Posted on January 18, 2012 by justlists
(ref: All Children Matter study, http://children-matter.org )
Here are some of the findings about LGBT families that come from a research study authored by the Movement Advancement Project, Family Equality Council, Center for American Progress, COLAGE, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and the National Association of Social Workers in October, 2011.
- Roughly 2 million children are being raised in Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) families.
- Children raised by same-gender couples are twice as likely to live in poverty.
- Same-gender parents raising children are more racially and ethnically diverse than mixed gender couples. 59% of same-gender parents are white versus 73% for mixed-gender parents.
- Same-gender couples in the South are more likely to raise children than same-gender couples elsewhere in the county. (Interestingly, the same states with the most restrictive laws against LGBT people also seem to have the most number of same-gender couples raising kids.)
- Children raised by same-gender parents are just as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as children raised by mixed-gender parents. 30 years of research in this area come from authorities including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Child Welfare League of America.
- 14,000 foster children are being raised by Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual foster parents. (Transgender was not tracked in this number)
- A child living with two parents of the same gender can be assured that his/her relationship with both of his/her parents will be recognized by the law in fewer than half of the United States. A LGBT parent not legally recognized as a parent can lose (or never have) custody or visitation rights.
- LGBT families are largely excluded from tax credits and deductions designed to help ease the financial costs of raising children. In one case study, a same-gender family of five (two parents and three kids) paid $1,490 more in federal taxes than a mixed-gender family of five.
- Even for legally married same-gender parents, a surviving parent is not eligible for Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance which is administered by the Social Security Administration. This is interesting in that the United States government ordinarily relies on a state’s determination of parental and marital status in providing benefits.
- On a positive note, LGBT families (with both parents being U.S. citizens) have equal access to federal food assistance programs and public housing assistance due to a more inclusive definition of “family” for these programs.
Please consider reading and signing The Defense of All Families Pledge.
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Posted on August 28, 2008 by justlists
(ref: SLOOPY: Service-Learning Opportunity-Options Program for Youth CD-ROM Resource Kit by Youth Community Service)
Service-learning combines service to the community (civic engagement) with student learning in a way that improves both the student and the community. Focus is placed equally on the learning experience, the skills developed, and the service performed. Here’s a seven-point evaluation system to distinguish high quality service-learning programs.
1. Integrated Learning
- The service-learning project has clearly articulated knowledge, skill or value goals that arise from ultimate learning goals including social skills, citizenship, personal growth, cognitive development and career exploration.
- The service informs the learning content, and the learning content informs the service.
- The service-learning project is a collaboration among as many of these partners as is feasible: students, parents, community-based organization staff, school administrators, teachers, and recipients of service.
- All partners benefit from the project and contribute to its planning.
- Reflection establishes connections between students’ service experiences and the academic curriculum.
- Reflection occurs before, during, and after the service-learning project.
4. High Quality Service
- The service is a response to an actual community need that is recognized by the community.
- The service is age-appropriate and well-organized.
- The service is designed to achieve significant benefits for students and community.
5. Student Voice – Students participate actively in …
- choosing and planning the service project;
- planning and implementing the reflection sessions, evaluation, and celebration;
- taking on roles and tasks that are appropriate to their age.
- All the partners, especially students, are involved in evaluating the service learning project.
- The evaluation seeks to measure progress toward the learning and service goals of the project.
7. Civic Responsibility
- The service-learning project promotes students’ responsibility to care for others and to contribute to the community.
- By participating in the service-learning project, students understand how they can impact their community.
Learn about other Service Learning resources
Youth Community Service
is a Palo Alto, California based 501c3 non-profit. By developing service and leadership opportunities for young people and service learning support for teachers, YCS promotes the ethic of service, fosters youth leadership, builds community, and enhances education in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. Check out the SLOOPY CD-ROM
at Reach and Teach.
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Posted on July 17, 2008 by justlists
(reference: The Kid’s Guide to Social Action by Barbara A Lewis)
“A universal feeling, whether well or ill founded, cannot safely be disregarded.” — Abraham Lincoln
“No one listens to me!” you might complain. But you can do something about it. You can collect other voices and create a louder noise — one that’s harder for people to ignore. Here are some ways to create an effective petition campaign.
*IMPORTANT NOTE* If you plan to take your petition door-to-door, never go alone. Always get a parent, teacher, or other adult to go with you!
- Most of the time you’ll use an 8-1/2″ by 11″ sheet of paper to describe the problem and collect your signatures. But sometimes your medium might also be part of the message. If the problem is for example, reducing waste in restrooms, you might collect signatures on a roll of toilet paper.
- Give your petition a title.
- Identify your group.
- Identify the official or agency that will receive your petition.
- Write a statement describing the problem you want to resolve or the plan you are proposing. This statement should be at the top of every petition page so that people can’t say they didn’t understand what they were signing.
- Provide blank lines for people to write…
class, grade, or group
school or hometown
address and phone number
- Number the signature lines for easy totaling.
- Remember to smile!
- Keep calm and stay polite with people who disagree with you. Never speak rudely
- Photocopy your signatures and keep the copy in a safe place. You may need the proof later!
- Present your petition to someone with the power to act on your idea.
Learn more ideas by reading The Kid’s Guide to Social Action by Barbara A Lewis
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Posted on June 11, 2008 by justlists
(ref: The Doggy Dung Disaster by Garth Sundem)
- Haruko Maruno, Japan (12 yrs old)
Invented a way to use an empty milk carton as a more environmentally-friendly doggy “poop scoop”.
- Omar Castillo Gallegos, Mexico (8 yrs old)
Walked 800 miles to a rainforest in order to save it.
- Henry Cilly, USA (3rd grader)
Got a construction company to care about turtles.
- Harshit Agrawal, India (10 yrs old)
Made cloth bags out of old clothes and got people to use them instead of using plastic bags.
- Amy Beal, Australia (12 yrs old)
Saved a dying river and its wildlife by educating and organizing other kids about water conservation.
- Aika Tsubota, Japan (10 yrs old)
Created a comic book about the Earth and its environment that is now used as a text book in science classes.
- Santosh Yadov, India (16 yrs old)
Started training herself and became the first Indian woman to climb Mt. Everest.
- Farliz Calle, Columbia (15 yrs old)
Started the Children’s Peace Movement and despite death threats, mobilized 2.7 million young people to vote for “survival, peace, family, and freedom from abuse”.
- Ivan Sekulovic & Petrit Selimi, Serbia (15 yrs old)
A Serbian and an Albanian boy formed a group of 600 kids to counter hatred.
- Melika Sanders, USA (15 yrs old)
In 1996, Melika organized a peaceful sit-in to successfully stop Selma, Alabama schools from using color as a basis for separating students into remedial and advanced level classes. She then organized a campaign to get a corrupt mayor voted out of office.
- Jean-Dominic Leversque-Rene, Canada (10 yrs old)
After getting cancer from a pesticide used to keep golf course lawns green, he convinced local government to get golf courses to significantly reduce their use of the pesticide. He extended his protest throughout Canada and the United States. Jean-Dominic won both his cause and his own fight over cancer.
- Iqbal Masih, Pakistan (12 yrs old)
From the age of 4, Iqbal worked as slave labor in a carpet factory. After escaping at the age of 10, Iqbal told his story to help the world learn about the world’s 250 million child workers. He was shot and killed at the age of 12 in Pakistan.
Learn more about The Doggy Dung Disaster and the stories of these and other kids who have made a heroic difference in the world.
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