Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Parent Academy

Friday, December 11, 2009


Members of the Prince George's County Board of Education re-elected Verjeana M. Jacobs, Esq., and Dr. Ron L. Watson as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, during a special meeting on December 7. They will serve in their positions of leadership until December 6,2010, before the next school board election. “This past year has been a challenging one. We have been faced with budget cuts,reductions in force, and an overall reevaluation of programs and options for our students at a time when our students need options the most,” said Ms. Jacobs. “These tough decisions must be faced head on while keeping one thing in mind – to advance the achievement of our diverse student body through community engagement, sound policy governance and accountability, and fiscal responsibility.”

Ms. Jacobs, a Bladensburg High School graduate, and Dr. Watson, a Central High school graduate, both look forward to continuing to serve students and families in rince George's County for a third term. Under the leadership of the current Board of Education, the past year has seen many noteworthy accomplishments in the school system, including continued steady gains on the Maryland School Assessments, a systemic review of school boundaries, and the implementation of initiatives to reduce truancy and out of school suspensions. “This Board of Education has done many great things together as a unified team,” said Dr. Watson. “It’s all about increasing the collaboration and understanding of the broader goals of this school district, and working together with the community to improve education and ensure that all students succeed.”

The Board holds annual elections on the first Monday in December to elect a Chair and Vice Chair among its members. Regular Board meetings are held throughout the school year, and are open to the public, except for meetings in executive session. Meetings are held in the Board Room at the Sasscer Administration Building in Upper Marlboro, unless scheduled otherwise. For more information on the Prince George’s County Board of Education and to see a complete calendar of Board meetings and events, visit

Friday, December 4, 2009

Clips From First Family Academy


The Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) Talented and Gifted Office iscurrently accepting applications for Non-Public Testing for Talented and Gifted (TAG)program eligibility. The testing is for students currently in grades 1-7 who are enteringPGCPS from a non-public school setting.

To request a Non-Public TAG Testing Application, please call the TAG Office at301-808-3790, or email Theresa Jackson, TAG Supervisor, at or Scott Brenner, TAG Program Specialist, at

The applications and supporting documentation are due in the TAG Office no later than January 15, 2010.Non-public testing for the TAG program is scheduled for Saturday, February 6, 2010,at 8:30 a.m. at Kenmoor Middle School, located at 2500 Kenmoor Drive in Landover.

The snow date for testing is February 14, 2010. Only students who have completed anapplication will be tested – no walk-in's. For more information, please call the TAG Office at 301-808-3790.

Milwaukee Public Schools plans to spend 4 million on parental engagement

Written by
By Erin Richards of the Journal Sentinel

Lennise Crampton, a 40-year-old Milwaukee mother of eight, sometimes wonders how her children would have performed in school if she'd known how to be a better parent from the start.

A single mother until she married this year, Crampton usually managed decent meals and clothing and getting her kids to class. It was up to the school, she thought, to handle the education part.

Then in December of 2005, a representative from Lloyd Street School marched up to Crampton's door and asked her to participate in a program that improves relationships between teachers, schools and families.

Crampton started coming to weekly meetings at Lloyd, where her two youngest attended. She learned about training she could get as a low-income parent. She learned how to engage in her children's academics at home and how to advocate for their needs at school.

"These little ones get the best of the best now," she said. "If it applies to my children's academics, I'm on it." Crampton's experience underlines the critical connection between schools and families, teachers and parents. Though her children are not always model students, Crampton knows they tend to do better in school when she's engaged, and that they drift academically and socially when she's less diligent.

To read the rest of the story, click on the link below:
Erin Richards


WHO: Dr. Anisha Campbell, Project Lead, Bowie State University
Dr. David May, Project Manager, University System of Maryland
Dr. Christine Barrow, Professor, Prince George's Community
College (PGCC)
Dr. Bruce Katz, Officer, Office of Higher Education Partnerships,
Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS)
College Presence students at Largo High School
WHAT: College Presence Dual Enrollment Program Media Tour
WHEN: December 8, 2009 • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Largo High School • Media Center, 505 Largo Road, Upper Marlboro


Through a partnership effort with local colleges and universities, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) students at four high schools are participating in a special pilot program that allows them to simultaneously earn high school and college credits in science.

The Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) College Science Scholars Program, college Presence, is one component of a five-year, $12.4 million grant,awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) known as the Minority Student Pipeline Math and Science Partnership (MSP2).

The College Presence Dual Enrollment Program Media Tour will begin with a brief information session in the school's media center, followed by a classroom tour and opportunity to interview students in the program.

Friday, November 20, 2009



Landover, MD –
To reach thousands of Prince George’s County residents in need during the holiday season the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation will partner with the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services who will determine eligibility for participation in the seventh annual Redskins-Harris Teeter Harvest Feast, a Thanksgiving food distribution program. Thousands of Prince George’s County residents, deemed eligible by the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services, will receive a whole turkey and fresh and packaged food on Tuesday, November 24th at FedExField. For more information on eligibility requirements residents should contact Prince George’s County Department of Social Services at 301.909.7153.
In order to qualify, proof of residency must be provided and residents must meet established income guidelines.

Over 300 corporate volunteers from FedEx, Harris Teeter, Ryan Homes, and Wachovia will join the Redskins to provide families with a whole turkey from Harris Teeter and packaged and fresh food from Operation Blessing. All children in attendance will receive a special children’s gift bag which includes a Redskins Read activity book, toys, and treats. Since 2003 the Redskins have gifted over 600,000 pounds of packaged and fresh food and 204,000 pounds of turkey to families in need in our area.

*The event is not open to the general public.


The Washington Redskins, Harris Teeter, Ryan Homes, Operation Blessing, and Prince George’s County Department of Social Services Partner to Distribute Food to Prince George’s County Residents in Need

Landover, MD - On Tuesday, November 24th at 1:00 p.m. Redskins Owners Daniel M. Snyder and Dwight Schar and Redskins players including Ladell Betts, London Fletcher and DeAngelo Hall and their families will join the Hogettes and over 300 corporate volunteers from FedEx, Harris Teeter, Ryan Homes, and Wachovia to distribute Thanksgiving food baskets at FedExField to Prince George’s County residents in need. This is the seventh year the Redskins have hosted this food distribution event. The Harris Teeter- Redskins “Harvest Feast” presented by Ryan Homes will be held rain or shine on the main level concourse between the Sprint Gate and Comcast Gate at FedExField.

The event is not open to the general public. Prince George’s County Department of Social Services will determine eligibility for participation in the Harris Teeter- Redskins Harvest Feast food distribution program. In order to qualify, proof of residency must be provided and residents must meet established income guidelines. For more information on eligibility requirements residents should contact Prince George’s County Department of Social Services at 301-909-7153.

Media is encouraged to attend the Thanksgiving food basket assembly starting at 10:30 a.m. and the distribution which will begin at 1:00 p.m.

The Redskins will provide families with a whole turkey; in total over 36,000 pounds of turkey, provided by Harris Teeter, will be distributed. In addition, over 108,600 pounds of packaged and fresh food will be provided by Operation Blessing to complete the Thanksgiving food baskets. All children in attendance will receive a special children’s gift bag which includes a Redskins Read activity book, toys and treats.

Volunteers from the Health Care for All! Coalition, Maryland’s free and low-cost health care program, will be on-site to distribute information and answer questions from Marylanders about the new eligibility guidelines and various public health care coverage options.

FedEx Special Delivery will feature a Redskins player delivering turkeys and Thanksgiving food baskets to the following Prince George’s County shelters: Prince George's County Transitional Housing Department in Landover, Family Crisis Center in Lanham and
Shepherds Cove in Capitol Heights.

Since 2003 when the Redskins started the program, over 600,000 pounds of packaged and fresh food and 204,000 pounds of turkey have been gifted to families in need in our area.

About the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation
The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, the non-profit philanthropic arm of the team, combines the influence and popularity of the Washington Redskins with the resources and assets of Washington area corporations. Founded by owner Daniel M. Snyder, the Charitable Foundation is guided by its Leadership Council that consists of CEOs who help shape and define the philanthropic efforts of the Redskins to achieve a measurable impact on youth development in the areas of education, community outreach and health and wellness. Visit and click on Community for more information.

About Harris Teeter
Harris Teeter, Inc. with headquarters in Matthews, NC, is a subsidiary of Ruddick Corporation (NYSE:RDK). Harris Teeter is the 36th largest supermarket in the United States with 2008 sales of $3.99 billion. The grocery store chain employs over 21,000 associates and has 194 stores in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Maryland, Delaware, Florida, and the District of Columbia.

About Ryan Homes
Ryan Homes is the Washington Metro Area’s largest homebuilder, operating under the corporate umbrella of NVR along with NVHomes, NVR Mortgage, and NVR Building Products. As one of the top ten home builders and financial service companies in the United States, Ryan Homes was started as a family business in Pittsburgh and has built a successful operation that now spans the Eastern half of the United States. Ryan Homes now operates in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. Ryan Homes has been building quality single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums to meet every lifestyle for over 60 years. Ryan Homes is the largest home builder in Prince Georges County, Md.

About Operation Blessing
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of "America's 200 Largest Charities" as well as one of "America’s Most Efficient Charities," awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy recently ranked OBI as the 58th largest non-governmental organization and 9th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 215 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.1 billion to date.

OBI's Hunger Strike Force (HSF) has delivered and given away more than 603 million pounds of food since 1992. Its fleet of trailer trucks transports a weekly average of 2 million pounds of food and relief supplies to a network of 120 community-based partners in the USA. The food is then distributed to roughly 4,400 local food pantries and hunger relief agencies nationwide.

National Anti-Bullying Week

As part of National Anti-Bullying Week, PGCPS encourages you to check out strategies to combat bullying.
Stop Bullying Now! Website
Bullying, Harrassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form Investigation Form

Thanksgiving Dinner for needy Children & Families

The Step Ahead Program will once again make a difference in our community this holiday season by hosting our 7th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner to Celebrate Children attending our community schools and with the special emphasis this year on "Keeping Hope Alive" in our Families".

I am now writing to you as Administrators, Principals and Coordinators to please collect all names of families and children who you feel can and would appreciate a hot and prepared Thanksgiving Dinner. Let us know the number of students and families who plan to attend the upcoming Annual Thanksgiving Dinner "Celebrating" Children on Saturday, November 21st, 2009 at 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. in order that we may be prepared to serve them.

Please know that all are welcome, including Principals and Teachers; this is a joint initiative to serve our community; please gather the name list for children whom you feel their family would benefit on this special day and turn it in to the Office of the Principal or the coordinator for the school.

Please contact Mr. Brady at (301)674-9702 (cell) at your earliest convenience so that we will have an idea of how many people we will serve. Each school is allowed to invite up to 40 families who may be in need this year. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. Let us continue to work together in making our "Children" our Top Priority. Again, I appreciate all that our educators are doing to save our young people. "Keep Hope Alive". . . . .You are also welcome to contact Mrs. Kim Smith, Ass't Director of the Step Ahead Program & Missions Coordinator at (571)228-9353.This is the season to give Thanks.Thank you in advance for your prompt consideration of this very important matter. Hoping to see your students at the event.


Some two million U.S. military children have had one or both parents deployed since 2001. Understanding the challenges facing military families -- and the resources available to assist military children -- is essential to meeting their unique educational needs. The American Association of School Administrators has released a toolkit on Supporting the Military Child to help school leaders meet the needs of children whose parents are deployed or in transition. This free, online resource is available on the AASA website at

"Children of military families often face multiple stressors, including frequent moves and extended periods of separation from loved ones,” said AASA President Mark Bielang, superintendent in Paw Paw, Mich. “School leaders play an important part in helping these students maintain a sense of stability and stay on track to achieve their educational goals.”

Military Children Scholarship applications are now available


2010 Scholarships for Military Children opened on Nov. 3. Scholarship applications are now available in commissaries worldwide and online through a link at and directly at Only dependent, unmarried children, younger than age 21 (age 23 if enrolled as a full- time student at a college or university) of active duty personnel, reserve, Guard and retired military members, survivors of service members who died while on active duty, or survivors of individuals who died while receiving retired pay from the military may apply for a scholarship. Eligibility is determined using DEERS, the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database. Applicants should ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are enrolled in the DEERS database and have a current ID card.

The applicant must be planning to attend, or already be attending, an accredited college or university full time in the fall of 2010, or be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program. Applicants should prepare to submit an essay on the topic "You can travel back in time; however, you cannot change events. What point in history would you visit and why?" Applications must be turned in to a commissary by close of business Feb. 17, 2010. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every store location with qualified applicants. For more information, contact the Dahlgren Comissary at (540) 653-7317/7318.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Herbert Wells Ice Rink - Free events

On October 31, the Herbert Wells Ice Rink is opening its doors to the ghouls and gals for their annual ‘Costumes on Ice’ Halloween program. As a safe alternative to trick-or-treating, the ice rink offers free ice skating to all in costume, free candy, a haunted maze, food, and plenty of fun for all ages. This year, there will be two sessions: the first from 7-9pm, designed for participants of all ages, the second from 10pm-12am specifically for the older crowd, ages 13 and up. Come out and see for your self, if you dare!

Herbert Wells Ice Rink is hosting their annual open house this year on November 7, 2009 from 12pm-4pm. This event, which features free public ice skating between 2:30-4:30pm, this event is designed to provide fun for the whole family. Come and see what we are all about!

Joe Hampton
Facility Manager
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Ellen Linson Swimming Pool / Herbert Wells Ice Rink
5211 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park, MD 20740
(301) 277-3717 /
(301) 277-3186 (fax)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

FREE MD PIRC Parenting Matters Conference

Dear Families and Community Members,

There will be a FREE MD PIRC Parenting Matters Conference: Connecting Crayons, Computers, College, and Careers on Saturday, November 7, 2009 from 8:15AM-3:30PM at University of Maryland, Baltimore County Campus. Families can receive information on:

  • School Readiness
  • Gang awareness
  • College Planning and Readiness: How to get financial aid, what you need to know to get in, etc.
  • Health and Healthy Living
  • Social cliques and how to have healthy friendships
  • Much more!
Families can go to to register. FREE light breakfast, childcare (ages 2-5), Youth Track (kids ages 6-14), interpretation, door prizes, and lunch will be provided. See attached registration flyer for more info.

Estimadas familias y Miembros Comunitarios, Habrá una Conferencia Gratuita para Familias del MD PIRC: Apoyar a los Hijos Cuenta Mucho: La Conexión entere las Crayolas, las Computadoras, la Universidad y Carreras Profesionales u Oficios el sábado, 7 de noviembre del 2009 de 8:15AM-3:30PM en la Universidad de Maryland, Campo de Baltimore. Su familia podrá recibir información sobre:
  • Preparación para la escuela
  • Como evitar a las pandillas
  • Planificar para la Universidad: Como conseguir asistencia financiera, que necesita saber para entra, etc.
  • Como vivir una vida saludable
  • Amistades y como tener buenas amistades
  • Y mucho más!
Pueden ir a nuestro sitio web al www.mdpirc/conference para registrarse. Habrá un desayuno ligero, cuidado de niños (2-5) y actividades de enriquecimiento para estudiantes edades 6-14, interpretación en español, premios, y almuerzo--TODO GRATIS! Para obtener más información vea el volante incluido en este mensaje.

Nora Cartland
ELL Outreach Coordinator
Maryland Parental Information and Resource Center (MD PIRC)
5272 River Road, Suite 340
Bethesda, MD 20816
Tel: 301-657-7742 ext. 121
Fax: 301-657-8782

Calling all School Principals

The Principal Challenge is Back!

Calling all School Principals . . . tell us what YOU would do to earn additional A+ Bonus Bucks for your school! The five most original and entertaining Principals' Challenges will be selected. If your school is chosen and you fulfill your Principal Challenge, the school will receive the greater of $1,000 or DOUBLE their A+ Bonus Bucks points earned during the month of November! The contest will begin on 11/01/09. Principals - apply by mail on school letterhead or by emailing us at .

Please include your name, school name, address, and telephone number explaining the challenge youwould be willing to take. Entry must be received via email or postmarked by November 30, 2009. Mail-in entries may be sent to: A+ Principal Challenge111 Presidential Blvd Bala Cynwyd PA 19004. The selected Principals will be notified by phone on or about December 22, 2009. All challenges must be completed no later than January 15, 2010 and witnessed by a store representative. Double points will be calculated from 11/1/09-11/30/09 and posted with the final point earnings by March 25th on our website : . So tell us . . . are you up to the challenge?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Free Prescription Meds Deadline is Dec. 31, 2009

According to Adrienne Samuels Gibbs the last day on which Americans who have lost their jobs and health insurance can aply for free prescription meds manufactured by Pfizer, Inc. Those eligible to participate in the program can qualify for free drugs for up to a year. Call 866.706.2400 for info.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Please Take The Second Annual Men Make A Difference Day Survey

Fathers or other significant male role models if you participated in the second annual Men Make A Difference Day on Monday, October 12, 2009 at your child's school please take our survey and share your experiences.

Second Annual Men Make A Difference Day Survey

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Men Make A Difference Day Photos From Berwyn Heights and Greenbelt Elementary Schools

Men Make A Difference Day was a huge success at Berwyn Heights and Greenbelt Elementary Schools with over 100 fathers and significant male role models participating in a variety of events and activities designed to show how they impact the lives of children in Prince George's County Public Schools.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2009 Junior Achivement Essay Competition

2009 Junior Achivement Essay Competition

How Can Greater Washington Companies Responsibly and Effectively Deal with the Economic Challenges Facing the United States?

Our economy is at a critical juncture, and we want to hear your ideas on how to help it recover!

Junior Achievement of the National Capital Area and David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, invite students to submit a 1,000- to 1,500-word essay on the topic “How can Greater Washington companies responsibly and effectively deal with the economic challenges facing the United States?”


The winni ng student will receive a $2 0,000 scholar ship at the 200 9 Washington Business Hall of Fame on Dec ember 1, 2009 and will have their essay published in the January 2010 is sue of Wash ingtonian . In addition, nine runn er- up winners will each receive a $1 0,000 scholarship at the 2009 Washington Business Hall of Fame. In each of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, th e school with the greatest nu mber of eligible applications will receive $6,000.

How to Apply & Submission Deadline
Visit t o apply online. The compe tition begins on August 17, 2009 and all entries must be received by October 1, 2009. Winners will be announced on
Dec ember 1, 2009.

Eligibility Requirements

The competition is open to any 9th–12th grade student enrolled in an accredited high school in the 2009–2010 a cademic year in the Greater W ashington Region. All essays will be reviewed by the SafeAssign by Blackboard plagiarism prevention service. For a listing of all eligibility requirements, visit

About Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest non-profifit organization dedicated to educating students in grades K-12 about financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship through experiential, hands-on programs. All programs are provided at no cost to students or educators through the generous support of donors. Visit to request a program for your classroom or to volunteer in a local school.

To learn more and apply online, visit

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Here are a few helpful links

Here are a few helpful links to information from............

How To...

 Parent's Rights and Responsibilities

 How to Address Questions and Concerns

 Read a PGCPS Report Card

 Obtain an Official Transcript and GPA Certification

 Request a Student Transfer

 Access Student Records

 Code of Student Conduct

 Transportation Frequently Asked Questions

 SchoolMAX Student Information System

 Enrichment and Specialty Programs

 Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Boundary Changes

 PGCPS Lunch Menus and Nutrition Newsletter

 School Closing Information

Advice to Parents

Hello Parents,

This website has good advice for parents. At the bottom it includes a link to the HRSA sight on bullying.

Best wishes,

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Men Make A Difference Day

Friday, October 2, 2009

Parental Engagement: Information You Can Use

ONLINE PARENTING COACH: It's been a year since our last argument...

New Haven Independent Philanthropists Join School Reform Drive

Initiative designed to bolster youthTampa Tribune"Parental engagement, being involved in all aspects of your children's lives and monitoring what they do regularly is a key component in lowering teen ...

iKeepSafe Coalition: Promoting Cyber Safety, Security, and Ethics ...By Internet Keep Safe Coalition ... by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in 2001 that promotes the parental engagement fostered during frequent family dinners as a simple, effective way to prevent substance abuse in kids. ...

Research tells schools to empower"It isn't that we're expecting parental engagement to fix the educational system, but it's a piece," said Ron Mirr, with the Iowa Parent Information ...


WHO: Prince George’s County Board of Education
Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., Superintendent of Schools, PGCPS

WHAT: Third Annual State of the School System Address

WHEN: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 • 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School • Theatre
12650 Brooke Lane Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) encourages members of the community to attend the Third Annual State of the School System Address. Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., Superintendent of Schools, will deliver the address on October 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro.

Elected officials, school system staff, students, families, and community members have been invited to the event. The address will highlight student achievement and school system initiatives, as well as discuss the challenges facing the school system.

Student speakers will share their success stories and performances by the Oxon Hill High School Choir and the Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School Band will showcase the musical talents of Prince George’s County public school students. Spanish translation and sign language interpretation will be available.

For media requests and assistance with live truck parking, contact the PGCPS Office of Communications at 301-952-6001.

PGCPS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

The period September 15 through October 15, 2009 has been designated National Hispanic Heritage Month. The observance of a special period for focusing on the contributions of Hispanic Americans highlights noteworthy Latinos who have played defining roles in shaping our nation and the thousands who are continuing to further the cause of freedom, equality, and social change through public action, service in government, the military, and other organizations. This year’s theme is Embracing the Fierce Urgency of Now.

For information visit

Fun, healthy recreation opportunities for teens abound at the

Fun, healthy recreation opportunities for teens abound at the 10th Annual Xtreme Teens Open Houses next Friday, October 9!

Do you ever hear the statement, “I’m bored; there’s nothing to do!” from the teens you know? The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation has the cure for boredom blues—Xtreme Teens!

Help us spread the word to any young people you know that next Friday, October 9 from 7-10 pm, youth ages 10-17 and their families are invited to check out everything the Xtreme Teens program has to offer at our 10th Annual Open Houses.

Between 7 and 10 pm that night, teens can stop by any Prince George's County M-NCPPC community center, Allentown Fitness & Splash Park, Fairland Sports and Aquatics Complex, the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex or Mount Rainier Nature Center to see our programs in action. That night, teens and pre-teens will have the opportunity to meet the dedicated leaders of the Xtreme Teens program and learn all about the exciting year-round recreational programs available to them, such as arts, nature activities, job opportunities, service learning and volunteer projects, classes, trips, health and wellness programs, college preparation, open gym and sports.

Teens and pre-teens can also register to win an iPod Touch that night when they scan their FREE M-NCPPC Youth ID cards—the passport to the Xtreme Teens program. If your teens don't already have an ID card, no problem! Their parent or guardian can sign the whole family up for a SMARTlink account at the open houses, and the teen will be able to get a FREE M-NCPPC Youth ID card there.

Attached is a PDF flier about the open houses you can print and hand out to interested teens and families. For more information, call 301-699-CALL (2255); TTY 301-446-3402. Thank you for your help in spreading the word about Xtreme Teens!



Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools Debbie Ritchie, Maryland PTA President, Susan Shaffer, Executive Director, Maryland Parental Information Resource Center and Dr. Sydney Cousin, Howard County Superintendent

Event kicking off October as Maryland Parent Involvement Month. The event will include the announcement of the Governor’s Proclamation designating October as Maryland Parent Involvement Month, the first time Maryland has dedicated a month to this very critical element to student success. The month of October will be dedicated to raising awareness about the various types of parent involvement at schools across Maryland in preparation for National Parent Involvement Day on November 19, 2009.

10 a.m. Monday, October 5

Talbott Springs Elementary School 9550 Basket Ring Road, Columbia, MD 21045, 410-313-6915

Information Parent Can Use

Information from the Laurel PTA

Please note the information above regarding the City of Laurel's paper shredding and electronic recycling event this Saturday October 3 for Laurel city residents.

Wednesday, October 7 at 6:30: Ice Cream Social and Ice Cream Eating Contest: PTA members are free and all others are $1 each. Please rsvp by Monday, October 5 if you plan to attend.

Saturday, October 10 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon: Beautification Day: flyer to come home today for participation/information.

Monday, October 12 is Men Make a Difference Day: 8:15 a.m. -8:30 a.m. coffee and donuts; 8:30 a.m. Guest Speaker: Fred Smalls, Laurel City Council Member, Dad and Granddad. Spend some time in the classroom with your child and/or eat lunch with your child. Flyer to go home today with rsvp information on it.

Tuesday, October 13 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.: Taste Our Hispanic Heritage Night: food, parade of nations, dancing and more! If you can volunteer to help out at this event, please send us an email or rsvp with the flyer that went home. Another reminder will be sent next week.

Thursday, October 15 at 6:00 p.m. Side by Side presents the next Parent Academy at Deerfield Run: dinner, childcare and presentation on children's behavior.

October 22-November 5: Krispy Kreme Fundraiser (more information available soon)November 11: First Parent/Teacher Conferences/Krispy Kreme pickup Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 25, 2009

PGCPS: Male Engagement Is Ahead of The Curve

The ongoing commitment by Prince George's County Public Schools to engage and involve men in the academic lives of students is catching fire all over the Country. Recently, Education Secretary Arne Duncan encouraged dads to get involved in their kid's education. In our County last year, men came out to support their children, their schools and their communities in record numbers. For example, in 2008 more than 11,000 men escorted their children to school on the first day (2009 data unavailable at this time). Additionally, more than 10,000 men participated in the first annual Men Make A Difference Day. This year's Men Make A Difference Day is scheduled for October 12, 2009. For more information on Men Make A Difference Day, contact a Parent Liaison at your neighborhood school.

Duncan to Dads:
Get Involved in Kids' Education
By The Associated PressManchester, N.H.

Getting fathers involved in their children's education will take turning off the TV at home and opening the school doors to them, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday.

"Both sides have to move toward the middle, toward each other," he said in an interview after a forum attended by dozens of nonprofit groups, churches, and government officials around New England.

"What's fascinating to me is that both sides need each other so badly. Educators desperately need parents to be more involved, particularly fathers, and fathers desperately need to be involved in their children's education," he said. "There's just this tremendous untapped potential and power here.

For more on this story click here!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Formal Parent Organizations See Their Membership Skyrocket

The membership of Formal Parent Organizations (FPO) in Prince George's County Public Schools saw dramatic increases across the County in SY 2008-2009. The ongoing focus on volunteer services by the School Board; combined with the extensive outreach to parents and community members by Formal Parent Organizations resulted in this record growth.

In SY 2008-2009 95% of PGCPS schools had an established parent organizations. A total of 78,690 parents and community stakeholders are current members of FPOs. During SY 2008-2009 8,388 new members were added to more than 160 FPOs. A total of 270,408 parents and community stakeholders attended FPO meetings. This number represented an average of 27,408 parents and community stakeholders attending meetings monthly. When you divide that by the number of schools, 134 parents and community stakeholders on average attended Formal Parent Organization meetings per month.

Parental Engagment in Prince George's County Public Schools Is Highlighted in the Harvard Family Report On Parental Involvement

A recent publication entitled: Seeing is Believing: Promising Practices for How School Districts Promote Family Engagement, written by the Harvard University Center for Family Research contains information regarding parental engagement in Prince George's County Public Schools. Here is a small portion of what they had to say about our services and efforts.

“The feedback you provided during our interview helped inform the development of this brief, and we are very pleased that we were able to include a profile of your district's family engagement work as part of this project. Thank you again for taking the time to speak with us about your district's experiences and strategies”.

Below is a link to the brief:


Dr. Hite will deliver his first State of the Schools Address as the Superintendent of Prince George's County Public Schools on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 6:30pm at Dr. Henry A.Wise Jr. HS. The public is welcome to attend.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

October 12, 2009: 2nd Annual Men Make A Difference Day

Ten Tips for Time Mastery

Published by
on August 31, 2009 in Linda Henman, PhD., Magnetic Boss, PDUs2Go Author Article and SPECIAL EDITION. 2 Comments Tags: Leadership.
By Linda Henman, PhD.

By Linda Henman, PhD.

  1. Don’t over schedule. Leave time in every day for unexpected events because almost every day brings at least one. In addition to having more control of your day, you’ll reduce stress.
  2. Set 30/ 60/ 90 day SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time sensitive) goals for your personal and professional life. Activities that don’t support these goals don’t go on the calendar. Set weekly goals that support these.
  3. Don’t over commit. Just say “no” to charities, committees, meetings, or activities that don’t directly support a personal or professional goal.
  4. Prioritize each day. Separate important from unimportant and urgent tasks, and do first things first. Unless you are expecting an emergency phone call, turn off your cell phone. Use it for outgoing calls, on your schedule, so you can stick to your priorities.
  5. Eat the frog first. If there’s an unpleasant task you must accomplish, do it first. You’ll have more energy and focus once the unpleasant or difficult task is complete.
  6. Know what you’re doing. Analyze current uses of time and energy—yours and that of others on your team—to determine whether you are spending time on critical issues that drive your goals and support your priorities. Then schedule your hardest or least favorite tasks for high energy times.
  7. Follow the 80/20 rule. Realize that 20% of your efforts drive 80% of your results. Identify the 20% of people who support you, the 20% of activities that drive your goals, and the 20% of training you need and then eliminate the other 80% of each.
  8. Get organized. Have a sense of where and how information is stored; be able to locate materials quickly; have a system so your assistant or someone else can find things; and routinely clean out files and throw outdated material away.
  9. Don’t allow people to copy you on emails, ask to make decisions they are accountable for, or otherwise interrupt you “for just a minute” to discuss something they should be handling.
  10. Buy time. Use helpful new technologies or support people to do the things you aren’t good at, don’t like, or don’t want to do. When you lead with your passion, work is more enjoyable, and you’ll accomplish more.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sign-Up To Speak at Community Meetings on Closed Schools

Hello Parents:

Do you have an opinion or suggestion with regards to recent school closings? If so, please sign-Up To Speak at Community Meetings on Closed Schools.

Prince George's County Public Schools will conduct a series of community meetings for the purpose of soliciting and receiving input on how the school system should best utilize closed school buildings impacted by the Prince George's County Board of Education's school consolidation/closing plan. Please visit the link below to access the form you will need to complete if you wish to speak at a community meeting.

PGCPS Has A Variety of Formal Parent Organizations

In SY2008-09, 95% of PGCPS had established formal parent organizations. A total of 78,690 parents and community stakeholders are current members of formal parent organizations. A total of 270,408 parents and community stakeholders attended formal parent organization meetings. This number represented an average of 27,408 parents and community stakeholders attending formal parent organizational meetings monthly. Approximately 134 parents and community stakeholders attended formal parent organizational meetings per month in SY2008-09.

Here is the break out:
PTA (100)
PTSA (35)
PTO (29)
PTSO (6)
FPO (5)

Parental Engagement with PGCPS is on Twitter

We are on Twitter, which means you can follow us 24 hours a day. Join others who are keeping in contact with the Office of Family and Community Outreach and parental engagement at

Important Dates

September 25, 2009: Professional Development (Schools closed for students)

September 28, 2009: Holiday - Yom Kippur (Schools and offices closed)

October 12, 2009: Men Make A Difference Day: Second Annual – Each school will customize events designed to promote fathers and other male role models becoming/remaining involved in their child’s education. Examples: Dudes on Duty, Donuts for Dads, Luncheon, Concert performance.

November 5, 2009: Healthy Living/Healthy Families: First Annual – Each school will customize events designed to promote healthy lifestyles and healthy families. Demonstrate the benefits of healthy families related to academicachievement. Examples: guest speakers, health fairs, family exercise, focus on nutrition.

April 22, 2010: Multicultural Family Celebration: First Annual – Each school will customize events designed to promote and embrace diversity. Provide an opportunity for students and parents to learn about different cultures. Examples: International dinner, Family fun Day, International Night.

May 10, 2010: Women's Day: Second Annual – Each school will customize events designed to shop appreciation to mothers and other female role models who have been involved with our school communities throughout the year. Promote increased participation of mothers and other female role models. Examples: Tranquility Teas, Appreciation Receptions, Empowerment speakers.

Free SAT Workshop!!

Attend a FREE SAT Test Workshop
When: Saturday, October 17, 2009
Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon
Where: Shiloh Baptist Church Family Life Center, 1510 Ninth Street (9th & P St) NW, Washington, DC
Visit the website for more information at

Glenn Dale Fall Festival This Saturday!

The First Annual Fall Festival at Glenn Dale Elementary is this Saturday, September 26th from 10am to 3pm on the school grounds (6700 Glenn Dale Rd, Glenn Dale, MD).

With something for children and adults of all ages, here’s some of the fun awaiting you at the Festival:-Moon bounce-All Star Kids Tumble Bus-Carnival-style games-Food, food, food-Magic Show-Face painting-Petting Zoo-Photo Booth-Tour a fire truck courtesy of the Glenn Dale Fire Department-Demonstration by A+ Tae Kwon Do.

Food and game tickets are 4 for $1.00(*Games and food will cost an average of 4-10 tickets each.) Shop the VENDOR MARKET for Body Magic products (Ardyss International), skin care products, school spirit merchandise, and more!

Bid on fabulous prizes at the SILENT AUCTION! Preview and bidding opens at 10am and closes at 1:30pm. Winning bids announced at 1:45pm. Items up for bid include:-Restaurant gift cards-Gym memberships-Handcrafted jewelry-Catered Dinner for 2-Movie Passes-Gift Baskets-And more!*Be prepared to pay for your winnings with cash or check.

This event is sponsored by the Glenn Dale PTA to raise funds to support supplemental enrichment programs for the students of Glenn Dale. It is open to all students, families, and staff of GDES, AND the surrounding Glenn Dale/Bowie/Lanham communities.

Sixth Annual Prince George’s Classic College Showcase

Saturday, September 26, 2009 10am - 2pm at The Mall @ Prince George's - Center Court Join us for an informative day for students pursuing higher education and their families. Admission Representatives will be on-site from:• Bowie State University• Delaware State University• Dillard University• Ferrum College• Norfolk State University• Prince George’s Community College• Shaw University• Westwood College• University of Maryland, College Park and more!



Partnership with Side-By-Side, Inc. to augment services available to Laurel elementary school families. New program endorsed by Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and supported by instructors from Anne Arundel Community College Parenting Center.

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – On Thursday, September 24, Prince George’s County PublicSchools will launch “Family Academy,” a pilot program from its partnership with Side By Side,Inc. From 6 pm to 8 pm at Deerfield Run Elementary School, 13000 Laurel Bowie Road in Laurel, the Prince George’s County Board of Education and the Office of Superintendent of Schools Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. will formally recognize the new initiative which promotes success for Laurel’s elementary school students and their families.

“I salute the great and diverse energy of the people of District I and am extremely excited about Family Academy,” said Rosalind Johnson, Prince George’s County Board of Education member (District I). “This initiative builds demand within our parents so that they better understand how schools work and what it takes for their children to be successful. This is especially important for parents of children of color, poor children and those who are non-English speakers.”

In 2008, Side By Side, Inc. reached out to Board member Rosalind Johnson in the wake of pressing issues like funding cuts, reduced parent liaison positions, low parental involvement, and Laurel elementary school student test scores on standardized reading and math tests that fell below the Maryland State average. The organization then worked with the PGCPS Department of Family and Community Outreach, local principals, active and retired public school educators, and representatives of the Laurel Clergy Association to create services which would assist families in the education of their children.

“We firmly believe that no local issue is more important for our community’s current and future well-being than working along side schools to champion the needs of our students,” said Joseph“Joe” Murchison, president of Side By Side, Inc. “Through this symbiotic relationship with PGCPS, we hope to fill existing voids and positively impact the students, their families, our schools and the community.”

Family Academy will include community-building sessions for local parents and educationalsessions on parenting skills and family dynamics. These will be offered in English and Spanish. Exciting enrichment activities will be provided for children of Family Academy participants during the same sessions.

The Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has endorsed and will provide support to the pilot program. Additionally, instructors from the Parenting Center at Anne Arundel Community College will lead seminars for parents on how to handle various child behaviors.

Future Family Academy gatherings are scheduled to take place on the following Thursdays: October 15, November 5 and December 3. For more information, Laurel residents can RSVP for the kick-off by emailing to, by calling (301) 725-8179, or by signing up at their child’s school office. Initial community responses indicate that over two hundred residents are expected.

Friday, September 11, 2009

America Goes Back to School: A National Town Hall Meeting with Arne Duncan - Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Before crafting education law in Washington, we want to hear from people across America—parents, teachers and administrators—about the everyday issues and challenges in our schools that need our national attention and support."
--U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is traveling throughout the country to engage a broad group of stakeholders—including parents—in an open and honest conversation about federal education policy in anticipation of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Already, the secretary has met with hundreds of mothers and fathers, students, teachers, principals, education support staff, superintendents, college professors, higher education administrators, and community leaders during his national tour, “Listening and Learning: A Conversation About Education Reform.”

One of the most important things policymakers can do is to connect with the people who are affected by the decisions they make. During his tour, Secretary Duncan has heard and noted that in order to prepare students for success in today’s globally competitive workforce, it is not enough simply to preserve the status quo. Parents and other education stakeholders across America want better schools, curricula, and teachers for their children and, through forums such as this National Town Hall Meeting, they are helping to shape future education policy.

On this special edition of Education News Parents Can Use, Secretary Duncan will engage in a live, interactive discussion with parents across the nation by telephone, email, and with a studio audience. This event is one stop along the secretary’s national “Listening and Learning” tour to gather input on the administration's education agenda, including: early childhood learning, quality schools, parent responsibility, higher standards, teacher quality, health and safety, workforce development, and higher education.

Throughout the hour-long program, parents will have a chance to offer the Secretary their suggestions and their hopes about reforming education in the United States in a public dialogue addressing topics of importance to schools, families, and communities, including:
  • What is working and what needs to change in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act?
  • What do we need to do, and what do we need to do differently to ensure our students are successful?
  • What does a quality school look like and how can more schools become consistently high achieving?
  • How can parents become more involved with and engaged in their child’s education?
  • What are some effective practices for recruiting, retaining, supporting and compensating highly effective teachers?
  • What steps are schools at all levels of education taking to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment?

Time: 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM ET

Where To Watch: Many local PBS stations broadcast Education News. Please check with your local PBS station or visit PBS stations can contact PBS Program Services for downlink details

Friday, September 4, 2009

National Museum Day

Mark your calendars! September 26, 2009 is National Museum Day. Families can go click the links below to download an admission card which will give them two free admissions to hundreds of museums nationwide.

Here is the link to a list of participating museums:

Here is the link to print your free family passes:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Swine Flu Info from Laurel City Emergency Services Director

Hello, please see the important information below regarding the Swine Flu preparations sponsored by the City of Laurel, PG County HEalth Dept and Dimensions Health Care.

The City of laurel, the Prince George's County Health Department and Dimensions Health Care will hold a public meeting to discuss the H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu) at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at the Phelps Senior Citizens Center located at 701 Montgomery Street in Laurel. At this meeting the representatives from the mentioned agencies will present information on the H1N1 virus including, preparing for the possibility of an outbreak of the virus, what actions you can take to try to avoid contracting the virus and what to do if you contract the virus. Information handouts on the virus and disaster preparedness will be available at this meeting. Please take advantage of this. Having prior knowledge of what to do in a potential health crisis is your best defense. Should you have any questions please contact Martin Flemion or Calvin Hawkins at (301) 725-5300.

Bill Cosby's View on Parenting

Friday, August 28, 2009


September 28
A Day to Eat Dinner With Your Children

More than a decade of research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has consistently found that the more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University’s Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your ChildrenTM Sponsored by Stouffer’s is a national movement launched by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in 2001 that promotes the parental engagement fostered during frequent family dinners as a simple, effective way to prevent substance abuse in kids.

To learn more about Family Day and to join parents all across America in taking the Family Day Pledge, log on to To learn more about the new book How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents, visit

---Casa Family Day

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to School Nights

Prince George's County Public Schools encourages parents to get involved in the education process. Your first step can be to attend the Back to School Night at your child's school. During this annual event, you will meet your child's teachers, learn about parent involvement opportunities, and find out what your child will be learning during the upcoming school year.

Bring Your Child to School on the First Day

Prince George's County Public Schools encourages parents and community members to get involved in the education process! Kick off the school year on August 24 by being a role model in the lives of children. Escort children to school that day, meet them at school as they exit their bus, or visit them in class. Find out from your neighborhood school about volunteer or mentoring opportunities, as well as other ways you can continue to stay involved throughout the school year.

For more information, contact the Office of Family and Community Outreach at 301-925-2536.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bring Your Child To School On The First Day

Bring Your Child To School On The First Day
Monday, August 24, 2009

Be a role model in the lives of children.
Escort children to school, meet them at school as they exit their bus, or visit them in class as they start the new school year. For more information, contact the Office of Family and Community Outreach at 301-925-2536.


All PGCPS buildings will resume the normal five-day work week, eight-hour day schedule on Monday, August 17, 2009.


WHO: Prince George’s County Board of Education Members
Parents, Students, and Community Members

WHAT: Board of Education Public Hearing

WHEN: Monday, August 17, 2009 • 6 p.m.

WHERE: Eugene Burroughs Middle School
14400 Berry Road • Accokeek

The Prince George’s County Board of Education

The Prince George’s County Board of Education invites the community to participatein a public hearing on naming the newly-formed K-8 conversion school in Accokeek.The conversion school will join Henry Ferguson Elementary School and EugeneBurroughs Middle School.Parents, students, employees, and community members will have the opportunity toshare their input on naming the new conversion school. Two more opportunities will be available for public input on the naming process:

Date: August 19
Time: 5 p.m.
Meeting: FAB/CIPCommitteeMeeting
Where: Sasscer Administration Building Board Room 14201 School Lane, Upper Marlboro

Date: August 27
Time: 7:05 p.m.
Meeting: Board of Education Meeting
Where: Sasscer Administration Building Board Room 14201 School Lane, Upper Marlboro

To submit written testimony or register to speak for three minutes on the topic, please contact the Board Office at 301-952-6115 three hours prior to the meeting youare attending.

Get Ready for School!

It’s time to get ready for school! The first day for students in Prince George’s County is August 24. If you're new to the county, register your child now. Check to be sure your child is up to date on all immunization requirements. If your child attended school in the county last year, has your address or phone number changed? If so, be sure to update your child’s records and emergency form at school.

Check your child’s school Web site for a grade-level supply list. High school supplies vary by program and course of study. Supplies for elementary and secondary schools vary by school, but generally include the following items:

Elementary School Basic Supplies:
  • Backpack
  • Composition books (wide ruled)
  • Plastic school box
  • Glue sticks
  • #2 pencils
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Facial tissues

For more information on Middle School supplies visit:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Katie Couric Talks About Cyber Bullying

According to CBS News "Bullying through electronic media has surfaced as a serious issue. Katie Couric offers her perspective, as she says that parents need to have a talk with their children about this growing problem" (CBS News, 2007).

Monday, July 27, 2009

The best teacher? You!

Did you know that research shows parents are the biggest factor in their children's educational success? In just three small steps, you can have a huge impact on your child's future.

•Reading or speaking to your child — even 20 minutes a day — can improve academic skills and raise IQ scores.

•Studies have shown that parents who volunteer at their child's school are more likely to have successful kids.

•Research has found that parents partnering with teachers — helping with homework and attending parent-teacher conferences — leads to better prepared students.

August is back-to-school month

Time to start thinking about your childcare needs when school resumes. Registration is ongoing for the 2009-10 Morning Care programs at College Park Community Center and Suitland Community Center. These programs provide licensed childcare during the school year for Prince George's County children ages 5-12 (ages as of August 31, 2009). College Park Community Center Morning Care (SMARTlink course #142934) operates Mondays-Fridays from 7 am-9 am; Suitland Community Center Morning Care (SMARTlink course #142935) operates Mondays-Fridays from 6 am-8:15 am. These programs begin on Monday, August 24 and end in June, at the conclusion of the school year. Fees are $750 for the 10-month program, and are payable in 10 monthly installments of $75, plus a mandatory $10 registration fee. For more information, call staff at College Park Community Center (301-441-2647) or Suitland Community Center (301-736-3518).

PGPD Announces Summer Enforcement Initiatives to Combat Loitering and Curfew Violations

Initiative to ensure that County residents understand and obey county and state laws pertaining to loitering and curfews

The Prince George's County Police Department will begin its summer enforcement initiative by enforcing curfew and loitering laws. This is aimed at reducing crimes and opportunities for juveniles to be involved in crime. Parents and guardians should be aware of the curfew laws pertaining to their children seventeen years old and under. Juveniles found loitering without adult supervision and in violation of the curfew law will be taken into custody and charged accordingly. First-time violation will result in a written warning; subsequent fines range from $50 to $250.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Students Continue to Demonstrate Academic Growth

Prince George's County public school students continue to make steady gains in achievement on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA), according to 2009 MSA results released on July 21 by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Scores rose or stayed the same in all but one grade level in both reading and math, and in nearly all subgroups, demonstrating that a continued investment in programs and strategies to improve academic achievement is of critical importance.

As a result of student achievement, three schools -- Columbia Park ES, William W. Hall ES, and Walker Mill MS -- exited School Improvement status this year by meeting all state and federal mandates for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two years in a row.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

FYI: News From the Maryland Hunger Solutions Newsletter

1. BOE trashes lunch policy aimed at lowering debt Kristin Harty, Cumberland Times-News, May 13, 2009 School officials have tried all sorts of tricks to get parents to pay the more than $30,000 that's past-due for student lunches. They even tried serving cheese sandwiches and water to students with overdue accounts, until the Allegany County Board of Education overturned the policy, leaving school officials to find other ways of dealing with the debt. Read the Full Story at

2. Our Bay: This Week's Take: Grounding the connection to what kids eatCindy Ross, The Capital, May 23, 2009 The Farm to School program is a nationwide program that aims to teach children about the origins of the food they eat. Maryland has the premier program in the Chesapeake Bay region with many counties working with local farmers to offer different types of locally grown produce to their students. Read the Full Story at

3. Demand is Increasing for Subsidized Meals Michael Alison Chandler, The Washington Post, May 24, 2009 The economic downturn is increasing the demand for government-subsidized school meals. In Montgomery County, the portion of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals rose from 26 to 28 percent. Read the Full Story at

4. Children, meet your vegetables Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun, May 26, 2009 Baltimore chefs donate their time in 17 Baltimore city and county schools to teach children about healthy eating that tastes good. The program is called "Days of Taste" and introduces local children to produce grown on Maryland farms. Read the Full Story at,0,3286159.story.

5. Cascade students have reason to cheer Janet Heim, The Herald-Mail, May 27, 2009. After 57 consecutive school days of eating Cheerios for breakfast, Cascade Elementary School students on Wednesday celebrated reaching their goal of downing 1 million pieces of the cereal with a visit from Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes and the schools superintendent and a chicken dance from their principal. The challenge began Monday, March 2, as a kickoff to National School Breakfast Week and was undertaken in recognition of the $1 million donation to the school from PenMar Development Corp. Read the Full Story at

6. Buffalo wrap is a winner John-John Williams IV, The Baltimore Sun, May 31, 2009 A group of students at Atholton High School, in Howard County, thinks a healthier spin on a spicy restaurant favorite will get their classmates excited about school lunch. The six students won a county-wide recipe contest and the right to have their recipe for a spicy buffalo chicken wrap served in cafeterias throughout the Howard County school system this fall. Read the Full Story at,0,1389118.story.

7. The New Meal Edward Ericson Jr, Baltimore City Paper, June 3, 2009 Tony Geraci, the Baltimore City Schools' director of food and nutrition, is leading the charge to replace the pre-cooked, frozen meals served in Baltimore schools with locally-grown and prepared meals. Geraci is pitching a "farm-to-fork school" in which students will learn agro-hospitality, farm management (management in general), cooking, and various hospitality fields. Already the "Great Kids Farm" has been established and is being integrated into the local curriculum. Read the Full Story at

8. Who Influences Children's Eating Habits?Caroline Wilbert, WebMD Health News, June 4, 2009 A recent study suggests only a weak resemblance between the eating habits of parents and children, indicating stronger influence from factors outside of the family, including the school environment. Read the Full Story at

9. For Some Kids, Hunger All Too RealSeth Doane, CBS News, June 5, 2009 An estimated 15.5 million American kids don't have enough food - that's 3 million more than just two years ago. A new photo exhibit called "Witnesses to Hunger" documents the struggles of 42 lower-income Philadelphia mothers to provide enough food for their children. Read the Full Story at
10. Giving for Good: Challenging Times: Basic Human Needs Guide for Donors Bess Freed lander Langbein, The Capital Hometown Annapolis.Com, June 7, 2009 During these challenging economic times, the basic human needs of the residents of Maryland are increasing. Marcia Kennai, Director of Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services, underscores this point, "We are seeing more families who have never been in before asking for mortgage assistance, utility assistance and food stamps. The bills are larger and people are forced to go to several agencies to meet their needs." Read Full Story at

11. Free Meals for Maryland Kids During Summer VacationKatelyn Thomas,, June 10, 2009When you are struggling financially, it is wonderful to know that your child will get a reduced or free breakfast and lunch during the school year. However, once school is out for the summer, you don't have that safety net. For information about where your child can eat during the summer, call 1-877-731-9300 or visit the Maryland Summer Food Service Program website at Read Full Story at

12. Budget Friendly Nutrition Series Offered at LibraryKatherine Mullen,, June 11, 2009"Nutrition on a Nickel and Dime Budget" is a new monthly library program that aims to provide Frederick residents with tips and tools to reduce grocery bills, watch portion sizes and make healthy choices. In addition they provide attendees with a list of resources for community-supported agriculture, food stamps and food banks. Read the Full Story at

13. Homeless Student Rolls Sky rocket Gretchen Phillips, SoMdNews.Com, June 12, 2009 Charles County's public schools saw an increase in homeless students this year. Grier said that with several community agencies as partners, departments within the school system can help ensure homeless children receive meals at 11 different sites in the county this summer. Read the Full Story at

14. Local Produce Produces QuestionsLaura Vozella, Baltimore Sun, June 15, 2009 Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) which number more than 12,500 nationwide, allow consumers to buy produce directly from local farms, and it's the farmer and the season that dictate which fruits and vegetables - and how much of them - are delivered each week. Because a portion is donated to soup kitchens, some needy Baltimoreans are getting to know the unusual foods at the same time as gourmets. In city shelters and suburban kitchens, cooks are turning to the Internet, cookbooks and even strangers to identify these foods and figure out how to prepare them. Read the Full Story at,0,7603666.story.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The United States Department of Education: Education News Parents Can Use

Summer Programs: Keeping Students Reading and Learning
For many children, summer is their favorite season, a once-a-year chance for them to enjoy the sunshine, play with friends, and go outdoors without having to worry about schoolwork. Many parents take advantage of this time to go on vacations, enroll their kids in camps, make trips to museums and parks, and relax outdoors, where children can learn as they unwind and have fun. But many families are not able to provide supervised experiences that are academically engaging, fun, and safe for their children over the summer break.

No Child Left Behind asks that all students be held to high academic standards—with the goal of all children achieving grade level proficiency in reading and math by the year 2014. Yet after the final school bell has rung, far too few students spend any of their summer time engaged in activities that maintain and sharpen their academic skills—particularly critical reading skills—that were gained during the school year. As a result, many students experience a “summer slide”: scoring lower on reading and math achievement tests at the end of the summer than they did on the same tests before summer break. Teachers are often required to spend up to six weeks going over the same lessons their students were taught the previous school year.

This edition of Education News will showcase several award-winning and effective summer learning programs; explore innovative strategies to academically engage and nurture low-income and disadvantaged youth during the summer; profile corporate, community and library-based initiatives designed to encourage students to read and learn during the break; and spotlight the efforts of organizations dedicated to providing disadvantaged students with access to books and reading materials in the summer and throughout the year. Educators, policymakers, parents and community leaders will discuss key issues such as:

  • Why is it important to sustain academic skills over the break and avoid the “summer slide?”
  • What does an effective and high-quality summer learning program look like?
  • What kinds of summer programs are available and who offers them?
  • What types of summer reading programs are available to students and how can parents find out more about them?
  • What can parents do during the summer encourage their children to continue learning?
  • How can parents, schools, libraries and community organizations access free children’s books and reading materials?

The Summer Learning Loss Is Real For All Students

Summer Learning Loss is a real problem facing parents and educators according to The National Center for Summer Learning. "Two-thirds of the ninth grade achievement gap can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years" (The National Center for Summer Learning, 2009). Just how much and what is lost differs from student to student. However, research has suggested youth who are engaged in some form of organized or parent monitored summer learning tend to avoid the summer learning loss.
The National Center for Summer Learning has suggested the adverse affect of summer reading loss can last a life-time. Additionally, research has implied the summer learning loss "affects nearly all young people" (The National Center for Summer Learning, 2009). Based on previous research studies The National Center for Summer Learning outlined three additional consequences associated with summer learning loss:

  • Two-thirds of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007).
  • Most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, while their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996). When this pattern continues throughout the elementary school years, lower income youth fall more than two and one-half years behind their more affluent peers by the end of fifth grade.
  • Most children – particularly children at high risk of obesity – gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break (Von Hippel et al, 2007).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Xtreme Teens Safe Summer Program

Dept. of Parks and Recreation Extends Hours Just for Teens

From June 22 to August 22, more than 25 Department of Parks and Recreation locations and community facilities will be open late from 10 pm to midnight just for Prince George's County Residents ages 12-24. Exciting recreational activities include Laser Tag , Nintendo Wii Competitions, Basketball Leagues, Enrichment Sessions, Soccer Games, Movie Nights, and more!
Learn more about the Xtreme Teen Program at
View a list of Safe Summer locations

Monday, July 6, 2009

10 Healthy Foods Under $1

By Elaine Magee, MPH, RDWebMD and Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

1. Apples
Great for: Snacks, green salads, main dish salads, and fruit salads. What's a serving? 1 large apple. Price per serving: About $1. Apples sell for about $1.99 per pound, and an extra large crisp apple weighs about 1/2 pound. Nutrition Info per serving: 117 calories, 5 grams fiber, 17% Daily Value for vitamin C, and 7% Daily Value for potassium.

2. Bananas
Great for: Snacks and fruit salads, yogurt parfaits, and smoothies. What's a serving? 1 banana.
Price per serving: About 45 cents. Bananas sell for about $0.89 per pound, and a large banana weighs about 1/2 pound Nutrition Info per serving: 121 calories, 3.5 grams fiber, 14% Daily Value for potassium (487 mg), 20% Daily Value for vitamin C.

3. Baby Carrots (in bags)
Great for: Snacks, casseroles, stews, veggie platters, and side dishes. What's a serving? About 1/2 cup or 2 ounces raw. Price per serving: 19 cents. A 16-ounce bag costs about $1 on sale and contains about 8 servings (2 ounces each). Nutrition Info per serving: 27 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 200% Daily Value for vitamin A, and 7% Daily Value for vitamin C.

4. Canned Beans
Great for: Green salads, casseroles, stews, and chili. Types of beans range from 50% less sodium kidney beans and black beans to white beans and garbanzo beans. What's a serving? Each can contains about 3.5 (1/2-cup) servings. Price per serving: About 28 cents. You can buy a 15-ounce can for about $1 on sale. Nutrition Info per serving: About 120 calories (for kidney beans), 7 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, and 6% Daily Value for calcium, and 10% Daily Value for iron.

5. Canned Tomatoes
Great for: Italian and Mexican recipes, chili, stew, and casseroles. Flavor options range from no-salt-added sliced stewed tomatoes to diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil. What's a serving? One can contains about 3.5 (1/2-cup) servings. Price per serving: About 28 cents. You can buy a 14.5-ounce can for about $1 on sale (often less for store brands). Nutrition Info per serving: About 25 calories, 1 gram fiber, 10% Daily Value of vitamin A, and 15% Daily Value of vitamin C.

6. Oranges (extra large navel oranges)
Great for: Snacks, green salads, and fruit salads. What's a serving? 1 large or extra large orange.
Price per serving: 40 cents for a large orange and 79 cents for an extra large orange. Oranges sell for around $0.79 per pound, and a large orange is about 1/2 pound, whereas an extra large orange is about 1 pound. Nutrition Info per serving: (for an 8 ounce orange): 106 calories, 5.5 grams fiber, 10% Daily Value for vitamin A, 200% Daily Value vitamin C, 17% Daily Value for folate, 9% Daily Value for calcium, and 12% potassium.

7. Pears
Great for: Snacks, as an appetizer with cheese, green salads, and fruit salads. What's a serving? 1 large pear. Price per serving: about 45 cents for a large pear. Pears sell for about $0.90 per pound, and a large pear weighs about 1/2 pound. Nutrition Info per serving: 133 calories, 7 grams of fiber, 16% Daily Value for vitamin C, and 8% for potassium.

8. Lentils (dry)
Great for: Soups and stews, cold bean salads, and casseroles. What's a serving? 2 ounces (dry)
Price per serving: 14 cents. A 16 ounce bag sells for $1.12 (on sale) and contains eight servings.
Nutrition Info per serving: 195 calories, 14 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, 24% Daily Value for Iron, 10% Daily Value for magnesium and potassium.

9. Pearl Barley (dry)
Great for: Soups and stews, cold salads, and casseroles. What's a serving? 2 ounces (dry)
Price per serving: About 12 cents. A 16 ounce bag of dry pearl barley sells for about $0.94 and contains about 8 servings. Nutrition Info per serving: 199 calories, 9 grams fiber, 2.5 grams soluble fiber, 6 grams protein, 8% Daily Value for iron, and 11% Daily Value for magnesium.

10. Yogurt (plain, lowfat, or fat-free)
Great for: Smoothies, yogurt parfait, dips, and dressings. What's a serving? An 8-ounce or 6-ounce container is usually a serving. Price per serving: 60 cents. This is usually the price for an 8-ounce container of plain yogurt. Nutrition Info per serving: (for 8 ounces of fat-free plain yogurt): 130 calories, 13 grams of protein, 45% Daily Value for calcium, plus active cultures such as acidophilus and bifidus.
For information on 10 Healthy Foods Under $1 visit

Male Parents Assisting Teachers (M-PAT) Academy

According to the National Education Association less than 9% of elementary teachers are males. Additional research suggested males make up less than 25% of teachers in the public schools. In an effort to combat the dearth of male teachers, Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) is seeking men who would are interested in volunteering in classrooms.

PGCPS hopes as you volunteer in our schools, your varied life experiences and training will enhance the education of our youth and have an impact on their lives. This role is exciting and challenging and will provide you with opportunities for personal enrichment and fulfillment.
The Male Parents Assisting Teachers (M-PAT) Academy is designed for those male Parents/guardians and community members who are interested in volunteering in classrooms to assist teachers in the educational/instructional process. The Office of Family and Community Outreach provides a three-hour training workshop which introduces participants to the guidelines and strategies for working with students and assisting teachers in the classrooms. Male Parents Assisting Teachers (M-PAT) Academy workshops provide participants with:
  • An overview of the purpose and goals of the Male Parents Assisting Teachers (M-PAT) Academy in order to develop an understanding of expected outcomes.
  • An explanation of school district policies, procedures, ethics, and laws in order to internalize guidelines regarding interactions between and among volunteers, students, and staff.
  • Hands-on training modules designed to prepare them to work effectively in direct contact with students and staff in the classrooms and school building.

Upon completion of the workshop, participants will be certified as a Volunteer Classroom Assistant and will be assigned to teachers who have specifically requested a volunteer for their classroom. Additionally, as a part of the training, participants will undergo fingerprinting and a background check which will be rendered at no cost to all participants. To register or for additional information about The Male Parents Assisting Teachers program (M-PAT) Academy, contact (301) 925-2535 ext. 289 or a Parent Liaison at any neighborhood school.

Photos of the 2010 Parental Engagement Conference

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

The Middle School Years

Visits From Engaged Parents and Dedicated Educators