Newark, Del. May 23, 2003 At a press conference held earlier today at Newark High School, Secretary of Education Valerie A. Woodruff met with a group of social studies students to discuss their opinions in the latest publication of KIDS VOICES COUNT: Delaware Teens Talk about Social Issues. The KIDS VOICES COUNT project, under the supervision of Newark High School teacher James Doody, provides a teenager's perspective on social issues such as materialism, home life, families, parenting, schools, drugs and the media.
Ninety-two sophomore students were asked to write essays on their ideas about the connection between economic growth and social regression; AIDS; teen pregnancy; divorce; the public school system; and the future for this generation of students. A spectrum of ideas were included in the publication to help policy makers,community leaders and parents better understand both the opinions and the needs of today's teenagers.Several key issues emerged in this year's writings:
- Parents aren't as involved in their children's lives anymore.
- Teenagers are growing up at a far quicker pace.
- Children who have good grades, do community services, and spend their time helping other people are often overlooked.
- It seems the rich get richer; the poor stay the same.
- Because the media today shows so much violence, drug usage and premarital sex, America has become desensitized to it.
- Virtues like honesty, kindness and respect still hold true for the majority of the student's generation.
Secretary Woodruff stated that today's visit was very enlightening I am always interested in talking with students and listening to their concerns and ideas. "They bring a perspective that is often overlooked," Added Woodruff, " I spent 25 years working in high schools. Day to day interaction with students is something I miss very much."
KIDS COUNT, a project funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the State of Delaware and housed at the University of Delaware's Center for Community Research and Service, is part of a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the United States. In Delaware, KIDS COUNT is a collaborative project of more than fifty public and private organizations, working together to improve the lives of children. Its yearly KIDS COUNT/FAMILIES COUNT Fact Book provides a detailed picture of children in Delaware.
KIDS VOICES COUNT is available for distribution to schools, parent and community groups, churches and interested citizens by contacting KIDS COUNT at (302) 831-4966 or visiting the KIDS COUNT website at www.dekidscount.org.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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