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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 27, 2005
Fact Sheet: A Commitment to Helping America's Youth
White House Conference Empowers Communities; Launches New Web-Based Guide
The White House Conference On Helping America's Youth
On October 27, Mrs. Laura Bush Will Convene The White House Conference On Helping America's Youth At Howard University In Washington, DC. More than 500 parents, civic leaders, faith-based and community service providers, foundations, educators, researchers, and experts in child development will gather to discuss various problems facing America's youth and solutions shown to be successful in overcoming those challenges.
A New Guide to Support Community Efforts to Improve the Lives of Youth
The Interactive Guide Will Support Community Partnerships. The new guide will assist community partnerships in their collaborative efforts to prioritize issues, identify existing resources, and fill gaps or unmet needs with effective programs.
The New Guide Will Be Free Of Cost For Communities And The Online Platform Will Facilitate Good Strategic Planning That Allows The Efficient And Effective Use Of Available Resources. By identifying needs and available resources, community leaders can integrate existing Federal and local programs, as well as volunteer faith-based or community programs, to create seamless efforts serving local youth.
The Community Guide To Helping America's Youth Reflects The Most Up-to-Date Research On Youth Development And Effective Programs. The guide was developed by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Education, Agriculture, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and the Interior; the Office of National Drug Control Policy; and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Departmental contributors were chosen for their expertise in adolescent health, youth development, juvenile delinquency prevention, substance abuse prevention, mental health, and disabilities.
A Commitment To America's Youth
The President And Mrs. Bush Believe Every American Has The Opportunity To Help Children And Youth To Avoid Trouble And Lead More Hopeful Lives. In his 2005 State of the Union Address, the President announced "a broader outreach to at-risk youth, which involves parents and pastors, coaches and community leaders, in programs ranging from literacy to sports." He asked Laura Bush to lead this effort, which became known as Helping America's Youth.
The Importance Of Family: The President and Mrs. Bush believe parents and family are the first and most important influence in every child's life, providing a foundation of love and support. The President's FY 2006 budget supports families in many ways, including initiatives to promote healthy marriages and responsible fatherhood.
The Importance Of School: Schools equip children with the knowledge and skills to be successful throughout their lives. The President's FY 2006 budget helps to ensure America's schools are producing results for every child in America and includes initiatives focused on at-risk youth. For example, the President's Striving Readers initiative focuses on improving the reading skills of middle and high school students who read below grade level.
The Importance Of Community: A loving, caring adult - including parents, teachers, coaches, pastors, rabbis, and mentors - is a critical influence in a child's life. The needs of at-risk youth are best addressed when communities work in partnership with parents and families, government, schools, and faith-based and community groups. The President's FY 2006 budget supports communities in many ways, including an additional $50 million for mentoring the children of prisoners and a multi-year $150 million initiative to help youth at risk of gang influence and involvement. These initiatives will help children find the support they need to succeed and provide them with positive role models.
Background: America's Youth Are At Risk
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