MoCo ReConnect and our partners at the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) recently celebrated 20 GED graduates who received their diplomas.
The General Educational Development (GED) program at MoCo ReConnect goes beyond preparing students for the GED exam by integrating social justice and life-skill themes to develop students' knowledge base and cultivate empowerment through reflection and investigation of their larger social environment. We believe this method empowers youth as agents in their learning, as well as their lives and communities.

Watch this LAYC video featuring moments from the graduation ceremony and thoughts from several of this year's graduates!
In Memoriam:
Arva M. Jackson

Our community has experienced a great loss with the passing of Arva M. Jackson. She will be greatly missed and her legacy long remembered.

Arva was a member of the Collaboration Council’s Board of Directors for 14 years, including service on multiple committees. During her time as Board Chair, from 2002 until 2004, she helped shepherd the Collaboration Council through its transition from an office within the County’s Department of Health and Human Services to a quasi-governmental 501(c)3 nonprofit.
Arva Jackson with County Council President Gabe Albornoz and Shawn D. Bartley, Esq.
In 2005, Arva became chair of the Collaboration Council's Legislative Committee, where she excelled as its spokesperson, drumming up support for its mission among members of the County Council and the delegation to Annapolis. In 2010, in part because of her major contributions to the success of the Collaboration Council, Arva was awarded a Time Well Spent On Behalf Of Montgomery’s Children Award.
In 2019, Arva received the County's African American Living Legend Award. In this short video, she shares personal memories and insights about her approach to life and leadership, saying of herself: "Arva Jackson is someone who works very hard at finding the best thing there is about the worst things that ever happened." She also credits her parents with teaching her to always ask questions.
Have You Heard about The Basics?
The Collaboration Council is working with community partners to implement The Basics in Montgomery County's 20877 zip code.

The Basics consists of five evidence-based parenting and caregiving principles that promote high-quality cognitive and social-emotional development among children 0-5.

Help us spread the word about The Basics by downloading and sharing flyers featuring the five principles in English and Spanish.
To learn more about The Basics, visit the program web page.
Identifying Vendors for Montgomery County Community Youth Support & Engagement (MoCoCYSE)

The Collaboration Council seeks Letters of Interest from organizations and qualified individuals to serve as a pre-approved pool of potential youth program vendors to serve Montgomery County youth.
Funding will be awarded to increase accessibility to quality youth programs focused on the positive development, social-emotional, and overall well-being of the County's youth.

The Collaboration Council has been designated by the County to provide these program services in partnership with MCPS, Montgomery County Recreation Department, Department of Health and Human Services, and through the engagement of the youth-serving provider community in contractual public-private partnerships.
For more details and instructions on how to write and submit a Letter of Interest, download the Open Solicitation. Deadline for submissions: Friday, August 19 at 5 p.m.
Representing & Connecting at the UJC Social Justice Convention
Community Engagement Specialist Bezil Taylor and MoCo ReConnect Project Director Alycia Chuney attended the United Justice Coalition’s Inaugural Social Justice Convention held at Center415 in New York City on July 23.

The convention brought together leading activists, entertainers, attorneys, entrepreneurs, professors, experts, media personalities, organizations and more from across the nation to advance social and racial justice. Topics ranged from prison reform and mental health, to policy and advocacy change for individuals impacted by police violence.
This newsletter will take a break in August. We hope YOU will get a chance to take a break, too - and we'll see you in September!
Thank you for your continued support of children, youth and families in Montgomery County.
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