In This Issue
In the Spotlight...
The fourth quarter of the school year is generally a time of preparation for
schools and districts, as they finalize next year’s budget, student and
teacher schedules, and professional development for the upcoming school
During this time of preparation, it is important that schools and districts
discuss ways that they can support parents and the community to help
students to achieve success.
To help in this work, the US Department of Education is proud to release a
framework for schools and the broader communities they serve to build parent
and community engagement
to read more.
April is Autism Awareness Month
and it is important that we recognize our
special students and their families.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that 1 in 68
(up from 1 in 88 in 2012) children have autism.
The rates vary, from 1 in 45
in New Jersey to 1 in 175 in Alabama. The rest of the statistics paint a
concerning picture as well. Below are links to additional information:
The federal government has created an advisory committee, which is part of
the Department of Health and Human Services. The Interagency Autism
website offers a lot of information and resources:
There has been discussion in the past year about closing or
consolidating services, including Sagamore Children’s Psychiatric
in Dix Hills on Long Island. This site in particular has provided a
safe haven for our students who experience severe mental disorders and their
The NYS Legislature voted to fund this facility for next year with
monitoring. Governor Cuomo has stated that it will remain open for the
. It is important for children with mental health issues
to have their significant needs met.
A recent report has found that access to a mental health provider in this
country varies based on where you live. Some areas have one mental health
provider for over 55,000 residents
. The nationwide average is one provider
for every 1,620 people.
for more info
about your county.
According to the National Institutes of Health News, researchers have found
effective ways to help people quit smoking
– or prevent them from starting
in the first place.
To learn more, click here
Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez recently announced that the NYS Office
of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the federal Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) are organizing
hall meetings to support Alcohol Awareness Month
for complete listing.
According to a
survey by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD
), “teens are much less
likely to drink if their parents tell them underage drinking is completely
The survey was conducted of 663 high school students and found only 8% of
teens whose parents thought underage drinking was unacceptable were drinkers
themselves; 42% of teens who said their parents believed underage drinking
was somewhat unacceptable, or completely acceptable, were drinkers.
Teens whose parents told them underage drinking is completely unacceptable
are 80 percent less likely to drink
, compared with those whose parents give
their teens’ other messages about drinking, the survey found.”
This year, MADD will host free 30-minute online discussions throughout
on April 21, for parents and caregivers to learn the best way to talk with
, so that they really listen.
Find out more and register now by clicking
See more about Powertalk 21 by clicking here
Start the conversation on April 21.
You can also download the latest version
of the parent handbook on talking with teens about alcohol by clicking
Written by Joni Taubman, Immediate Past Co-President, Williamsville East
Not all change must be made through legislation, lobby groups or on-line
petitions. Sometimes, change can come from one person speaking up
letter, or one comment to the right person at a corporation can impact a
community. My experience with a major grocery chain store in early 2013 is
the perfect example of this.
It’s Christmas time, 2012, and all the stores are decked out with their
holiday displays. Of course, there is a darkness hovering over the country
this holiday, following the murder of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut.
Just two days after the shooting, I was shopping in a nearby grocery store
and noticed a beer display which featured a silhouette of James Bond,
brandishing his handgun
in a sexy pose. Maybe we’ve become so desensitized
by our gun culture that this is OK, but given recent events, seeing it just
hit me like a brick. While adults may not even notice or make a connection,
I thought that perhaps, given all the news coverage of Newtown, children
might not distinguish between what is real and what is not.
I brought this to the attention of the store manager, asking if he thought,
under the circumstances, this was an appropriate display. I was pleasantly
surprised when the manager saw my point, addressed my concern, and
immediately removed the silhouette
. In fact, he was thankful that I had
brought it to his attention.
I was becoming more aware of guns everywhere.
At another store in the same
chain, in the same community, I was walking down the aisle which had
greeting cards on one side, magazines on the other.
I noticed one magazine
cover with the barrel of an assault rifle pointing at me, on a rack at
ground level. Then I started counting the magazines which had assault rifles
on the cover
. Not hunting rifles, sport rifles or even pistols –
assault rifles. One, two, three.... twenty three!
All at floor level, where a three
year old, holding his mother's hand as she shops for a greeting card, could
Again, I approached a store manager, but was told that nothing
could be done
to move or remove these, as magazines were managed by an
Read all of Joni's story by clicking