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February 2016
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Newark Community Rallies to Address Absenteeism
On Jan. 21, more than 80 Newark leaders, community organizers, parents, teachers and others joined ACNJ for the release of Showing Up Matters: Newark Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Years. After hearing the report results, which showed that nearly one-quarter of Newark’s youngest students are missing school at a rate that it impedes their ability to succeed academically, the group engaged in a spirited discussion of the issue.

Two panels – one comprised of Newark city and school leaders, the other of community members -- discussed causes and solutions with the audience. This productive public conversation spurred by ACNJ’s report is expected to lead to concrete changes that can improve school attendance for Newark students. The report was released at Rutgers University – Newark.

View the news release and report.

Check out event pics.

Share video clips.

Prek Our Way workshops planned
Starting this month and continuing through May, Pre-K Our Way will co-host the first of 50+ community meetings and workshops across New Jersey. Each local meeting will be co-hosted by a leading local organization and advocate for Pre-K Our Way — United Ways, YMCAs and other community organizations recognized for their local influence and support.

Learn more and be part of the effort to bring pre-k your way — NOW.

New Report Spotlights America’s Racial Wealth Gap
The Annie E. Casey Foundation recently released a policy brief that examines the persistently wide gap in savings and assets between white families and families of color. The brief also outlines practical federal policy changes that could help reverse this trend and enable low-income families to build savings and assets so that they can weather financial crises, move toward self-sufficiency and ultimately change the course of their children’s lives.

Read the report.

Learn Casey's recommendations for helping families save for the future

Supreme Court Ruling: Justice System Must Treat Youth Differently Than Adults
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that people sentenced as teenagers to life imprisonment must have a chance to argue for their release. The ruling came in Montgomery v. Louisiana and settled a question the court left open in 2012, when it banned mandatory life imprisonment for youth under the age of 18 in Miller v. Alabama. The new ruling affirms that Miller v. Alabama applies retroactively.
Read the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s blog post on the ruling.

Number of uninsured Hispanic children on the decline

The number of uninsured Hispanic children in New Jersey declined 27.5 percent following the expansion of certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, the National Council of La Raza and Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ).

Read the release and report.

NJ should strengthen training of early childhood teachers
As New Jersey revises its teacher certification regulations in 2016 to meet national standards, Advocates for Children of New Jersey recommends that the certifications teachers must earn to teach young students provide comprehensive instruction in both child development and subject knowledge, regardless of which certification a student earns. Currently, the K-6 certification focuses more on “content” knowledge, while the P-3 certification focuses more on child development.

ACNJ argues in this new policy brief that teachers of young students need both skills equally to be effective teachers.

Read the report.

Advocates for Children of New Jersey

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