October 2019
Monthly News and Updates
The holidays are a popular time for youth to engage in underage drinking. As we celebrate Halloween, it is important that parents, caregivers or guardians have an open and honest conversation with their children about the consequences of underage alcohol use. Research shows that the developing adolescent brain is more susceptible to the effects of underage alcohol use. Below are a few tips from The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids on how to have this conversation with the young person in your life:

1 .  Choose a good time and place
2.  Approach your talk with openness, active listening and “I” statements
3. Understand your influence as a parent
4. Offer empathy and support
5. Keep in mind that your teen’s brain is still developing

For more information on how to talk to your teens about saying NO to underage alcohol use, please click here

We are excited to unveil the name and logo for the Reengagement Initiative, MoCo Reconnect! The logo and name were a group effort between our reengagement partners, Asana Design, and most importantly our youth. 

Our partner, SMYAL has hired the LGBTQ navigator to work with youth in the Reengagement Initiative. The navigator has extensive experience working with LGBTQ youth and particularly homeless youth. Initially, the navigator will work on gaining a deep understanding and a connection to LGBT service providers in Montgomery County. They will coordinate events and services, as well as provide case management, specific to LGBTQ youth. SMYAL and the navigator will also provide staff training to all reengagement staff to ensure we are creating a space that is welcoming to all the youth we serve. 

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is the process of conducting their first participatory research project. As a group they agreed on a topic, created a framework and have a plan to attend community events to conduct youth surveys. It is exciting work! The YAC continues to learn how to use their collective voices to create the change they want to see. 

Excel Beyond the Bell is excited to kick off our 9 th  year of providing safe high quality out-of-school time programs that have positive impacts on youth development. This year is off to a record breaking start with a total of 1,703 youth enrolled in EBB programs thus far, with our highest average daily attendance in programs to date! This year, EBB programs are even more inclusive than ever offering LFI (Learning for Independence) students the opportunity to participate in activities that have been specially designed to meet their interests and needs. We know that a high quality, inclusive OST program must have staff that believe youth of all abilities can and should engage in Out-of-School Time activities. This is done by identifying and removing potential barriers to full participation. It has been proven that afterschool programs such as EBB can provide growth opportunities for students of all abilities. We hope to expand this initiative to more EBB programs in order to serve more youth in this capacity.
This year, the EBB program celebrated the 20th anniversary of Lights on Afterschool (LOA) event in a very special way.  Lights On Afterschool  is a project of the  Afterschool Alliance , a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs.
One very special EBB Lights on Afterschool Event held at Roberto Clemente Middle School kicked off with a very special proclamation by Montgomery County Councilmember At-Large Gabe Albornoz who spoke about the importance of afterschool programs in his life personally. Councilmember Albornoz was joined by representatives from Councilmember Hans Reimer’s office, Special Assistant to Senator Ben Cardin Ken Reichard and State Delegate Gabriel Acevero in celebration of the benefits of afterschool programs like Excel Beyond the Bell and OST providers like GapBusters, Inc. The proclamation was followed by fun and engaging student-led STEM activities that included creating slime from scratch, making a huge volcano eruption, and decorating their very own LOA inspired lightbulb. EBB continued celebrating LOA well into the evening with Passion For Learning in their 15 th  Anniversary where they received a special proclamation for their service to Montgomery County’s youth from Councilmember Evan Glass and Hans Reimer. Collaboration Council is proud to advocate for and support all of our afterschool program provider partners and quality out-of-school time youth programs as a part of our mission to ensure the well-being of our county’s youth.

Collaboration Council "Since 1992" video series.
Since 1992 the Montgomery County Collaboration Council has worked in conjunction with community-based partners and County agencies to affect change for the children, youth, and families of Montgomery County. This video showcases our commitment to partnerships that ensure safe and supportive communities for young people. Click here to watch our latest video.
Maryland United 4 Youth Conference
The 2019 Maryland United 4 Youth Conference is designed to support change-makers to feel unified, supported and inspired. The work of changing the status quo is challenging, making it essential to prioritize connection and personal well-being in the process.

Click here to register.