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

March 13, 2024 | Issue 121 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

Photo of SPAN staff who recently earned Youth Mental Health First Aid USA Certificates

SPAN Staff Members Earn Youth Mental Health First AID USA Certificates

Twelve SPAN staff members recently earned certificates from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing for completing their Youth Mental Health First AID training program.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.

The pictured staff members who earned certificates are: Cathy Balto, Mita Bhattacharya, Brenda Figueroa, Phoebe Glassner-Meade, Garima Jain, Danica LaFortune, Courtney Richardson, Dr. Lanisha Makle-Ridley, Kim Rivers, Luz Sautner, Erin Seigh, and Paulina Vargas.

For more on Youth Mental Health First Aid, click here.


OSERS logo

OSERS Blog: Expect, Engage, and Empower: Successful Transitions for All!

In previous blog posts, OSERS has discussed the importance of self-determination and student-led decision making as critical skills children and youth with disabilities need to develop for successful transitions to post-secondary opportunities and greater independence.

In their symposiastudents, young adults, and parents, and educators and vocational rehabilitation professionals shared their own transition stories — how they have successfully transitioned to life beyond high school or how they have supported youth who have made that journey.

In this forth blog post, they continue to delve into the transition planning process, to ensure that youth and their families are empowered to experience successful post-high school outcomes.

To read the blog, click here.

Teen speaking to his parent

The Days Last Forever, But the Years

Fly By: Navigating the Secondary

Transition Process

A presentation by NTACT-The Collaborative

March 27, 2024

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


Families and caregivers are crucial partners in assisting youth in transitioning from high school to adult life. This session will:

  • Provide families/caregivers, youth/young adults, and professionals with effective practices, strategies, and resources to assist in supporting their children/youth in understanding and navigating the secondary transition process.
  • Hear real experiences from families in the transition process.

To register, click here.

Early Literacy Workshop flyer

Join Us for an Early Literacy Workshop

Thursday, March 14


Via Zoom

Join us for a panel discussion with experts in the field of early literacy and find out what's happening in New Jersey Schools on the subject.

During the discussion, we will:

  • Review how districts are addressing the science of reading
  • Discuss how students can receive the support they need to read
  • Learn about initiatives spearheaded by the NJDOE to support early literacy
  • Identify best practices for effective family-school partnerships for literacy achievement.

To learn more and register, click here.

Upcoming Events

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

Highlighted Event This Week

SEPAG event promotional image

SPAN Parent Advocacy Network and Special Education Parent Advisory Groups

6:30 PM

Thursday, March 14


The Regional Family Support Planning Council #6 (Ocean and Monmouth) cordially invites you to this special forum with Peg Kinsell, Policy Director and Director of Military Family Support 360, at SPAN. She will present what SPAN does and how we support the Special Education Parent Advisory Groups throughout the state of NJ.

Bring your questions! There will be ample time for Q&A.

Multi-lingual closed captioning is available for this event. Please indicate the language you use on the registration page.

To register, click here.

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

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haga clic aquí para suscribirse
SPAN Youth Hub image showing a young woman painting

Creative Expression

Read our latest youth blog post, "Creative Expression," to learn to express yourself through creative art forms.

To access the post, click here.

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