The word of the week for Whitefoord students of the Intel Computer Club is "innovate."

The Whitefoord Approach to Community, Health and Education

At a glance it can be hard to see the impact of the breadth of services offered by the Whitefoord Community Program (WCP) on the cluster of Atlanta neighborhoods they serve. The non-profit runs four health clinics in nearby schools, offers child development and pre-K services, after school programs, digital media training, summer reading and math workshops and even a Bike Rite health initiative.

In a time of tight city and state budget, more and more municipalities are looking for ways to deliver services to the communities that need them. In Atlanta, one such program, the WCP, has been in place for years and could prove to be a model for the nation. Through grants and other funding the project has proven sustainable. Through community involvement it has proven useful and effective.

Look a little closer at the project and you’ll see the evolution of a community support system that weaves together family, health and education. What stated with a one-square mile area and a single health clinic in Whitefoord Elementary School on the east side of Atlanta more than 15 years ago has evolved into a system that reaches into a number of communities in that area of the city.

All of these services work in tandem from just about the time the child leaves the womb until he or she graduates high school with one goal in mind: providing the children of this inner-city community with the tools they need to complete their education.

Clarence Jones, director of the WCP’s Beyond School Hours program, has been with the organization since shortly after it’s founding.
At nine weeks, infants can enroll, space provided, in the WCP’s Child Development program and start gearing up for their formal education. Unlike traditional daycare, this nationally accredited child development program employs HighScope Curriculum, a style of early childhood teaching and learning focused on active participation and educational development.

States Respond to Budget Shortfalls with Hodgepodge of Juvenile Justice Cuts

Around the nation, states continue to grapple with the reality of budget shortfalls with a hodgepodge of cuts to various programs, including juvenile justice.

North Carolina’s Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is being forced to cut spending by 10 percent while eliminating roughly 275 positions, a 15 percent decrease in work force, under the new FY 2012 budget.

Also gone are 75 beds from the state’s seven youth development centers, raising concerns that serious offenders may end up back on the streets to make room for new juveniles entering the facilities.

Alabama’s Department of Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention has a FY 2012 General Fund roughly half that of FY 2011. The department saw a 74 percent drop in state funding and significant cuts from the federal-level.

Helping Kids Achieve in Acworth

The City of Acworth, GA.,  is supporting a program called the Acworth Achievers. Five years ago, Acworth identified a concern about at-risk kids within the city limits and began developing a program. The goal of this program is to help middle and high school children make better decisions through after-school and mentoring programs.

“This will offer more opportunities and give kids better decision making skills so they can become productive adults,” Frank White, the Director of Acworth Achievers and the Recreation Coordinator for Acworth Parks and Recreation said. “It’s about inspiring kids to be the very best that they can be,” Mayor Tommy Allegood said. Click below to hear more from Mayor Allegood about the Acworth Achievers.