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What's New at KidsPeace

News and Notes from KidsPeace

KidsPeace Announces TeenCentral.Net Grant to Fund New Mentoring Program for Military Families

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KidsPeace Announces TeenCentral.Net Grant to Fund New Mentoring Program for Military Families


KidsPeace has received a $570,000 grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Department of Defense to provide mentoring and support to children and teens whose parent(s) are deployed in the US Military. This program will be offered through TeenCentral.Net and ParentCentral.Net to allow parents and kids to openly and anonymously discuss their fears, emotional struggles and insecurities about deployment of a parent and to understand that they are not alone and that many caring professionals and peers are there for them and willing to help them.

TeenCentral.Net (TC.N) is a website launched in 1998 by KidsPeace to help teens with their problems, concerns and issues. It is free, anonymous and safe. Receiving between 1.5 and 2 million hits per month, TeenCentral.Net has registered more than 479,000 young people as members since its inception. The site, designed and maintained by KidsPeace youth psychology and counseling experts, provides responses to teens within 24 hours and enables them to post stories about their experiences and share responses to stories in a "peer mentoring" atmosphere. No stories are posted before being reviewed and approved by a Master’s or Doctorate level Clinician.

ParentCentral.Net (PC.N) is structured similarly for parents and provides counseling, peer mentoring and valuable information to parents seeking advice. These free sites do not accept advertising. The two sites are directed by Dr. Julius Licata, who will lead this new program.

"KidsPeace is extremely honored to be selected as a recipient of this critical funding for our efforts to support the children of our military," KidsPeace President and CEO Will Isemann said. He announced that the grant will fund new sub-sections of the two websites -- TeenCentral.Net and ParentCentral.Net -- to establish the e-mentoring program (with components of team mentoring and group mentoring) for youth of military families and their parents. The initiative will address the emotional needs of youth whose parents are deployed and provide platforms for youth and their parents to openly communicate with e-mentors and with each other in an effort to mitigate emotional struggles and avoid juvenile justice behaviors related to a parent's deployment.

The Reason for the Grant

There are nearly 1.5 million active duty U.S. soldiers, an additional 850,000 in reserves and approximately 1.2 million children of military personnel. Children in military families experience emotional and behavioral difficulties and symptoms of anxiety above national averages. Unfortunately, the needs of teenagers whose parents are in the military and/or deployed often go unrecognized.

"Children in military families experience unique challenges that other children may never face, such as dealing with their deployed parents' extended absence and anxiety over their safe return," said Jeff Slowikowski, OJJDP Acting Administrator, in announcing the awards in Washington, DC. "Military families will now have a listening ear and caring support during a difficult time in their lives."

The award is in the form of a three-year grant. Work on the new sub-sites is expected to begin soon, with some components completed by late 2012.

KIDSPEACE Receives PLCB Grant for Teen Alcohol Awareness and Underage Drinking Prevention Page on TeenCentral.Net

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KIDSPEACE Receives PLCB Grant for Teen Alcohol Awareness and Underage Drinking Prevention Page on TeenCentral.Net


KidsPeace is one of 19 Pennsylvania organizations that have been awarded grants from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to support education campaigns aimed at preventing underage alcohol use. This $15,000 award was announced by Will Isemann, KidsPeace President & CEO. “KidsPeace is very honored to be selected as a recipient of this critical funding to assist in our efforts toward prevention of underage and dangerous alcohol use,” Isemann said. The grant will fund a new sub-section on TeenCentral.Net, a website that is operated by KidsPeace and directed by Dr. Julius Licata to assist teen members with issues, questions and information needs. This new page will address the dangers of alcohol use by teens and provide online counseling to teens who send posts for assistance.

The Way it Works
TeenCentral.Net has been helping teens since 1998 and has membership of more than half a million teens. To make use of TeenCentral.Net, teens join and make up a screen name that in no way identifies them. They post their questions to the site, and specially trained counselors review each post before it is made visible to other members. Within 24 hours, the teens receive a response from a counselor that includes empathetic acknowledgement of the problems as described and recommendations of how the teen can deal with the situation. Other teens can write in with encouragement and descriptions of how they faced similar issues. These posts are also screened by counselors, and if deemed appropriate, they are posted following the initial question.

The PLCB also awarded grants to 27 law-enforcement agencies, 26 college and universities and five school districts for underage drinking prevention efforts as part of its 2011-2012 Alcohol Education Grant Program.
“Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among young people, according to a recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control,” said Jerry Waters Sr., director of the PLCB’s Office of Regulatory Affairs. “We know underage drinking has a tremendous impact on youth, families and communities throughout Pennsylvania, and we are committed to providing the resources necessary to help children make better choices.”
Developed in 1998, TeenCentral.Net is the groundbreaking, problem-solving website that offers teens a safe and confidential environment to share their questions and concerns about everyday challenges they face. The site, designed and maintained by KidsPeace youth psychology and counseling experts, provides responses to teens within 24 hours and enables teens to post stories about their experiences and share responses to stories in a “peer mentoring” atmosphere. Receiving between 1.5 and 2 million hits per month, TeenCentral.Net has registered more than 479,000 young people since its inception. The free site does not accept advertising and is anonymous for all users.

Highlights of the proposed TeenCentral.Net Alcohol Awareness Sub-Section will include:

➢ An interactive section will be created to demonstrate the effect of a specific amount of alcohol. Teens will be able to enter a number of drinks and the type of alcohol (beer, liquor-based mixed drinks, wine, shots, wine coolers, etc.) and determine intoxication levels.

➢ Teens may access the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and receive counseling within 24 hours of their submission. The site will offer an additional benefit to youth, providing them with responses to the thoughts they have written and offering the opportunity to read about other teens who face similar challenges with respect to peer pressure, their use and abuse of alcohol and drinking and driving.

➢ The TeenCentral.Net Alcohol Awareness Sub-Section will offer specific resources for adolescents, providing distinct and individualized support, as well as ongoing tools that they can utilize.

The new section of TeenCentral.Net is projected for completion in early 2012.

 
   
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