Web Watch for October 2003

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Child Welfare

Children Awaiting Parents
is a useful tool for parents, those interested in adoption policy, and social workers for kids whose permanency plans include adoption. Caseworkers can register one of their wards, which puts the childís profile and photo listing in a directory of about 200 special-needs children in the United States who want to be adopted. The site also walks potential parents through the adoption process and various state adoption policies. Children Awaiting Parents is a Rochester, N.Y.-based organization that says it has matched 4,000 children with families since its founding 30 years ago.  


Virtual Thesaurus
is about as much fun as a vocabulary tool can be for youth. Produced by Plumb Design, the online service uses a brainstorm style to display the ways words are connected to each other. Type in ìprepare,î for example, and antonyms will extend from a red line, while synonyms connect with black lines. The visual element is sure to help youth better understand how each word relates to the other, far better than they would by picking up a traditional thesaurus.

Science for Kids
offers kids a fun way to get interested in science. Animated characters and colorful images guide youth through sections on everything from pirate bugs to ozone. Certainly no replacement for a textbook, but the free-for-all of science information may help capture the interest of younger audiences. The site is operated by the U.S. Department of Agricultureís Agricultural Research Service.


National Alliance to End Homelessness

is the site for a group dedicated to mobilizing the nonprofit, private and public sectors in the fight to end homelessness among youth. The site is a tremendous asset for any like-minded organization, chock-full of best-practice updates, recent statistics and free publications and studies. Check out the allianceís 10-year plan to end homelessness.


Colorin Colorado
is designed for Spanish-speaking parents who want to help children learn how to read English and Spanish. The site draws its name from the popular phrase, ìY colorin colorado, este cuento se ha acabado!î (ìColorin colorado, and that is the end of the story!î). It features interviews with well-known Hispanic authors, tips on helping kids with reading practice, and a wonderful bank of recommended childrenís books in Spanish or English. The site is powered by Reading Rockets, a project of D.C.-area public television station WETA.


DJI Bulletin
is the website for the German Youth Institute, a social science research organization. While the majority of the site is in German, American browsers can select the English version, which is updated once a year with articles about the instituteís major research projects. In the 2003 English issue: a report on the state of youth policy in Europe, the cause of xenophobia in Germany, and measures toward equality for women in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.



compiles information on gun-control policy positions taken by current presidential candidates. The site, operated by the nonprofit Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, provides dossiers on the major candidates. The candidatesí voting records on gun legislation is included, along with a collection of their public statements about gun control and responses to a coalition questionnaire.