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

January 4, 2022 | Issue 1 (View newsletter as webpage)

Important News

NJ attorney general logo seal

Restorative and Transformative Justice for Youth and Communities

New Jersey announced funding for two-year pilot programs in Camden, Newark, Paterson and Trenton to:

  • help prevent young people in New Jersey from entering the youth justice system
  • support young people being released from a Juvenile Justice Commission facility

The funds will support the development of physical hubs within the community where:

  • Youth and families can heal, reconnect, and build healthy relationships
  • Local conflicts can be resolved through dialogue instead of punitive measures

A variety of supports will be available:

  • Employment
  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse treatment & recovery
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Financial Literacy
  • Life Skills

Youth will be referred to the services as alternatives to:

  • school disciplinary actions
  • formal charges by local law enforcement

Youth will also access the hubs:

  • as part of a diversion, detention alternative, deferred disposition, or probation disposition
  • For transitional support when returning from a juvenile justice facility
  • When aging out of or when not eligible for Children's System Of Care services


See the Notice of Funding Opportunity here (link)

Learn more about Education and Health Care Rights in the Juvenile Justice System by registering here (link)


Century Foundation Logo

Report: A New Federal Equity Agenda for Dual Language Learners and English Learners

"This report offers concrete policy reforms that stand to improve ELs’ chances to graduate from high school... Now, at the beginning of a new presidential administration—and with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) due for reauthorization—is the perfect time to establish a new, equitable policy framework that supports EL students’ success."

Connor P. Williams, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation

Key points:

  • English learners make up an increasing share of the U.S. student body.
  • Despite facing systemic and intersecting biases in U.S. public schools, these children have huge potential, since they bring valuable linguistic, cultural, and academic assets to school.
  • English-learning students deserve substantial increases in federal funding targeted to meet their needs.
  • Federal policies can be improved by shifting from an English-only framework to a fully bilingual and biliterate approach.

Read the full report at this link

Preschool Boosts High School Graduation Rates

decorative photo of child playing with blocks

New research shows that attending a Boston public preschool led to positive long-term impacts on educational attainment as attendees were more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college. The short-term effect of preschool on test scores was minimal, but there was a substantial impact on student behavior. Effects were larger for boys but did not differ by race or income. The study also found that:

  • Enrolling in preschool increased the likelihood that a student would ever graduate from high school by 6%, attendance at college on time by 8%, and taking the SAT by 9%.

Read more about the study here

Learn more about SPAN's Early Childhood work here

Upcoming Events

See what's happening this month

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them. Check out our Event Calendar (link) for details and registration links.

Upcoming Events include (links):

And more (link)!

Decorative images of parents with children

get covered NJ logo.png

Open Enrollment -- Get Covered New Jersey

Open enrollment is the one time of year residents who do not have health insurance through an employer or other program such as Medicaid or Medicare can enroll in a plan.

Nine in 10 enrolling qualify for financial help, and many residents receiving financial assistance can access a plan for $10 or less per month.

Remember to sign up for coverage by December 31st to ensure that you are covered for the new year. Open enrollment ends January 31st, 2022.

Get more information and sign up at this link

Share your SPAN testimonial story! CLICK HERE

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