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CSREES Sponsors Conference Focusing on Needs of At-Risk Youth

Contact:
Jennifer Martin, CSREES Staff, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2005 – The USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) is sponsoring the annual Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) conference May 17-19 in Atlanta, Ga.

“Some American children and families are in dire need of shelter, safety or assistance,” said Sherri Wright, CSREES national program leader and CYFAR program manager. “The goal of this conference is to ensure that educators are well prepared to help children and youth develop the skills, knowledge and competencies needed to have healthy and successful lives.”

The CYFAR program focuses on children whose fundamental needs of safety, shelter, food and care are at immediate risk for not being met. CSREES, through CYFAR, makes a commitment to support programs for at-risk youth and limited resource families as a part of the educational outreach mission of the Land-Grant University System. Approximately 40,000 youth and parents participate in CYFAR programs in urban housing projects, isolated rural areas, inner city neighborhoods, Indian reservations and new immigrant settlements.

Nearly 800 university, county and community professionals will gather in Atlanta to share information and program experiences to help improve and sustain educational programs for limited resource families and at-risk youth. Participants will examine the importance of CYFAR programs and discuss new ideas through workshops, program showcases, poster sessions and computer labs that integrate research and technology. Keynote speakers include:

  • Constance Curry, fellow at the Institute for Women's Studies, will discuss her documentary, The Intolerable Burden, the story of one family’s fight for a better education and the failure of public education and the fast track to prison.
  • Geoffrey Canada, president and chief executive officer of Harlem Children's Zone, Inc., will speak about how communities can work with children, families and schools to improve the odds that poor youth have access to, receive a solid education and become healthy, productive citizens.
  • Michael D. Resnick, professor of pediatrics and public health at the University of Minnesota, will address the particular roles for families, schools, adults and youth serving organizations working with and on behalf of youth.

 

CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. For more information visit the CSREES Web site at http://www.csrees.usda.gov.

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Note to Reporters: USDA news releases and program announcements are available on the Internet. Go to the CSREES newsroom at http://www.csrees.usda.gov/newsroom/newsroom.html. Also, anyone with an e-mail address can sign up to receive CSREES press releases automatically. Send an e-mail message to news@lyris.csrees.usda.gov and leave the subject blank. In the message, type ‘subscribe news’.