POSTED ON APRIL 4, 2012:
In the Loop. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, "Approximately 17 percent of American adults over the age of 55 report some degree of hearing loss."
Hearing loss is a common aspect of aging. Tulsa City-County Library (TCCL) recognizes this is a hurdle to enjoying a full range of library programming. TCCL recently installed an audio induction loop in Central Library's Aaronson Auditorium, 400 Civic Center. This new technology creates a magnetic field that broadcasts undistorted sound directly to people who are within the loop and have a hearing aid containing a telecoil. The major benefit for the listener is the hearing aid receives only the sounds coming directly from a microphone, excluding background noises and creating direct communication between speaker and listener.
For more information on Aaronson Auditorium's hearing loop, call the AskUs Hotline, 918-549-7323, or visit the library's tulsalibrary.org.
Perfect Piece. The Cherokee Heritage Center announced a "Call for Entries" on artwork submissions now through March 26 for the 41st Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale, set to run Apr. 21-May 20, featuring authentic Native American art in one of Oklahoma's oldest art shows.
Trail of Tears Art Show
Artists will compete in eight categories including paintings, graphics, sculpture, pottery, basketry, miniatures, jewelry and Trail of Tears theme. Complete artists' guidelines and rules are posted on the Cherokee Heritage website.
The Cherokee Heritage Center, 21192 S. Keeler Dr., Park Hill, is open 9am-5pm, seven days a week from Apr. 29 to Sept. 3. For information on the 2012 season and programs, call 888-999-6007, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cherokeeheritage.org.
Gold Standard. All Oklahoma schools will soon have the opportunity to conduct an annual assessment of their school's environment as it relates to physical activity and nutrition through the Oklahoma Healthy and Fit Schools Scorecard. The Scorecard is a self assessment tool schools can use to assess the quality of their nutrition and physical activity programs, and be recognized with an award by the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
The web-based survey will be available to schools beginning in March. Letters were mailed to all Oklahoma schools grades K-12 with the log-in instructions and deadline information. Schools have an opportunity, based on their score, to qualify for either a gold, silver, or bronze certification. All award winners will receive a certificate signed by Gov. Mary Fallin to frame and hang at their school.
In addition to the certificate, the gold award winners will receive a banner to hang at their school. "The Oklahoma Healthy and Fit Schools Scorecard is a way for schools to recognize how to make the healthy alternative the easy choice," said Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports President Wendee Lentz. "We want to help schools identify ways to shape the environment so that every child in the state has an opportunity to be healthy."
The scorecard was designed to assess and monitor a school district's local school wellness policy. In 2006, a federal law was created that requires each school district that participates in the federally reimbursable school meals program to enact a local school wellness policy. The scorecard can be used by the Healthy and Fit Advisory Committee at each school to recommend changes to strengthen the district's wellness policy.
Human Capital. The Urban Schools Human Capital Academy (USHCA) selected Tulsa Public Schools to be one of 10 school districts in the nation to participate in the academy.
USHCA trains school district staff with human resources and human capital responsibilities. The academy receives support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The first meeting of the academy is in Apr. 2012. The three-year commitment includes twice a year national meetings, toolkits with material and concepts, a human capital partner that provides support and an online learning community dedicated to finding solutions to specific problems.
USHCA's establishment responds to the critical issues urban school districts face, such as recruitment, hiring, retention and performance management. USHCA helps human capital staff members address how their roles provide sustainable changes in the district.
Dr. Elizabeth Arons, who led human resources in school districts in Virginia, Maryland and New York, will serve as chief executive officer of the academy. Arons has a distinguished record in transforming school districts' human resources and human capital operations into effective components of their school systems. For more information, visit ushcacademy.org.
Recidivism Reductionism. The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) has posted its FY 2012 budget request and support materials used in presentations to the Governor, House and Senate. In addition to funding for continued maintenance of existing programs, the department has requested funding for its "Smart on Crime" initiative that targets treatment services for at-risk populations, reduces crime and incarceration rates, and saves tax dollars. "Smart on crime" uses evidence-based programs in the areas of criminal justice diversion, pre sentencing engagement and reintegration to reduce recidivism and decrease demand for correctional beds. The department has a tremendously successful track record with the operation of these innovative programs, which makes "smart on crime" an even better investment for the people of Oklahoma
The Smart on Crime package would include placing non-violent offenders, whose primary issue is an untreated mental or addictive disorder, in a closely monitored program such as drug court, mental health court, day reporting or jail diversion programs, or other proven programs that proactively address the problem and reduce incarceration. The proposed cost for full implementation of the "smart on crime" package is estimated at $95.6 million annually. By the third year of full implementation, it is expected that the cost would be offset by cost savings, resulting in an annual net gain to the state.
The average cost to maintain and inmate in prison is $48 per day. For someone on a prison mental health unit, the cost jumps to approximately $175 per day. Providing appropriate mental health services to someone in the community to keep them from entering the criminal justice system costs approximately $25/day; and providing appropriate substance abuse services to someone in the community to keep them from entering the criminal justice system costs less that $15/day.
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