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Archive for September, 2016

Welcome New Neighbors Guide

Faith communities are exploring and establishing partnerships with refugee resettlement agencies based in our area and many are already helping families. “Welcoming Our New Neighbors, Guide for Faith Communities,” presented in May, 2016 by the Faith Community Advisory Council Neighbors in Need Working Group, is a guide to “Welcoming Our New Neighbors. It includes information on “Eight Ways the Faith Community Can Help” refugees. For regular updates on the needs visit the Faith Community Advisory Council’s website. If your community would like more information or a briefing on this initiative, please call or email Patty Larson at 240-355-5140 or patriciaslarson@gmail.com.

Montgomery County Public Libraries Enroll First Students in Career Online High School Diploma Program

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, joined by Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) Director Parker Hamilton and Karen Radulovich from Gale Cengage Learning officially recognize the first enrollees in MCPL’s recently-launched Career Online High School Diploma. MCPL is the first library system in Maryland to launch the Career Online High School, which is the world’s first accredited, private online school district. This past June MCPL began accepting applications for the program. Career Online High School is specifically designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary career education or the workforce. Currently, more than 60,000 adults over the age of 25 in Montgomery County lack a high school degree or equivalent. There are five candidates officially enrolled in the program. Coursework begins in one of eight high-growth, high-demand career fields (across a wide spectrum from child care and education to certified transportation), before progressing to the core academic subjects. Students have 18 months to complete the program; however, by transferring in previously earned high school credits, students may complete the program in as little as six months. More information about Career Online High School by calling Adrienne Van Lare at 240-777-0036 or email at mcpl.cohs@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Safe Food Storage

Keep Food Safe! Food Safety Basics

Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage are essential in preventing foodborne illness. You can’t see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. In every step of food preparation, follow the four guidelines to keep food safe:
  • Clean—Wash hands and surfaces often.
  • Separate—Don’t cross-contaminate.
  • Cook—Cook to proper temperatures, checking with a food thermometer.
  • Chill—Refrigerate promptly
Community Food Rescue is designed to recover unused, surplus food from producers by redirecting it to hunger relief organizations who distribute to the public.  These brochures were developed to educate consumers about the food they may receive through food assistance providers and includes information on package dates as well as safe food storage and preparation.  Food Safety information is available for consumers in English and Spanish. For other languages, please visit the Community Food Rescue website. FrenchKoreanMandarinRussian, and Vietnamese.

NPR’s How Parents Can Help Their Underage Kids Resist Alcohol

Educating parents about the effects of teenage drinking may be just as important as educating teens. Two recent studies found that the signals parents send about drinking behaviors will impact their children’s future alcohol usage. Setting limits and expectations, and providing a supportive home setting are important elements of delaying and preventing teen alcohol use. One study encouraged parents to discuss the dangers of drinking with their children through a home-based alcohol prevention program. The suggested program was tested and found to be successful, as third graders who received this program were much less inclined than the comparison group to drink four years later. To learn more about these studies and findings, click here.

Youth First Initiative Poll Shows that Americans Favor Rehabilitation Over Incarceration for Youth

A study conducted in January 2016 through the Youth First Initiative surveyed 1000 Americans in 50 states, finding that most Americans want less incarceration for youth and more prevention and rehabilitation instead. 67% of the survey participants ages 18-29 thought that youth prisons should be closed, and the funds should be redirected to community based preventative programs. Similarly, 83% of all survey participants agreed that financial incentives should be provided to states and programs that offered alternatives to incarceration, like job training, education, and rehabilitation. 70% of all survey participants believed that states must take an active role in reducing racial and ethnic inequities within the juvenile justice system. Overall, the majority of Americans want to see fewer youth involved in the prison system. To learn more about the work Youth First is doing, visit http://www.youthfirstinitiative.org/. FYI: Programs in our Community Project Youth ArtReach provides art programs to juvenile offenders in correctional facilities, rehabilitation, or probation to enhance their cognitive and social development as well as teaching tolerance, respect for others, and problem solving.
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