Community Building & Progressive Reform
Basiceconomicsecurity.org provides a database on its subject to help communities and the workers who serve them understand the challenges facing American families today.
Campaign for America’s Future, online at www.ourfuture.org, sees itself as a strategy center with the goal of forging an enduring progressive majority to make the United States a nation of shared prosperity and equal opportunity.
HCAN, at www.Healthcareforamericanow.org, is a national coalition of more than 1,000 groups in 50 states representing 30 million people. It seeks to promote, defend, implement, and improve the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at the state and federal levels, protect Medicare and Medicaid, and increase corporate accountability.
Moveon.org is a family of progressive organizations seeking to give more Americans a voice in a political process dominated by big money and lobbyists. MoveOn.org Civic Action primarily focuses on education and advocacy. MoveOn.org Political Action, a federal political action committee, mobilizes people across the country to fight important battles in Congress and help elect candidates who reflect members’ values.
The National Neighborhood Coalition, online at www.neighborhoodcoalition.org, is devoted to community organization, with publications and programs aimed to energize urban and rural neighborhood advocates and make them more effective.
Children & Families
Act for Youth, at www.actforyouth.net, strengthens community partnerships that promote positive youth development and prevent risky and unhealthy behaviors among young people aged 10 to 19.
The Center for Children’s Advocacy at the University of Connecticut School of Law, online at www.kidscounsel.org, represents children who are wards of the state and lack other legal representation and also provides a wealth of legal and other information for advocates.
The Children’s Law Center, in Hartford, Connecticut, online at www.clcct.org, offers a telephone law line, resources to help advocates for children, and lawyers who can represent indigent children in family court.
Child Trends, online at www.childtrends.org, publishes research briefs on topics of interest to parents and providers alike.
Connecticut Voices for Children, online at www.ctvoices.org and devoted to research and public policy analysis, has a newsletter and list serves in the areas of mental health, juvenile justice, early childhood education, and youth.
Every Child Matters is a nonprofit organization committed to making the needs of children and youth a national priority. Its website, www.everychildmatters.org, provides news, links, and a wealth of information about how children are faring in our society.
The Forum for Youth Investment, online at www.forumforyouthinvestment.org, works to ensure that youth are ready for college, work, and life by age 21.
GrowGreat Magazine, available on your iPad or iPhone, is a GPS for parents who want the latest tips on preparing their kids for the twenty-first century.
The Prevention Researcher, online at www.TPRonline.org, is committed to providing professionals with behavioral research on children and adolescents.
Restorative Practices, concerned with conflict resolution and the reintegration of rehabilitated offenders into society—“repairing people and relationships”— has the Restorative Practices Eforum and assorted publications (also videotapes), online at www.restorativepractices.org.
The Search Institute, online at www.search-institute.org/, is dedicated to helping communities come together to promote the healthy development of children and families.
SparkAction’s site, www.sparkaction.org, and e-newsletters offer news and resources for work with children and youth, gathering and synthesizing information on a range of child and youth issues across the developmental spectrum, from organizations and leaders across the country.
Bridges for Kids, offering a comprehensive system of information and referral for parents of children from birth through transition to adult life, is online at www.bridges4kids.org/HelpForAllKids.html.
The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, online at www.dredf.org, protects the civil rights of people with disabilities, including children, through legislation, litigation, advocacy, technical assistance, and education.
DisabledTravelers.com offers vacation opportunities for the disabled, including thumbnail descriptions of common learning disabilities, a blog, resources for travelers, and an online community.
The Family Involvement Network of Educators at the Harvard Family Research Project, online at www.finenetwork.org, promotes partnerships between children’s educators, their families, and their communities.
Helpguide.org provides “expert, ad-free resources” to help families resolve health challenges, including stress, trauma, lifestyle issues, learning disabilities, and more.
The Learning Disabilities Association, online at www.ldanatl.org, has a Connecticut chapter that offers resources, training in educational advocacy, and parent assistors (advocates) for parents of children facing educational challenges.
The National Youth Employment Commission, online at www.nyec.org, promotes initiatives to help youth become lifelong learners, productive workers, and self-sufficient citizens.
All About Vision discusses how eyeglasses and vision impact a child’s ability to learn.
Toys “R” Us publishes a toy guide each year for differently abled kids. Featured toys are selected and evaluated by the National Lekotek Center, an independent nonprofit dedicated to children with disabilities. This year’s edition of the complimentary guide is available in all Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at www.toysrus.com/differentlyabled.
Wrightslaw: The Special Education Advocate Newsletter, available from www.wrightslaw.com, as its name suggests, includes news and information for parents and others concerned to advocate for children in the school system.
YouthLearn, at www.youthlearn.org, offers comprehensive services and resources for using technology to create learning environments in school and after school.
Health and Mental Health Advocacy
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, online at www.bazelon.org, has a wealth of information of interest to consumers and professionals nationwide.
A guide to self-help books, online at www.Books4SelfHelp.com, includes workbooks, memoirs, and even some novels.
Consumers Union and the Kaiser Family Foundation have published a guide, www.kff.org/health-costs/report/a-consumers-guide-to-understanding-managed-care/, designed to help consumers understand their health insurance, avoid disputes, appeal decisions, get an independent review, and locate the state-specific process for such reviews.
The Health Care Advocate for Connecticut, online at www.ct.gov/oha/site/default.asp, can answer questions about managed care, the referral or preauthorization process, and appeal or grievance procedures.
The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, www.nami.org, has state chapters and is dedicated to the eradication of mental illnesses and the improvement of the quality of life of all whose lives are affected by these diseases.
The National Coalition of Health Care Consumers and Providers, a membership organization online at www.TheNationalCoalition.org, works to preserve quality care and patient choice, privacy, and decision-making power, with a focus on replacing managed health care with a pro-patient, pro-quality, pro-consumer system accessible for all.
The National Institutes of Health and, within it, the National Institute of Mental Health, fund and report on major research efforts; for more information, go to www.nih.gov.
The Office of the U.S. Surgeon General has downloadable reports that are essential reading for those concerned with mental health, online at www.surgeongeneral.gov.
Physicians for a National Health Program, online at www.pnhp.org, is a membership organization with a name that says it all. Membership brings a newsletter, printed materials, and training in advocacy.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (SAMHSA) has the National Mental Health Information Center, online at www.mentalhealth.gov.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: www.CHADD.org (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder).
Autism spectrum: www.autism-society.com (Autism Society of America); www.autism-resources.com (autism resources); www.GlobalAutismCollaboration.com; www.autism-pdd.net (information about autism and pervasive developmental disorders); www.do2learn.com (educational resources, many of them free, for special needs, including autism).
Kidshealth.org offers a teen-friendly page discussing ADHD. Both English and Spanish versions are available.
Mood disorders: www.thebalancedmind.org offers resources for families raising children with mood disorders; www.bipolarchild.com (website of Janice and Demitri Papolos, authors of The Bipolar Child); www.bpso.org, a support group; www.dbsalliance.org, a “depression and bipolar support alliance.”
Sensory integration disorder: www.abilitations.com.
Fun for Kids of All Ages
Archimedes Laboratory, online at www.archimedes-lab.org, offers free puzzles and games, “educational aids for training, socialization and communication.”
You can read books—poetry, plays, classics, and children’s literature—online for free by going to www.readprint.com.
Brain Connection and Brain Buzz, a free biweekly email newsletter with all sorts of news about the human brain and learning, is available at www.brainconnection.com, a Web resource from Scientific Learning, creators of Fast ForWord products.
To find activities for kids throughout Connecticut and western Massachusetts, try the parents’ website, www.kidtivity.com. It has a searchable database, an e-newsletter and membership features, and chances to win in ticket giveaways.
The World Wide Panomara (www.worldwidepanorama.org) offers astonishing virtual reality panoramas. Begun in march 2004, the project consists of photographic events recorded on the solstices and equinoxes using a visual medium that wraps around the viewer.
You can learn all about geocaching, an adventure game for users of global positioning systems, by visiting www.geocaching.org.
The global incident map, www.globalincidentmap.com, updates every 300 seconds twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and pinpoints strange and dangerous events throughout the world.
The Hubble telescope website, www.hubblesite.org, has images and information that are out of this world, including a guide to the Hubble space telescope itself.
Learn to be Jackson Pollock in mere seconds! Click on www.jacksonpollock.org, move the cursor, and click the cursor to change colors.
A mythology website, www.mythweb.com, celebrates the gods and heroes of the ancient Greeks.
The School of Life, based in London, offers thought-provoking videos on topics selected to help us all live well and focus on the things that are really important. It has both a website and a YouTube channel. Both are highly recommended.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has a website with interactives, http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/index.cfm, where you can learn about the solar system.
The latest science news is available at www.world-science.net, which offers a free email newsletter.
You can build a solar system at http://www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/solar_system/.
Solstice celebrations, fun for observers and participants alike, have been spreading all over the country; information is available at www.revels.org.
Stagecast Creator, at www.stagecast.com, offers software to help children and teenagers build their own puzzles, mazes, and video games.
The Virtual Fish Tank, www.virtualfishtank.com, allows you to build a fish, release it in the tank, and watch it interact with other fish.
Check out the world clock: www.poodwaddle.com.
And if you live in Central Connecticut, don’t miss the free downloadable guide available on the Families and Children page of this site: Places to Go Near Central Connecticut: Day Trips for Families.