Bloomfield: 2 men in foreground, 1 in background talk in dark place. Old black and white photos cover the wall.

New Breed of Cop in New Jersey Keeps Kids on Straight and Narrow

On a Friday night in Bloomfield, N.J., middle school children hang out at Foley Field to watch the high school football team play. 
Officer Marvid Camacho provides security at the game. As the resource officer at Bloomfield Middle School, he knows all the kids in town.
Camacho is a new breed of cop. His role, as he sees it, is to prevent crimes, not just respond to them afterward. He tries to build a connection with kids and give them life lessons that will keep them out of the criminal justice system.

STEMester Helps Kids Learn Leadership and Service

STEMester of Service Grants support middle school teachers in engaging kids in a semester of service. This grant helps kids build a framework for service learning, addressing critical environmental and disaster preparedness needs, and connecting them to science, technology, engineering and math. This is to help increase the students’ academic achievement. The STEM Schools must be located in one of the 19 states with the highest dropout rate, including Georgia, Washington, Colorado, California, Washington D.C., and many others. The grant is for$5,000 and helps cover a field trip to Pennsylvania.

Grant offers Kids Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums

The MacArthur Foundation is offering a grant designed for Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums for middle and high school kids. This grant will help fund the planning and designing of 30 Learning Labs in libraries and museums throughout the country. These labs will be designed to help kids learn through digital and traditional media. The deadline for this grant is August 15, 2011. Eligibility: Libraries or parent organizations, academic or administrative unit/library consortium, library associations, nonprofits and units of state or local governments.  

Cherie K. Miller On Bullying, Junior High and Bad Memories

Junior high school was a special hell for me, a daily torture made especially terrible by one particular boy I’ll call “T.”

He delighted in standing behind me and pointing out to everyone in the band room that, though I was in eighth grade, I didn’t shave my legs or wear nylons. (My mom had five kids, worked full-time, and had an alcoholic husband. My beauty regime — or lack of it — was the least of her worries.)

Anyway, those days were spent with my nose in a book. As I devoured Gone with the Wind, every page convinced me that if Scarlett could survive the burning of Atlanta, I could attend another horrible day at Lance Junior High in Kenosha, Wis. Dealing with T was bad, but I’ll never forget that bus incident involving “Miss M.” Since my dad was already at the factory and my mom was at work, I rode the bus home to babysit my four younger siblings.

Popular Kids Believe Bullying Enhances Their Status

The most popular kids in school are probably the most aggressive, according to a new study.  While aggression will not increase a kid’s popularity, popularity does increase aggression. The study by two University of California-Davis sociologists finds that popular kids have a tendency to be social climbers, and believe bullying is a tool for reinforcing or enhancing their status. But there’s a very different story to tell about kids who are extremely popular – the top 2 percent. They’re actually the least aggressive and it may well be because they feel the most secure, according

The study is published in the American Sociological Review, where researchers also report that the nearly two-thirds of kids are bystanders and do not participate in bullying.  They recommend that efforts to end aggression and bullying should focus on getting those bystanders to condemn bullying.

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.