News from Members


Cooley Law School President and Dean Don LeDuc Receives First-Ever Community Recognition Award

leduc_teen_court_award.jpgLansing Teen Court, a community-based and highly collaborative program of Child & Family Services, announced today that it has awarded Don LeDuc, president and dean of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, with the organization's first-ever Community Recognition Award.

"To say the least, we are grateful for Don's civic-minded nature, his commitment to education and his support of creative and community-based methods of resolving juvenile justice and community challenges through collaboration," said Mike Botke, director of Teen Court.

The basis for the Community Recognition Award includes making a significant contribution to the community, whether monetary or in deed. LeDuc is the first to receive the award and was selected to honor his commitment, not only to Teen Court, but to community collaboration as well.

"Cooley is honored to be involved with the Teen Court program," said LeDuc. "Our staff, professors and students have embraced this program, as it gives a second chance to young people and provides an invaluable service to the Lansing community."

Adoption Option receives grant from foundation

By the Midland Daily News

The Midland Area Community Foundation is collaborating with a local adoption agency to help children take a leap toward a successful academic future.

The MACF awarded Adoption Option Inc. a $30,000 grant that is to be spread over a three-year period to provide a summertime academic enrichment program for children who have lived in foster care or some other similar type of out-of-home placement. Middle school age adolescents who reside in Midland County and surrounding areas are the focus of the camp. The program's goal is to introduce new skills and strengthen existing ones in the effort to prepare foster children for success in college and later life.

Vistas Nuevas Head Start Celebrates Culture in the Community

matrix.jpgVistas Nuevas Head Start, a program of Matrix Human Services will host its’ annual Celebrations of Culture Parade on Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 10am. More than 1400 head start children will march from Holy Redeemer Church to Clark Park in celebration of the various cultures in the Detroit community.

The Celebrations of Culture Parade will represent several countries around globe in support the diversity that is among all of us each and every day. Those countries include: Spain, Trinidad and Tabago, Hawaii, Ecuador, Ghana, Mexico, Scotland, Puerto Rico, Native American, Lebanon, Brazil, France, Portugal.

Vistas Nuevas Head Start is the largest head start program in the city of Detroit. Vistas’ has more than 1400 children annually, teaches in 3 languages (English, Spanish and Arabic) and operates 13 locations all located in Detroit’s Southwest community.

“This annual event highlights the multi-cultural community we live and serve in everyday. It is important for our children to know, celebrate and embrace the differences within all of us.” – states Debra Spring, Vice President of Education and Director of Vistas Nuevas

State launches campaign to recruit foster and adoptive parents

State launches campaign to recruit foster and adoptive parents
By Kyla King The Grand Rapids Press April 28, 2010

g0428-tammy-schnydersjpg-e8383cef23657c9f_large.jpgFor anyone thinking of fostering or adopting a child, Tammy Schnyders has a message: It might not always be easy, but it is entirely worth it.

Schnyders, who along with her husband, Steve, has been a foster and adoptive parent to more than 25 children in 14 years said the rewards far outweigh the trials.

"I look at my kids and how far they have come from when we first got them, and that's huge for me," said Schnyders, a West Michigan resident and foster parent for Bethany Christian Services.

"What I keep going back to is if they weren't in a good home they might not succeed in life," she said.

State leaders are hoping to find folks who feel the same way when they kick off a statewide campaign today in Grand Rapids to recruit foster and adoptive parents.

"You don't have to go to China to adopt a child or to be a foster care parent," said Ismael Ahmed, director of the Michigan Human Services Department.

Law Enforcement Leaders Say School Reform Bill Can Help Fight Crime

Prosecutor, police chief back early childhood education, dropout prevention programs

fightcrime.jpgWASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2010) -- Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton and Mundy Township Police Chief James Petres traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Representative Dale Kildee (D-MI) to discuss opportunities to reduce crime through the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Representative Kildee will be a key legislator in the reauthorization of that bill as the chair of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education.

They said that providing at-risk kids with early education, keeping school-age kids on track to graduation, and reducing bullying, school violence and drug abuse would all have a positive effect on preventing later crime.

“I’d much rather focus our time, energy and taxpayer dollars on effective school reforms than pay room and board for career criminals,” Prosecutor Leyton said. “Public safety pays the toll when kids drop out of school and turn to crime rather than a career or higher education. We need to make sure kids get the right start to their education and stay on track through their school years.”

Research compiled by the anti-crime group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids also shows that a one-year increase of staying in school reduces murder and assault by almost 30 percent, motor vehicle theft by 20 percent, arson by 13 percent and burglary and larceny by about 6 percent. A study funded by the Gates Foundation found that high school dropouts are eight times more likely to be incarcerated than graduates.


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