conference call, work with radio DJs to urge students to excel in school, facilitate workshop sessions at national and statewide conferences, collaborate with city councilors and the deputy mayor, organize a county-wide student art contest, and so much more! We know that we have accomplished a lot this year, but we also know that the support we received from all the MCCOY staff was an essential piece to our success. Not only did our coworkers’ support teach us the importance and benefit of collaboration, but also they showed us the power of compassion. MCCOY staff members have a true passion to make large scale differences for the benefit of youth and they accomplish this goal by appealing to the common compassion we all have for youth.
While sad to leave MCCOY, Shahana is excited to travel to India next year to work with a youth serving non-profit. Kashif will be getting married, traveling to Spain, and beginning medical school in the fall 🙂
 
JAI HO!

Celebrate Title IX, See History – Saturday, June 23!

Written by: Kathryn Krtnick
As a former college student-athlete and coach, I have experienced firsthand how sport changes lives. I have witnessed educational and athletic opportunities transform the confidence, strength and perspective of young women. Sport not only prepares young women for the academic rigors of higher education through the development of time management and discipline, but even more, primes young women for prestigious leadership positions and a variety of careers.
Simply, sport has opened many doors for women, a door that was only open for men not so long ago. This week we celebrate the incredible pioneers and icons who made gender equity a reality through the documentary “Sporting Chance,” airing on ESPN2 on Saturday, June 23 at noon EST. 
Their struggle ultimately afforded me a chance to compete at a national level, to be part of a comprehensive learning experience that was second to none and now, to work in a field I love – intercollegiate athletics. Words cannot describe how thankful I am for these experiences.
In fact, June 23 marks the 40-year celebration of the passing of the landmark Title IX legislation. I encourage you to make some popcorn and sit down with your daughter, granddaughter, niece, or friend to share this moment in history.
The significance of the passing of Title IX may not be top of mind for today’s youth or may not be given the appropriate level of attention in history class, but instead, these young women will live it.
The hope is that all of the blood, sweat and tears endured to make Title IX a reality will not be overlooked or forgotten and that today’s generation will continue to appreciate and fight for their gift of opportunity. 
 

Interim Study Committees Announced

Written by: Mindi Goodpaster, MCCOY’s Director of Public Policy & Advocacy
The Legislative Council of the Indiana General Assembly met on May 23 and announced the topics that will be studied by the various committees and commissions this summer and fall.  MCCOY will be watching the following topics and committees:
·         Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee (SEA286)
o   Review and study the progress and improvements made by the department of child services (DCS) since its creation in 2005 (SEA 286);
o   Review best practices concerning child welfare, child mental health, and delinquent children (SEA 286);
o   Receive and review status reports from the DCS ombudsman (SEA 286);
o   Review and study the DCS child abuse and neglect hotline, including the process used to refer a report to a local office (SEA 286);
o   Make legislative recommendations concerning the DCS (SEA 286);
o   Conduct a study of the laws relating to:
§  DCS procedures;
§  Funding of the DCS;
§  Funding for the placement of children;
§  DCS personnel issues;
§  Children in need of services;
§  Child support;
§  Procedures concerning the determination of placements of children inside and outside Indiana;
§  Homeless children;
§  The youth service bureau;
§  Child welfare programs;               
§  Family preservation services;
§  The regulation of residential child care;
§  Termination of parent-child relationships;
§  Missing children; and
§  The DCS ombudsman.
(SB 270);
o   Federal requirements or incentives for states to pass certain laws or establish specific programs (SB 270);
o   Determine the long range needs of the DCS and recommend policy priorities (SB 270);
o   Identify critical problems in the DCS and recommend strategies to solve the problems (SB 270);
o   Propose plans, programs, and legislation for improving the effectiveness of the DCS (SB 270);
o   How it is determined whether a family and/or child is eligible for services by the DCS (SR 47);
o   The wrap-around services available to families involved in DCS proceedings (SR 47);
o    The follow-up provided by DCS staff to determine whether services were provided and the adequacy of those services (SR47); and
o   The communication between family court and DCS to collaborate on families’ involvement in each entity (SR 47).
·         Select Commission on Education (REA 1376) (this commission has been meeting since late May)
o   The feasibility of establishing a process by which residents of a part of an existing school corporation may elect to disannex from an existing school corporation and either annex to another existing school corporation or establish a new school corporation (HEA 1047);
o   The process of adoption and content of rules adopted by the Indiana state board of education concerning categories or designations of school improvement including the matrices used for the A-F designations (HEA 1376);
o   Proposed rules, adopted rules, and policies of the department of education and the Indiana state board of education to implement the provisions ofP.L.90-2011, concerning teacher evaluations and licensing (HEA 1376);
o   More clearly defining what is included in instructional spending by school corporations and what is included in no instructional spending by school corporations for purposes of the law concerning reporting of expenditures allocated to school instruction (IC 20-42.5-3-5) (HEA 1072, SB 344, SR 7);
o   The current oversight structure applicable to IPFW and make recommendations for any changes in the current structure that the committee determines should be considered (SC 19); and
o   Public schools ‘cherry-picking’ students (Representatives Karickhoff and Mahan).
·         Commission on Mental Health and Addiction (IC 12-21-6.5-2)
o   Whether prosecuting attorneys should be allowed to file a petition alleging that a child is a child in need of services under IC 31-34-1-6 (SEA 286);
o   The unmet mental health needs of children within the juvenile justice system, including children in need of services and delinquent children (SEA 286); and
·         Interim Study Committee on Special Group Recognition License Plates (SEA 257)
o   Policies and procedures concerning the issuance of special group recognition license plates (SEA 257).
While other topics may be considered that were not formally assigned, they may still be part of the discussion in one of the committees.  One of the bills that MCCOY was watching, HEA 1169 was not formally assigned, but we will monitor the Select Commission on Education to see if the issue is brought up for discussion.  For a full list of the committees and topics, visit the May 23 meeting minutes at http://www.in.gov/legislative/interim/committee/minutes/LCOUF5N.pdf