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Proposals Sought for Imagination Library

Best Beginnings is accepting proposals for grants to launch new local Imagination Libraries. Best Beginnings is working to expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library throughout Alaska. Presently, 93 communities have the program under 29 local Imagination Libraries. More than 19,000 children receive a book in the mail each month.

Additional information, including an application checklist and contact form, is available at All applications must be received by 5 p.m., Monday, January 14, 2013.

Imagination Library mails a brand new, age appropriate book each month to every child from birth to age 5 who signs up for the program in their community, regardless of family income. There is no charge to participating families. Best Beginnings and local communities raise funds to pay for the books, mailing costs, and family engagement activities.

This proposal solicitation is supported financially by the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development.

Recognize the Spirit of Youth page 2

Being Young in Rural AK page 3

Sharing Youth Perspective page 4

Kids These Days • Winter 2012 •

More Early Learning page 6

Boy Scout Troop 40 Serves Wrangell

By Kim Powell, Admin. Asst. Wrangell Public Schools

When Boy Scout Troop 40 heard about the amount of trash at Roosevelt Harbor on Zarembo Island, they had one response, “Let’s go clean it up!” About four weeks later, in partnership with the United States Forest Service, seven of the scouts boarded Breakaway Adventures and headed for an island most of them had not been to before. The Scouts were excited to enter beautiful Roosevelt Harbor but were shocked upon walking up the dock and seeing the automobile graveyard and the amount of trash left behind by previous recreational users. The first order of business was to set up camp. Once the tents were pitched, they got to work picking up bags and bags of trash.

Thank you to Boy Scout Troop 40 for your efforts in taking care of the local environment!

Continue reading here. (

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Recognize Youth for Their Local Efforts

There’s still time to nominate a student for a Spirit of Youth Award for 2013. Nominating youth for a Spirit of Youth Award is a great way to acknowledge students and encourage their positive efforts in their communities.

Business and Govt.

Cultural Pursuits

Spriit of Youth is collecting nominations for awards through Dec. 31, 2012. Nominate a youth for an award today at:

Save the Date April 6, 2013 Anchorage Marriott Science and Environment

Spirit of Youth Awards Dinner

Overcoming Challenges Lifesaver and Prevention

Fine Arts Technology and Media Kids These Days • Winter 2012 •

Service to Peers

Faith-based Service

Service to Young Children

Service to Community

December 31 is the deadline to nominate a deserving young teen you may know between the ages of 12-18. Pair up with a teacher, counselor, or youth minister to nominate an outstanding young person (or group) today!

Special Reporting Series: Being Young in Rural Alaska Series co-producers Jessica Cochran and Sarah Gonzales, from Kids These Days radio, are bringing the APRN audience of member stations stories about what it’s like to be young and living in rural Alaska. From education to healthcare, family life to hopes for the future - we’re learning about young people in Alaska’s small towns birth to college-age - and exploring their everyday triumphs and challenges. Bringing stories from Kake in Southeast, Barrow in the far North, as well as St. Mary’s, Bethel, Dillingham and more locations throughout the state still to be announced. They are working in cooperation with local reporters from all over Alaska to produce stories that will paint a picture of what it’s like to be young and living in Alaska’s smaller communities. Airing Mondays on Alaska News Nightly, nine installments of the special series have already aired. Topics covered thus far include: • Learning Indigenous Language • The Need for Alaska Native Teachers • It’s Takes a Village to Prevent Youth Suicide • Learning in two languages - Yup’ik and English • Whales & Word Problems - Combining Culture & Academics KTD• 3

Follow the series as it continues to unfold in communities throughout our state at:

Nominate Your School to be an Alaskan Green Ribbon School The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honors schools that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs; improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and providing effective environmental and sustainability education that incorporates science, technology, math, engineering, civic skills and green career pathways. Alaskan applications must be submitted online via SurveyMonkey at

The SurveyMonkey application guide outlines the application and selection process, and provides copies of the application questions. All applications are due January 4, 2013.

Kids These Days • Winter 2012 •

The importance of sharing the youth perspective By AASB Staff

For the past 22 years, the Youth Leadership Institute has been intentionally built in to each AASB annual conference. YLI is an opportunity for youth to develop, practice, and hone leadership skills -- teambuilding, communication, social interaction, while being exposed to a variety of cultural views and interacting with students and school board members from across the state. YLI and the conference experience is a way to show youth that their voice and what they think matters. AASB staff, guest trainers and speakers were there to put tools in their hands, but ultimately it’s up to the students to take it forward and apply these skills back in their home communities. Through the youth-adult roundtable session on Saturday we also wanted to share these messages with and highlight the youth perspective to school board members. Youth voice should be at the table in discussions and decisions that effect students. The roundtables offered YLI students and board members a chance to discuss issues around school and community. Injecting youth voice into the discussions was a great addition; students shared their perspectives and school board members were receptive.

Overall, take-home messages for students were:

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• You have choices in your education and career paths; • You can have a say in your school and community; • Anyone can be a leader if they have the desire and take the initiative.

Student participation was thoughtful and impressive throughout the conference. We look forward to next year’s YLI and will keep our eyes and ears open for positive stories from Alaska’s emerging young leaders!

YLI students share thoughts and opinions on issues facing their schools and communities with school board members at AASB’s annual conference.

Three Core Concepts in Early Development From the Harvard Center on the Developing Child

Healthy development in the early years provides the building blocks for educational achievement, economic productivity, responsible citizenship, lifelong health, strong communities, and successful parenting of the next generation. This three-part video series from the Center and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child depicts how advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, and genomics now give us a much better understanding of how early experiences are built into our bodies and brains, for better or for worse. Read more and view the videos here. Kids These Days • Winter 2012 •

Alaska’s National Title I Distinguished Schools Named Haines Elementary School in the Haines Borough School District and Delta Elementary School in Delta/Greely School District have been named National Title I Distinguished Schools by the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, Commissioner Mike Hanley announced today. Delta Elementary was recognized for exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years. Haines Elementary was recognized for significantly closing the achievement gap between student groups. Congratulations on receiving this honor!

“Delta Elementary is a very successful school due to the dedication of the staff and the commitment to education shown in our wonderful community,’ said Principal Michelle Beito.

“Through community involvement, district leadership, passionate teachers, and student desire, our children are achieving and maintaining standards of excellence. We are very proud of our community, our students, our families, and our school,” said Haines Elementary Principal Cheryl Stickler.

Madison Manning, a senior at Meshik School in Port Heiden in the Lake & Peninsula School District, and Thomas Krasnican, a junior at Service High School in the Anchorage School District, are Alaska’s delegates to the United States Senate Youth Program for the 2012-2013 school year, Alaska Education Commissioner Mike Hanley announced November 30. The first alternate is Emelia Van Wyhe, a senior at Kenny Lake School in Copper Center in the Copper River School District; the second alternate is Sophie Clark, a senior at Klawock High School in the Klawock City School District.

Produced by: The Association of Alaska School Boards’ Alaska Initiative for Community Engagement 1111 West 9th Street, Juneau, AK 99801 (907) 463-1660 Fax: (907) 586-2995 E-mail: Web:

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Alaska Students Named to U.S. Senate Youth Program

Two student leaders from each state will spend a week in Washington experiencing their national government in action. In addition, each delegate will also be awarded a $5,000 College Scholarship for undergraduate studies. Congratulations to Alaska’s delegates and alternates!

The content of this newsletter was developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, this content does not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal government.

Kids These Days • Winter 2012 •

Helping Alaska’s Youngest Children along the Path to Reading When it comes to fostering early literacy skills in infants and toddlers, it’s not about flash cards or even reciting the ABC’s. That may come later, in school. Right now it’s about playing with blocks and puzzles to first learn shapes, which will later allow them to decipher alphabets. It’s singing songs to develop their ability to listen and to sound out words. It’s talking to very young kids to expand their vocabulary so they have a bank of words to draw upon when they are trying to recognize words on a page. Letter awareness, phonological awareness, and vocabulary are foundational skills for reading, and caregivers can help develop them starting at birth. Where might caregivers go for assistance? The Ready to Read Resource Center!

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The Ready to Read Resource Center is an Anchorage Public Library project that provides fun and colorful reading kits designed for your use with children 3 and under, throughout all of Alaska. The kits encourage playing, singing, talking, reading, and writing with young children. You can borrow them at any Anchorage Public Library location; if you are outside of Anchorage, we will mail them. Typical loan period is several weeks or months. Best of all, it’s free. Even postage is covered! Contact: (907) 343-2970,, or

Save the date: Neuroscientist to reveal mysteries Feb. 1, 2013 in Anchorage of the baby brain Neuroscientist and best-selling author Dr. Lise Eliot will give a free public talk, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 at Wilda Marston Theatre, Z.J. Loussac Public Library in Anchorage. Dr. Eliot’s public talk will focus on themes from her latest book, Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow into Troublesome Gaps and What We Can Do About It. Dr. Eliot is associate professor of Neuroscience at Chicago Medical School. A Chicago native, she received an A.B. degree from Harvard University, a Ph.D. from Columbia University, and did post-doctoral research at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. In addition to teaching and writing, Dr. Eliot lectures widely on children’s brain and mental development.

Kids These Days • Winter 2012 •

Kids These Days - Winter 2012  
Kids These Days - Winter 2012  

Kids These Days focuses on news and information related to children, teens, parents, and families. KTD brings a range of child, youth, and f...