Two big events for our agency today were a great success.
First, the Fatherhood Conference with Lighthouse Youth Services and the Ohio Practioner’s Network for Fathers and Families was packed with participants. Reds Hall of Famer Joe Morgan and U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus provided memorable remarks. Many fathers participated in the educational workshops, and nearly two dozen fathers took advantage of our driver’s license reinstatement offer.
The other event is something I have not talked about yet: Several dozen Hamilton County foster children who accomplished reading goals this summer had their very own party in the park today.
Our Department’s Kids in School Rule! team hosted an appreciation event at Mt. Airy Park for children who read at least one book each month of the summer. The kindergarten through 8th grade students – all participants in a Kids in School Rule! pilot program designed to promote academic success among foster children — were challenged at the beginning of the summer to stay on track with their reading while on break from school. Many met the challenge and celebrated with food, music, fun activities and rewards for their hard work.
Kids in School Rule! is a collaborative effort at 22 participating Cincinnati Public schools to help foster children achieve academic success. The program is expected to result in lower truancy, fewer interruptions in school days for students, more promotions to higher grade levels, more graduates and – ultimately – less substance abuse, crime and other social problems associated with educational failure.
Foster children are at-risk of academic failure because they’ve been abused and neglected and face instability in their home and school life. They often must move to different schools as they await permanent placement and are faced with outside counseling and other obstacles that threaten academic success.
Kids in School Rule! is built upon a spirit of cooperation to maximize resources, implement best practice principles and develop innovative supports and programming that lead to school stability and success for youth in agency care.
The event included pizza, drinks, balloon animals, face painting and a magic show. Gift bags were awarded to the children. The bags include certificates for ice cream, candy, books and Cincinnati Reds tickets!
Thanks to our sponsors: Papa Johns Pizza, bigg’s, Half Price Books in Kenwood, United Dairy Farmers, Dairy Queen, the Cincinnati Reds, Kroger Co., Walmart, New York Life, Wireless Plus 1 and Scho-lan Entertainment.