SPAN The Bridge Newsletter pictorial graphic.  Your weekly access to SPAN news, resources and events.

September 6, 2023 | Issue 95 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

5 Back to School tips flyer

Back to School Tips Released by NJTSS-ER Program

New Jersey Tiered System of Supports – Early Reading (NJTSS-ER): Engaging families in science-based reading instruction and intervention is a partnership between the New Jersey Department of Education and SPAN Parent Advocacy Network.

This program just released five important Back to School tips for parents to help them build connections with their child's teacher and set the tone for a successful school year.

Here are the 5 tips to remember:

  • Find out your teacher's preferred method of communication
  • Ask if there are volunteer opportunities for you in the classroom or school
  • Clarify when you can expect to hear about how your child is doing or if they need help
  • Gain an understanding of the methods used to teach your child how to read
  • Discuss how you can support your child's learning at home

To read and download the tip sheet, click here.


Mental Health America Logo

Mental Health Resources for Back-to-School Focusing on Social Media and Online Activity

Back-to-school is always a time met with mixed emotions, especially for the growing numbers of youth that struggle with feelings of anxiety and depression. Mental Health America (MHA) now has new, free resources to help support parents, teachers, students, caregivers, and others during this time of transition.


The 2023 Mental Health America Back-to-School toolkit focuses on an area that MHA has seen be a key driver of youth mental health concerns: social media and online activity. The toolkit, "Selfies, Social, & Screens: Navigating Virtual Spaces for Youth," provides educational information and tips on how to tackle some of the most common online stressors for youth, like social comparison, body image, misinformation, and cyberbullying.


Inside the toolkit you’ll find: 

  • Fact sheets and tips for youth
  • Fact sheets and tips for adults
  • Key messages 
  • A sample drop-in article
  • Sample social media posts and images
  • Posters
  • A guide to national and local resources

To download the free Toolkit click here

Check out SPAN’s page on NJ Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health here.

Helping Children with Out of School Transitions

Transition resources document image

Out-of-school programs may be called Before Care, After Care, After School Programs, or Child Care.  

New Jersey's Afterschool & Out-of-School Time Professional Network (NJSACC) and Child & Family Resources collaborated with SPAN to gather helpful resources to use with children preparing to experience new out-of-school programs. 

The resources include links to pertinent information in English and Spanish for families with children of all ages and provide checklists to make the process easier.

Topics covered include:

  • “How to Choose an Afterschool Program” by NJSACC
  • “Look, Listen, and Ask: Tips for Choosing Quality Before-School and Afterschool Care”
  • “The Transition to Kindergarten and Out-of-School Time Programs; Tips for Parents & Caregivers”
  • “Looking for a quality afterschool program? Here are some ideas.”

Checklists are available for School-Age Programs, Preschool Programs, Family Child Care, and Child Care Center.

Check out the Resources to Help Families with the Transition from Preschool to School-Age Afterschool and Out of School Time (OST) Programs here.

SAVE THE DATE: October 24, 2023

6:30 pm for English and 7:30 pm for Spanish via Zoom

Join us for a webinar to learn more about quality programs that are Inclusive and to help you understand the different options that are available for you to select from. Follow us on EventBrite by clicking here for notifications on all SPAN events.

Upcoming Events

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them.

Highlighted Event This Week

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Fall 2023 SPAN Workshops

Take your knowledge to the next level!

Whether you take one workshop or a few, we are here to educate and empower New Jersey families, youth/young adults and professionals. 

Workshop Topics include:

Assistive Technology in the IEP – Learn what Assistive Technology is and how it can be included in the IEP

Local School Board Elections: Advocacy in Action – Join the Roundtable to discuss the importance of school board elections and what YOU can do to be a catalyst for better student outcomes.


Look to the Future: Transition from School to Adult Life - Transition Planning is crucial to provide successful outcomes for life after high school. This workshop will discuss issues related to transitioning from school to adult life.

Paperwork for Families - Looking to organize paperwork for your child in preparation for meeting with the Child Study Team? This training will provide ideas and resources to help you prepare for those upcoming IEP Meetings.

Special Education Series – The series includes:

  • Overview of Basic Rights
  • Key Components of the IEP
  • Measurable Goals and Progress Monitoring

SPAN Awareness – An overview of all of the ways that SPAN Parent Advocacy Network educates and empowers families

Starting and Running an Effective SEPAG – This workshop provides an overview of the role and function of a Special Education Advisory Group (SEPAG). Learn about best practices, tips and strategies.

…and many more!

To view the Fall Collection, click here.

Check back frequently as more workshops will be added!

See all of SPAN's upcoming events with details and registration links here 

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haga clic aquí para suscribirse
2023 SPAN Conference Flyer

Register Today for the 2023 SPAN Parent Leadership Conference on 9/30

Every two years, SPAN Parent Advocacy Network convenes parent leaders from around the state to enhance their skills, network, and celebrate what we do. Our 2023 conference will offer thought-provoking speakers and informational breakout sessions to provide attendees with the tools and inspiration you need to advocate for infants, toddlers, children, and youth. Join us!

To learn more, register, or become a valued sponsor, click here.

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