December 19, 2008

Happy Holidays!

America SCORES Denver wants to wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season! See you in the new year!

December 16, 2008

Check out this study on bullying!

Evaluation Shows Bullying Reduced

An independent evaluation of The Colorado Trust's three-year, statewide Bullying Prevention initiative shows that bullying declined when adults and students were willing to intervene, treat each other fairly and show they care. The findings also show that schools with less bullying had higher scores on the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) in reading, writing and math.

The 45 participating schools, school districts and community organizations estimate they reached 50,000 young people and adults in 40 Colorado counties through this effort. Build Trust, End Bullying, Improve Learning highlights major findings from the evaluation of this intensive initiative and includes tips on how educators, parents and policymakers can help prevent bullying.

December 15, 2008

Why After-School Programs are Important

If you're not home when your child's school bell rings, you probably hope that he or she will stay out of trouble until you get home. It's during these after school hours that children are more likely to get involved in alcohol or illegal drug use, gangs or violence, and sexual activity.

After-school activities are a great way to help reduce your child's unsupervised time, possibly lowering his risk for involvement in these behaviors. After-school activities have several other benefits as well, including

  • Building self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Enhancing social skills
  • Teaching sportsmanship
  • Providing exposure to other cultures and people
  • Improving time management skills.

After-school activities don't have to be school sponsored or school related. Clubs and programs can be sponsored by local community centers, places of worship, 4-H clubs, or nonprofit organizations. Activities can involve academics, sports, foreign languages, arts, or something just for fun! Volunteer work can be another great way for a child or teen to spend her time after school. Volunteering provides kids with a sense of responsibility and compassion; it also can help boost self-confidence as a child learns that she is capable of doing something to help others.

With all these options, how do you decide which program is best for your child? Here are a few things to keep in mind when enrolling your child in after-school activities:

  • What are the child's interests?
  • What is the child's age?
  • What are his abilities?
  • How much time does this activity take?
  • How does the activity fit in with your own schedule?

Remember, after-school activities should not become a burden for your child; they are meant to enhance her knowledge and build her character. She should not be overly tired as a result of these activities. If an after-school activity starts interfering with her school work or takes up so much time that she doesn't have time for family, you may need to cut down the number of hours she spends on it.2 Keep in mind that each child's tolerance is different. One child may be able to handle only one activity, whereas another child may be able to participate in three. Your child's activities should match her needs, interests, and abilities while at the same time accommodating your schedule.

December 1, 2008

Big News!

White House Names America SCORES Among the Best Youth Development Programs in the Country!

America SCORES Denver has just been named a winner of the prestigious Coming Up Taller Award. Given by The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the award honors outstanding arts and humanities programs fostering the creative and intellectual development of America's youth. With only 15 winners out of more than 300 nominees, this distinction recognizes the America SCORES Denver program for its ability to inspire and change the lives of at-risk youth. All Coming Up Taller award-winners recently participated in a ceremony at the White House presided over by First Lady Laura Bush.

About Coming Up Taller

The Coming Up Taller Awards recognize and support 15 outstanding community arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America's young people, provide them learning opportunities and chances to contribute to their communities. These awards focus national attention on exemplary programs currently fostering the creative and intellectual development of America's children and youth through education and practical experience in the arts and the humanities. Accompanied by a cash award, the Coming Up Taller Awards not only reward these projects with recognition, but also contribute significant support to their continued work. More than 300 organizations are annually nominated for the Coming Up Taller Awards.

Coming Up Taller is an initiative with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities to showcase cultural excellence and enhance the availability of out-of-school arts and humanities programs to children.

About the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

The President of the United States recognizes that the nation's cultural life contributes to the vibrancy of society and the strength of democracy. Through its programs and activities PCAH helps to underscore the civic, social, educational, and historical value of arts and humanities in the life of our nation.

First Lady Laura Bush is the Honorary Chairman of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and her leadership guides the PCAH in carrying out its programs and initiatives. The President's Committee was established by Executive Order in 1982 and plays a key role within each administration in identifying issues and developing initiatives in the arts and the humanities of critical importance to the nation. Specifically, the President's Committee exercises leadership in international cultural cooperation; addresses the needs of youth; recognizes our nation’s creative genius; and preserves our nation’s cultural and historic treasures. In 2001, President Bush appointed Adair Wakefield Margo as Chairman of the PCAH.

Quote from PCAH

“The arts and humanities develop bright young people who will lead our nation in the future,” said Adair Margo, Chairman, President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. “Coming Up Taller recognizes the best of after-school and summer programs that engage youth in music, theatre, dance, photography, history and all kinds of enriching activities that help them realize their full potential as human beings.”