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ConnectOC Blog

Connect OC Blog

The dream of a more vibrant, prosperous Orange County is within our reach. To achieve it, we must understand and confront difficult realities faced by too many of our neighbors. And we must coordinate our response so that every effort counts.

The ConnectOC enewsletter and blog bring fresh examples of innovation and impact as we share stories of the donors, dreamers and doers who partner with OCCF, as well as insights into how we are working to help make Orange County a stronger, healthier more vibrant community for all. With an easy-to-read format and expanded content, we aim to inspire, inform and help you connect with our community and the causes you care about most.

Orange County’s issues are connected—and so are you. We invite you to get in touch with critical information, promising approaches and a growing community of partners who share your passion for our county. Already, we are making strides toward the dream we share for Orange County.

Literacy crucial for all, elusive for many

Nearly half of O.C. 3rd graders are at risk of falling behind. Literacy is crucial to an individual’s ability to achieve his or her full potential. But grim statistics show that the ability to read proficiently can be defined as early as third grade, when functional literacy has been established – or not. To illustrate how important literacy is, consider these statistics compiled by Newport Beach-based Literacy Project Foundation: Illiteracy costs American taxpayers an estimated ...
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Battling the ‘witching hour’

After-school programs have shown powerful results in keeping at-risk youth out of trouble in the afternoon. It’s known as the "witching hour," the school-is-out-but-parents-aren't-home-yet time between 3 p.m. and about 6 p.m. every weekday, when children as young as elementary-school age, may be unsupervised. A lot of families live with the witching hour. In 2009, the Afterschool Alliance estimated that as many as 15.1 million children nationwide -- about 26 percent of the school-age population ...
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Equipping vulnerable children for success

Nearly half of Orange County’s students may head back to school with empty backpacks and unmet needs. We all remember—or experience with our children—the mixture of nerves and excitement that accompany the start of a new school year. First -day-of-school outfit? Carefully-chosen backpack? Pristine packages of school supplies? Check, check and check. But for almost half of Orange County’s K-12 students in Orange County, this ideal is far from reality. Forget the new clothes and ...
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Prepare for care

With an older-adult population explosion on the horizon, Orange County needs to be prepared to address a new set of challenges and needs. There is no denying it, as baby boomers age, they bring with them a population explosion previously unseen in modern times. The numbers alone indicate we will see an influx of issues we have never faced before, and coping with a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia ...
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Green O.C. includes ocean blue

Groups encourage responsibility in keeping the county's waters free of runoff. An ideal climate, 42 miles of coastline, hills, canyons, beaches -- these are just some of Orange County’s natural allure. But these characteristics aren’t just great real estate selling points; they are integral to the quality of life in our region, helping businesses and others draw top talent and keep the county prosperous. Being good stewards of our natural resources doesn’t just protect Orange ...
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Breaking the cycle

Family violence breaks the deepest bonds of children’s trust, but there is hope through healing. Family violence can happen to anyone. Relationship violence touches one out of every five people in California, and nationwide the figure for women is one in four, according to a 2012 study from Blue Shield of California Foundation/Tulchin Research. It's an issue with widespread reach and lifelong consequences. But often the people who suffer the most are children who are ...
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Welcome to Kindville

Anaheim's mayor thinks city's success lies in establishing key core values. In November 2010, when Tom Tait was elected mayor of Anaheim, his campaign focused on bringing "kindness and freedom" to one of California's largest cities. After 10 years on Anaheim City Council, Tait felt he knew what the city needed. Tait brought to the mayor’s office a strong career in business and a history of public service. He is chief executive of Tait & ...
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The new front is right here, at home

The heartbreak of deployment. The sacrifice of war. The joy of a long-awaited homecoming. We see the stories play out in emotional home videos and Hollywood productions. But what if returning from combat was nothing like the script we expect to see? The truth is that when Johnny comes marching home, the real battle has often just begun. The reality is this: • There are approximately 133,000 veterans in Orange County —the third- largest population ...
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Cultivating the complete mind

Arts education has been severely compromised to the detriment of creative thinking and the strength of our current and future workforce. It’s no secret that budget cuts have decimated arts education programs in public schools-- and in low-income schools in particular. But it turns out that arts education isn’t a luxury after all… it’s an absolute necessity for the success of our next generation. “Arts education is not about learning to play an instrument, it’s ...
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Peace of mind

Proactively addressing mental health issues for children can be the game-changer of a lifetime. Mental health. Just the words can strike apprehension and worry, especially for parents who fear their child may be suffering from a mental or emotional condition. But this shouldn't be the case. Why should recognizing, understanding and treating a phobia, anxiety or chemical imbalance be any different from treating a broken wrist or a cavity? “The most important mental health issue ...
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