New Child Labor Laws Could Hurt Small Farms, Advocates Say

Local farm advocates in Iowa are concerned a new set of child-labor laws would inadvertently restrict the number of future farmers and place unnecessary restrictions on family farms.

According to The Daily Iowan, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a new set of rules in 2011 that prohibit children under the age of 16 from working in manure pits or with certain animals unless their parents completely own the farm. However, many smaller farms in Iowa are multigenerational, Russ Meade, president of the Johnson County Farm Bureau told The Iowan. “We have a diverse makeup of smaller farms that rely heavily on extended family involvement,” Meade said. “[The regulations] would significantly restrict kids’ ability to participate.” Iowa farmer Kurt Dallmeyer said the rules could impact the number of children interested in farming, putting local farms at risk in the future and increasing the trend of factory farms in the state.

Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy Offers Grant to Encourage Reading

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is offering a grant to support reading skills. Some of the requirements for this grant include,  literacy instructions for kids pre-K to the third grade, intergenerational literacy and literacy for adults. No grant request should exceed $65,000. The deadline for this grant is September 9, 2011.  

The Ambassadors’ Deep Bench, The Mothers Behind a Winning Team

Stacey Strozier found her son lying in the street in a pool of blood. Sonya King prayed her baby wouldn’t get caught up with the wrong crowd. And Felecia Calhoun’s worried her son was a cocky kid who thought an education wasn’t all that important. The mothers of the L.E.A.D. Ambassadors — an Atlanta inner-city baseball team that thrives of civic-minded goodness and specializes in sending its players to colleges on scholarships — all have a story to tell. Having a story of adversity to tell is essentially a prerequisite of Ambassador founders, C.J. and Kelley Stewart.

The Power of Partnerships

Advocates for troubled teens can greatly benefit from partnering with families, according to the National Juvenile Justice Network.   NJJN’s An Advocates Guide to Meaningful Family Partnerships: Tips from the Field outlines ways to build advocate and family coalitions that push for practices that are fair and appropriate for kids. Louisiana’s Tallulah Correctional Center for Youth was infamous for “broken bones, black eyes, fractured jaws, and rapes” according to a report in Alter Net: Civil Liberties.  The facility was finally shut down once a major family group merged with a major advocacy group, the National Juvenile Justice Network points out. For more information about advocates partnering with families:

An Advocates Guide to Meaningful Family Partnerships: Tips from the Field

National Juvenile Justice Network

Moms Want Justice: Meaningful Family Partnerships in Juvenile Justice Reform

Alter Net: Civil Liberties

Treatment Program Working in Douglas County

The Juvenile Court Family Treatment program in Douglas County just celebrated five new graduates.  The program is growing more successful, and some graduates are returning to help mentor their peers.  Two are participating in the Georgia Meth Project.  One of the tactics that seems to be working is handing out small gifts.  Small presents like picture frames and coupons can be good motivators.  Read more in the Douglas Neighborhood Newspaper.