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

February 8, 2023 | Issue 65 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

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In Celebration of

Black History Month! 


SPAN recognizes and honors the uniqueness of the Black experience every month - but during the month of February, we highlight information and valuable resources that recognize the accomplishments and resilience of the Black community.

The 2023 theme for Black History Month, set by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), is Black Resistance.

ASALH says, “This is a call to everyone, inside and outside the academy, to study the history of Black Americans’ responses to establish safe spaces, where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected.”

Events & Resources

We encourage you to share this information with your family, friends, and community to raise awareness and highlight the importance of acceptance, respect, and cultural awareness.


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Storytelling and Learning with American Sign Language

The American Society for Deaf Children has an ASL Stories Directory where you can find hundreds of free videos of ASL retellings of your child’s or student’s favorite books. 

Research shows that reading and signing stories together helps promote essential literacy skills for ALL children: deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing.

Use the ASL Stories Directory to quickly find stories by age or by the book’s title. Make the most of signing and reading with your child! 

Go to this page and scroll down to see the ASL Stories Directory by title or age.

View a video here of a grandparent reading to her grandchild that includes tips for signing stories

Learn more here about SPAN's work supporting deaf/hard of hearing children and their families

Diversity & Inclusion Activities Under Title VI


Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education shared information about a new fact sheet from the Office for Civil Rights.

The fact sheet confirms for educators, parents, and students that diversity, equity, and inclusion training and similar activities generally are consistent with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The OCR enforces Title VI, a law that prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

This new fact sheet clarifies that federal civil rights laws do not categorically prohibit schools from offering activities such as:

  • Instruction on the impact of racism,
  • Cultural competency training, or
  • School climate surveys. 


OCR states that students have the right to attend schools that are free from discrimination and provide inclusive learning environments.

We want schools that make an effort to foster these positive learning environments through diversity, equity, and inclusion activities to know that federal civil rights law is not a categorical barrier.  


OCR will continue to vigorously enforce federal civil rights laws to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities.

Review the fact sheet here

Review the fact sheet in Spanish here

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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Building Family/School Partnerships to Address Student Behavior & Support Mental Health

Guest Presenter:

Dr. Damian Petino, Psy. D. Assistant Director, Office of Special Education, NJ Department of Education

Since returning to school, more parents than ever are struggling with student behavioral and mental health challenges.

Join us to understand how the NJTSS framework provides support and resources to address these challenges.

Review tools that address your concerns, and learn what parents and schools can do to support ALL children.

Wednesday, February 23, 2023

7:00 PM via Zoom

Register Here

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

Para recibir la edición en Español de este boletín semanalmente en su correo electrónico 

haga clic aquí para suscribirse
SPAN Youth Hub image

Becoming Leaders

Being a leader is many things: good leaders inspire confidence in others, act as mentors and role models, and create a healthy environment for everyone to prosper.


Read more on how to start leading in the newest blog post, “Becoming Leaders.”

Click here to read the blog

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