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Posts from the ‘Support’ Category

Investing in ACT

Grants to help ACT hire development director, advance children’s health care

Thank you to the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for their recent investment in the work of Alaska Children’s Trust (ACT).

The Murdock Charitable Trust recently provided ACT with a three-year capacity grant that will allow us to add a development director to our team. The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust was created by the will of the late Melvin J. Murdock and they provide grants to organizations that seek to strengthen the region’s educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. This opportunity will allow ACT to strengthen our external relations and help grow our resources to effectively prevent child abuse and neglect.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has included Alaska in a multistate effort called The Finish Line Project to help secure health care coverage for all children in the United States. The Foundation supports advocacy organizations that work in states with the potential to significantly advance children’s coverage. Finish Line grantees receive financial support and communications and policy-related technical assistance to make a difference in their state. ACT is excited to work with this team of advocates to ensure Alaska’s children grow up in safe, stable and nurturing communities.

Watch our website, Facebook, e-newsletter and blog for future updates on these and other ACT efforts!

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Gathering Together to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

Reception Raises Funds, Honors Champion for Kids

At the Alaska Children’s Trust (ACT) fundraising reception in Anchorage Wednesday night, approximately 75 people gathered together in the spirit of a common goal – preventing child abuse and neglect. View our event photos on Facebook.

The event was particularly special as it recognized an individual who has shown extraordinary dedication to preventing child abuse and neglect. During the reception, we honored Heather Harris with our 2017 Southcentral Champion for Kids award. The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated dedication and commitment in working toward eliminating child abuse and neglect by ensuring that children are living in safe, supportive and nurturing communities.

“It is nearly impossible to talk to Heather for more than a few moments without hearing her clear commitment to children and teens – especially those who are at greater risk of experiencing trauma in their lives. The more complex the human experience, the more she is ready to engage,” reads part of Heather’s award nomination. “Uniquely, however, Heather isn’t just interested in a quick fix, but rather her strategy is first to listen and understand and then to seek collaborative solutions that don’t make life better for just one person but for a system of people.”

Currently the executive director for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Heather has dedicated two decades to our most vulnerable children and youth, engaging with Alaska Youth Advocates, Standing Together Against Rape, Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association, Anchorage Youth Development Coalition and Alaska CARES, among others. She has worked with homeless youth, been an advocate for children who have experienced sexual abuse, and has promoted positive youth development through her leadership on various boards.

This dedication and passion does not stop at the office. “At home, Heather and her husband Josh create safe space in their extended family and in their neighborhood. That space engages the neighborhood kids who instinctively know that Heather and Josh are there for them,” her nomination explains. “Neighborhood kids, children in foster care or incarcerated or abused and neglected are all welcomed by Heather and Josh – there is truly enough love and support to go around.”

“There are few people that I know who can handle seeing so much adversity in the lives of children and still feel hope and optimism about the world,” Heather’s nominator concludes.

Following the award presentation, we had the pleasure of hearing from Zookeeper and Push, members of Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) Alaska, who spoke about how the role of protecting our children is the responsibility of everyone – even unlikely people like bikers. A big thank you to Zookeeper and Push for their time and insights!

We would also like to thank Wells Fargo, a long-standing partner of ACT and supporter of the children of Alaska. Wells Fargo provided a challenge grant of $10,000 – which was matched in full thanks to the generosity of our guests!

Finally, thank you to CIRI for hosting the reception at their lovely headquarters, as well as to our event co-hosts, and all of those in attendance. You can see photos from the event on Facebook.

Together we can prevent child abuse and neglect!

Take Action for Alaska’s Kids

Voices for Alaska’s Children Action Center

Voices FB profileA few weeks ago we announced the website for Voices for Alaska’s Children, a new grassroots, community movement that makes it easy for you to speak up on issues important to children and families in your community.

We hope you’ve had a chance to check out the new site. We especially want to be sure you’ve explored the Voices action center, where you can:

  • Find – and contact – your elected officials. Sometimes the hardest thing about speaking up is knowing who to speak to! The Voices action center makes it easy to get the ear of the right decision makers. You can not only find your local, state and federal representatives, but you can also contact them right from the website!
  • Get the inside scoop on proposed legislation, track existing bills and read up on the latest news related to children and families in Alaska.
  • Make your voice count by following tried-and-true advocacy tips and guidelines.

The Voices website is also the access point for KIDS COUNT, the premier source for data on child and family wellbeing both in Alaska and nationwide. Through our KIDS COUNT data center, you can:

  • Access data from the most trusted sources, find the most relevant statistics and compare your community with others.
  • Use intuitive visual tools to easily create customizable maps, graphs and tables.
  • Connect with data experts at the Annie E. Casey Foundation and throughout the KIDS COUNT grantee network.
  • Expand your reach through social media.
  • Encourage policies that support smart decisions about children and families.

Ready to raise your voice? Visit the Voices action center now and subscribe to our email list so we can keep you updated on news and ways you can get involved.

Want to support the work of Voices? Please consider making a donation to support our efforts.

Because even the littlest voices deserve to be heard.

 

Giving Thanks for Pick. Click. Give.

(Get inspired to help us reach our goal!)

We are giving thanks for our Pick. Click. Give. donors who gave $5,225 to support our mission to prevent child abuse and neglect this year!

We ended the campaign $775 short of our goal, but we have hope that we can reach $6,000 in donations. While the PFD application period has ended, supporters can still add or change a Pick. Click. Give. contribution until August 31.

Get inspired to give! Read these stories about what you are supporting when you Pick. Click. Give. to Alaska Children’s Trust:

Here’s what you can do to help us reach our goal (we are so close!):

  • Visit pfd.alaska.gov.
  • Click the “add or change a Pick. Click. Give. donation” button on the right side of the page.
  • Log in to your account.
  • Make your Pick. Click. Give. donation to Alaska Children’s Trust!

Together we can prevent child abuse and neglect!

Science Action Club Builds STEM Identity Among Youth

20170227_102025_resizedTwenty youth at Bristol Bay 4-H Club stealthily maneuver in the outdoors, keeping their eyes to the sky – they’re on the lookout for birds. These youth are citizen scientists, actively counting birds and documenting their findings in an online platform where professional scientists and ornithologists use the submitted data for research.

The following week, the youth explore how oil spills can affect birds. Comparing two feathers – one dipped in water, the other dipped in oil – the youth discover that the feather dipped in oil will not dry, and investigate environmental solutions to cleaning oil from feathers.

“My favorite activity was seeing what happens to feathers in oil,” says Jacob Belleque. “I was surprised. I thought the oil would come out of the feathers, but it didn’t.”

This is Science Action Club – a curriculum designed to engage middle school youth in authentic, hands-on science during afterschool.20170228_170918_resized

Programs such as Science Action Club address a real need to engage more youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at a young age. Alaska employers say STEM jobs are going unfulfilled because students are graduating from high school without the requisite skills. And in college, too few entering freshman see themselves as scientists, mathematicians, technical experts and engineers. Many youth, especially girls and other underrepresented groups, see STEM as something “other” people do – not something they can pursue.

Science Action Club is helping to make STEM relevant, important and fun for all youth. And once students engage in hands-on science, they begin to reconfigure their beliefs about themselves and their abilities. The club has helped the youth at Bristol Bay 4-H Club understand that they are part of a larger community – the Citizen Scientist Community. This sense of belonging has led to increased levels of self-confidence and STEM identity among club members.

At the start of Science Action Club, many of the youth stated that they did not consider themselves to be scientists, but that opinion has changed over the course of the club. Youth talk about activities with their peers and influence them to join the club – and the learning doesn’t stop when the club lets out. Youth voluntarily track bird activity at home and seek out and share birding books with each other. Parents have noted that dinner discussions are very animated on club days.

And that’s possibly because Science Action Club doesn’t look like your typical science class.Dillingham SAC 2

Instead, it looks like engineering a device that prevents a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height.

It looks like designing paper airplanes to fly across the room, mimicking the flight styles of owls and falcons.

And it looks like real-life experiments, such as dissecting owl pellets, as well as going on regular birding walks.

“I like Science Action Club because we can identify birds and study them to get to know them better,” says one club member.

STEM education creates critical thinkers and increases science literacy. Science Action Club is only one example of the impact of an engaging STEM curriculum in out-of-school time. And while the Science Action Club curriculum is portable and can easily be taken on the road to different communities, access for many young people is still a problem.

Dillingham SAC 3The Alaska Afterschool Network aims to address these barriers, especially in rural Alaska, by forming partnerships to provide high-quality programming opportunities in the state. The Science Action Club is an example of such a partnership. The Alaska Afterschool Network brought the Science Action Club curriculum to 15 program sites across Alaska in conjunction with the National Girls Collaborative Project and the California Academy of Sciences, with funding support from BP Alaska.

The Science Action Club is only a dent in the surface of creating greater access to high-quality STEM learning in out-of-school time. And even though the research is clear on the benefits of exposing students to STEM activities, both within and outside of school, funding can still be a challenge.

Without continued, intentional support of STEM learning in afterschool, students may not get the chance to discover a future career as an ornithologist, or may not choose to pursue a college degree in physics. Afterschool programs bring STEM alive for youth – and support and active partnerships are crucial to continue bringing opportunities to our youth.

To get involved in supporting important afterschool efforts like the Science Action Club, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Alaska Afterschool Network.

Two weeks and $2,250 left to go…

PCG.fb.coverAs of yesterday, we are up to $3,750 in Pick Click Give donations! Thank you to all of our Pick. Click. Givers!

pcg-logo-fb-profileWe still have $2,250 left to go to reach our goal. If you haven’t made a Pick. Click. Give. donation yet, will you please consider doing it today? It’s easy to add a donation at pfd.alaska.gov.

And remember, when you Pick. Click. Give., you’ll be entered to win an extra PFD! Five lucky Alaskans will receive an additional dividend PLUS an extra dividend will go to the nonprofit of their choice.

Together we can prevent child abuse and neglect.

Congratulations Monte Lynn Jordan: 2017 Interior Champion for Kids

monteFrom being a Big Sister to organizing healthy activities to inspiring others to get involved, Monte Lynn Jordan is a driving force behind preventing child abuse and neglect in Alaska. Those are just a few of many reasons that Alaska Children’s Trust is honored to announce Monte as our 2017 Interior Champion for Kids. Monte was honored at our Fairbanks fundraising reception on Friday, March 31. See event photos on Facebook.

For the past 30+ years, Monte has been working to prevent child abuse and neglect by supporting healthy kids in Alaska. Fond of the Shirley Chisholm saying, “Service is the rent you pay for your room here on earth,” Monte puts her time and energy behind those words as a tireless advocate for children and families. Whether she is working to provide services to strengthen families, organizing healthy living activities for kids, or simply lending her talents to better the community at large, when an advocate for a child is needed, Monte is there.

image013Monte believes that healthy communities begin with healthy kids. A leader in many nonprofit service organizations, Monte’s exemplary service is a motivating force behind groups that support healthy families, especially children. Specifically, she has worked with the Resource Center for Parents and Children, which helps parents with parenting skills, strengthening the family structure in order to help prevent child abuse and neglect. She is a member of the board of directors for The Carol H. Brice Family Center, which promotes healthy families through education, day care assistance, legal help, and low-cost health care. Monte has also been a Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused, neglected or abandoned children in juvenile court proceedings.

image012Another way Monte works to prevent child abuse and neglect is by helping provide healthy activities for young people. She is a founding member of Running Club North’s Equinox Kid’s Marathon and a prime assistant for cross country training. She volunteers to help with high school track and field events, and is a dedicated organizer of the Alaska Children’s Trust Mush for Kids. Monte has also been directly involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization as an active and interested Big Sister to a local young person, with whom she maintained a relationship well into adulthood. Whether in groups or individually, Monte’s enthusiasm for a healthy, active lifestyle is both an inspiration and motivation for kids who may face challenging circumstances.

As important as the direct role she takes working with and for kids, is the fact that Monte uses her love of people and passion for service to recruit others to do the same. A model of lifetime service and diligence, she may be working in the background, but she is always leading by example.

Monte is quite simply a positive force in society. Her ardent activism on behalf of children, faith in the power of a healthy lifestyle, and unflagging efforts in her community mean that she can be found wherever she is needed. She has been called many things: persistent, insistent, ally, friend. One thing is sure – she is a champion for kids.

Each year the Alaska Children’s Trust Champion for Kids Award recognizes individuals like Monte who have demonstrated dedication and commitment in working toward eliminating child abuse and neglect by ensuring that children are living in safe, supportive and nurturing communities. We present three awards each year – one in southeast Alaska, one in Interior and one in southcentral. Earlier this year, we recognized Sen. Anna MacKinnon as our 2017 Southeast Champion for Kids. A call for nominations for the 2017 Southcentral Champion for Kids will be released this summer.

3 Reasons to Pick. Click. Give.

On the fence about making a Pick. Click. Give. donation this year? You’re not alone. Less than 5 percent of Alaskans have donated through Pick. Click. Give. so far this year.

donate-hands-fbTo help you make your decision, take a look at these three great reasons to Pick. Click. Give. to Alaska Children’s Trust:

  1. You love a challenge. Let’s be honest – Pick. Click. Give. is off to a rough start. Donations statewide are down dramatically – including ours. We need your help to reach our $6,000 goal. We understand that not everyone can afford to make a large donation. But if we all give together (even just $25!), it adds up.
  1. You can double your dividend. Why just get one PFD check when you can get TWO?! Pick. Click. Give. when you file by March 31 and be entered to win an extra PFD. Five lucky Alaskans will receive an additional dividend PLUS an extra dividend will go to the nonprofit of their choice.
  1. You love kids and want to keep them safe. That’s the reason we are here! Everything we do is focused on preventing child abuse and neglect in Alaska. Your Pick. Click. Give. donation helps us do that.

So what do you say? Will you help us reach our goal by Pick. Click. Giving just $25?
Do it today by logging onto the PFD website.

If you’ve already donated, don’t worry – it’s not too late! It’s easy to log back into your application and add a Pick. Click. Give. contribution.

Thank you for your support!

Nominations Open for Volunteer of the Year Awards

First Lady Donna Walker announced earlier this month that nominations have opened for the First Lady’s Volunteer of the Year Awards. Started by First Lady Bella Hammond in 1975, the Awards recognize Alaska volunteers who have displayed an extraordinary personal commitment to volunteer service, and have made a major impact on their community or state.

 
“Over the years, we have recognized many exceptional individuals who have done amazing things for Alaskans,” said First Lady Walker. “I am so pleased to continue this tradition, and encourage Alaskans to nominate those in their communities whose selfless efforts make Alaska an even better place to live.”

 
Nominations will be accepted beginning February 6 through close of business on March 6, 2017. They may be submitted online at volunteerawards.alaska.gov, or hard copies are available for pick up at the Governor’s Offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, and Palmer. The First Lady’s Volunteer of the Year Executive Committee will review the nominations, and recipients will be announced in late May.

 
For more information, visit the FLVA Website.

We Can All Pick. Click. Give. Something

Pick. Click. Give. is off to a rough start this year. pcg-logo-fb-profileThe number of people giving and the amount pledged so far is down dramatically from last year. (There is some good news – the people who are giving are giving at the same level as previous years.)

We at Alaska Children’s Trust are seeing the change in Pick. Click. Give. contributions, too. Last year, Alaskans donated $6,125 to ACT through Pick. Click. Give. This year, a month into the campaign, we’re at $700. (A big thank you to those who have donated so far!)

It’s a hard year for everyone. Money is tight for a lot of Alaskans, and there’s a lot of uncertainty about the state’s economic future. And unfortunately, money troubles can put even more stress on families, and sometimes that stress can lead to increased risk for child abuse and neglect.

So what we’re saying is that your support is more important than ever.

We understand that not everyone can afford to make a large donation to support our mission to prevent child abuse and neglect. But, as the saying goes, every little bit helps. Seriously. No matter how little that is.

Our 2017 Pick. Click. Give. goal is modest. We want to raise $6,000, which is just under what you all donated last year. We’re already at $700, so that means $5,300 left to go. Now $5,300 might sound like a big number, but look at it this way: If 212 people gave just $25, we’d be at our goal!

So what do you think? Can you be one of the 212 people who step up and say, “I can give $25 to help prevent child abuse and neglect!”?

And if you completed your PFD application but have not participated in Pick. Click. Give., remember that you can log back into your PFD application and make your Pick. Click. Give. contribution.

Together we can prevent child abuse and neglect.