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ConnectOC Blog

Connect OC Blog

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.

You have to scale down before you can scale up

There are not enough resources in the world to overcome poverty head-on. Thus, available resources should primarily be used to empower people to create their own success. This will result in lower levels of poverty over time. We are making hard-won progress in this regard in the Oak View neighborhood of Huntington Beach. Oak View is something of an anomaly — a one-square-mile community beset by poverty and urban challenges, surrounded by middle-class to affluent ...
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Tech changes teaching game

Blended-learning approach fuels student success in the classroom and beyond. Math. Or, rather, math!!! For generations the concepts of math have struck terror in those not gifted with the “math gene.” But what if we were exposed to math in ways that included visual concepts, fit every type of learner and transcended language barriers? That would be a game-changer, wouldn't it? It is indeed. Technology is being incorporated into traditional education, including the instruction of ...
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Passion with a purpose

A grandchild’s diagnosis results in a world-class care center for our community When Dick and Mary Allen’s granddaughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 2, it altered the course of their lives. Knowing the gravity of the condition, the Allens committed to learning everything they could about the disease and what would be needed to care for Hannah. Most importantly, they also learned how she could learn to care for ...
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Teaching children well

Educators find, and share, new strategies to inspire students and make learning more exciting. Sunday was World Teachers’ Day, a time to honor individuals who devote themselves to creating life-long learners and preparing our next generation for success in school and life. And, these days, they have a variety of new tools and strategies with which to achieve those goals. For example, educators are using new, creative methodologies—such as Whole Brain Teaching and project-based learning—which ...
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Jessie’s Wish

A brave 12-year old girl teaches children to never ever give up. In March 2011, Jessie Joy Rees and her family received a devastating diagnosis—she had brain cancer and the prognosis was not good. But the Rancho Santa Margarita girl, who lost her battle less than a year later at the age of 12, decided to commit the time she had left to bringing joy to others. “When Jessie was diagnosed, we were given 12 ...
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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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Todd Hanson Vice President

(949) 553-4202 ext. 244