November, 2010

In this newsletter:

– A note to citizens
– Vote Yes on 3A
– No on 60, 61, and 101
– Upcoming events

Voting is merely a good beginning

So it’s election time again. My phone keeps ringing and my inbox is full of candidate plugs and reminders. I have to admit this cycle has been tough for me. I think the campaign process has become too complicated, money too important, citizens too removed, fear too predominant, and a country too divided. On some level I want no part of this and yet disengagement concedes to the chaos and corruption of it all.
Our country is faced with some very serious problems: war, recession, environmental assaults, children in peril, an exponentially growing population. In this election cycle, let us not repeat the past mistakes of looking to someone else to solve our problems. In times of struggle, it is hard to hold on to hope. Yet these are the moments where generations are defined. There is potential here for innovative solutions to rise to the top. What is needed for our country, our planet, and our children, is for all good people to step forward.
My wish for all of us is that voting represents only the beginning of our civic engagement. I believe in humanity and I believe that collectively we can overcome adversity if only we will:
Meet scarcity with generosity
Meet fear with courage
Meet competition with cooperation
Meet the noise with silence–contemplative reflection requires quiet and stillness
I’m voting and I’m also nominating you for the position of leader. After all, that was the design our forefathers had in mind when they imagined this democracy–courageous souls, generous hearts, working collaboratively in search of the humble truths.

Angela Engel

“The difficult takes time.  The impossible just takes a little longer.”

Read my article in support of 3A and help our kids:

Say No to Proposition 101 and amendments 60 and 61

Read more from Great Education:

Upcoming Events:

The Family Leadership Training Institute
is taking applications now. Classes will begin soon.
Learn more and submit your applications at:
The Family Leadership Training Institute teaches interested participants who wish to improve lifelong health, safety and learning of children, how to become practices change agents for the next generation.  Local communities form FLTI design teams to establish the initiative that offers a stimulating 20-week course designed to boost participants’ leadership skills to address issues of concern such as neighborhood safety, community economic development, quality child health care, educational development and improving the quality of their lives through self-empowerment.
This non-partisan initiative invites parents and family members cross class, race and geography, to engage in a journey toward full participation in democracy.  It helps parents see themselves as decision-makers and gives then a “democracy tool kit” for effective citizenship. The cornerstones of FLTI are:  respect, validation, and a belief that when the tools of democracy are understood, the public will actively engage in civic life.

New website for Colorado school parents! I would like to alert you to a new website/e-mail newsletter providing a recap of the week’s hottest news, tip sheets and background information on healthy schools, safe schools and teaching and learning called EdNews Parent. The site – created in partnership with Education News Colorado and funded by the Colorado Health Foundation – is a free resource for parents interested in education. Parents can sign up for an e-mail newsletter they’ll receive every other week, pose questions to a panel of experts in the three topic areas and interact with other parents. The site promises to be a lively forum for people interested in educational issues beyond the scope of their child’s own school or district. At the same time, the content can be personalized through the Ask an Expert feature. You can also follow EdNews Parent on Facebook and Twitter.

We hope you can join the Colorado Coalition for Girls for our Fourth Annual Colorado Conference for Girls on December 2, 2010. The conference will be a daylong event of workshops, guest speakers, and networking opportunities. This year’s theme is “Girls Matter, Relationships Matter.”

The White House Project is not only a proud member of the Colorado Coalition for Girls but we also sit on the steering committee.

Below is the flyer for more information. To register or view more details, please visit:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Brian Hawkins at or Katie Groke Ellis at

We look forward to seeing you there!

TO:    Educators, After-school Program Providers, Nonprofit youth
organizations, Parents and Community Members

FROM:        Dwight Jones, Commissioner of Education
Elaine Gantz Berman, Chair, Expanded Learning Opportunities Commission

SUBJECT:     Community Input Meetings on expanded learning
opportunities, after-school and out-of-school programs

DATE:        October 27, 2010

Please join us for an important community meeting to be held in your area!

The Colorado Department of Education’s Expanded Learning Opportunities
(ELO) Commission is examining the state-level policies needed to most effectively use the school day and to foster collaboration and partnerships among teachers, schools and community partners that go beyond core subjects to fully engage and enrich all students. The outcome of the Commission will be a report to policymakers that outlines a vision of student-centered learning that transcends the school day and location, and encourages education systems to use time, partners and technology in new ways to achieve greater long-term outcomes for students, including increased academic achievement and better preparation for college and the workforce.

The first step in the Commission’s work is a statewide tour of Colorado to listen to educators, program providers, parents and others about the challenges and successes of expanded learning time and discuss ideas for improving programs and strengthening community partnerships. The ELO Commission will hold a community input meeting in five regions of the state in November, as follows:

November 8, Monday
East Central BOCES office
820 Second Street
Limon, CO 80828
4:00-6:00 p.m.

November 10, Wednesday
Fort Collins
The Ranch
5280 Arena Circle, Suite 100
Loveland, CO 80538
4:00-6:00 p.m.

November 11, Thursday
Sheridan School District
4:30-6:30 p.m.
3201 West Oxford Avenue (high school)
Denver, CO 80236
Office: 720-833-7987

3:40 p.m. Pre-meeting Observation of Sheridan’s ELO program Fort Logan
3700 South Knox Court
RSVP required for program observation; instructions on parking and site will be provided.

November 15, Monday
Colorado State University – Pueblo
Occhiato University Center – Cottonwood Room
2200 Bonforte Blvd.
Pueblo, CO 81001
4:00-6:00 p.m.

November 16, Tuesday
Chaffee County Fairgrounds
10165 County Road 120
Salida, CO 81201
4:00-6:00 p.m.

We encourage you to attend one of the meetings to provide feedback on expanded learning opportunities and partnerships in your community. We want to hear about the extended-day and after-school programs and services available to students in your area, what efforts are working and why, and what is needed to improve and expand services to engage more students in meaningful ways. For example, we will ask, if you could reinvent the educational experience to maximize student learning and student engagement, what would that look like?  And how would you enlist organizations, partners, programs and people to maximize student learning and achievement?
Please join us to share your ideas and experiences that will help strengthen programs for children throughout Colorado.

Please RSVP to Vanessa Roman at the Colorado Department of Education, If you are unable to attend the meeting we encourage you to provide feedback via an online survey at You may also deliver a written statement to the meeting or send it to the Colorado Department of Education, c/o Vanessa Roman, e-mail address above.

We hope to see you on the ELO Commission tour.