News

A new study of Wings found that after two years, kindergartners and first-graders who participated in Wings improved in skills like self-awareness, self-regulation and decision-making. The students also boosted their reading and vocabulary skills, compared with their peers who hadn’t been in the Wings program. Researchers did not find any effects in math.

“The message that schools need to get is that the almost-exclusive emphasis on improving math and reading instruction as the way to improve long-term effects is a flawed model,” said David Grissmer, research professor at the University of Virginia, who conducted the Wings study. “The long-term effects depend on kids developing a broader set of skills than just what they learned in math and reading instruction, skills of executive function, social-emotional skills, [visual-spatial] skills and what we call curiosity-based general knowledge.”


A new law aims to get more girls access to STEM-focused educational opportunities. At the close of 2019, President Trump signed the bicameral, bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act. According to lawmakers, the bill ultimately aims to introduce more kids – and specifically young girls – to scientific activities at an early age.


Eight brightly colored pieces of paper are streamlining the way principals in the School District of Philadelphia engage families and get them on campus. These Family Engagement School-Level Workshop Catalogs, as they are known, offer a concise list of more than a dozen workshops that can be made available to parents at any school upon request – from lessons in why school attendance matters to using art to reinforce students’ math skills at home.

“This is just one means, one way in which how we in Philadelphia are building capacity for our families,” said Jenna Monley, deputy chief of the Office of Family and Community Engagement. “A lot of [the work] has been a response to our families feeling disempowered, disenfranchised and really struggling to support their kids,” Monley said of her office’s revamped efforts.


If a new effort takes hold, competitive video gaming could someday be much more popular in U.S. middle and high schools, perhaps as commonplace as basketball, marching band and the big spring musical. Led in part by a former U.S. Education Department official who is now in the classroom, the undertaking could also expand both the size and diversity of the “esports” player and spectator base – a group that, in the United States at least, remains mostly white, male and upper-middle-class.


February through April

The Center for Youth Development Professionals is excited to offer a mini-professional learning community on the topic of human centered design.


The Wildlife Leadership Academy enriches Pennsylvania teens and empowers them to become certified Conservation Ambassadors through attending one of our 5-day residential summer field schools: white-tailed deer, brook trout, ruffed grouse, turkey, or bass. Students gain extensive knowledge about wildlife and conservation, and leadership experience and communication skills.


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