Governor’s Weekly Message: Preparing For Our Future by Strengthening Our Schools

(Wilmington, DE) In his weekly message, the Governor highlights  three education efforts that will help strengthen Delaware’s public school system and ensure our children are prepared for their future.

“I have never been more proud of the work being done in our schools,” said Governor Markell. “Preparing our children now for their future is a sure way we can keep Delaware moving forward.”

Every Friday, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form.  The message is available on:

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Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message: Preparing For Our Future by Strengthening Our Schools

DUI Enforcement Set for Superbowl Sunday

Dover – Super Bowl a.k.a. “Harbowl” will be one of the biggest sporting events in 2013.  While, many will be watching the game to see which coach Harbaugh can bring home the trophy, Delaware law enforcement officers will be watching the roads ensuring impaired drivers don’t ruin your Super Bowl celebrations.

Sunday night of the big game, the New Castle County DUI Task Force will be conducting a DUI checkpoint in Newark while the Delaware State Police and ten (10) other local law enforcement agencies will be conducting statewide DUI saturation patrols.  In 2012 there were thirty-six (36) individuals arrested for DUI and nine (9) alcohol related crashes on Super Bowl Sunday statewide.

Penalties for a first time DUI conviction include loss of your license, possible jail time up to 6 months, fines up to $1,500, and mandatory participation in an alcohol education and/or treatment program.  The approximate cost for a first time DUI including court, DMV, treatment and legal fees is $3,400.00.  Subsequent DUI convictions include mandatory jail time and higher fines.

OHS offers the following tips to help you have a safe Super Bowl weekend.   If you’re going out to a bar or party, designate a sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.  Once out, if you’ve been drinking alcohol, don’t even think about getting behind the wheel. Ask a sober friend for a ride home.  Call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you, or stay where you are until you are sober.  Finally, remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. Take the keys and never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party, serve lots of high protein food and be sure to include lots of non-alcoholic beverages.  Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game – and begin serving coffee and dessert.  Be sure all of your guests designate their drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers.  Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.

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Agencies to Use Social Media for Book Drive for Terry Children’s Center

Wilmington – The Children’s Department is hoping the power of social media can be harnessed to give young people at its Terry Children’s Center Facility an opportunity to further support their treatment efforts through the use of books and family-focused DVDs.  Beginning Friday, February 1st, Department staff, in coordination with the Governor’s Office, the Department of Health and Social Services and the Delaware Libraries will begin using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to launch a month-long donation effort to the children at the Terry Center.

“The many benefits of reading to children, including how it sets them up for academic and life-long success, cannot be underestimated,” said Governor Jack Markell. “We saw a great response during the Week of Service last month, as it relates to the goodwill and supportive nature of Delawareans. We also saw an increased level of engagement from the online community with the health-focused social media campaign. Harnessing the power of both efforts is a simple way we can support the boys and girls of the Terry Center.”

During the month of February, the public is encouraged to donate new or gently used children’s books that are appropriate for ages 6 – 12, as well as family-friendly DVD’s that can be used at the Terry Center.  Six Delaware libraries have offered to serve as designated drop-off spots for the items.  They are the Wilmington, Hockessin, Newark, Dover, Bridgeville, and Millsboro Public Libraries. The books will be picked up by AmeriCorps members and delivered to the Children’s Department, where they will be screened for appropriateness. The agencies involved will use #helpDE and #KidsDE to engage the public through social media and facilitate online discussions regarding the many benefits of reading to children.

The Terry Children’s Center (TCC) is a Residential Treatment Center serving children ages 6 – 12, who may be experiencing one or more of a variety of mental health challenges.  Both residential and day treatment services are available.  The TCC serves up to 42 children at any given time. TCC Director Tom Olson said donations of books will especially benefit the children they serve, because books and other reading materials are often not readily available in their homes.

“This book drive will help us address this discrepancy.  Reading can open up new worlds to children, especially for those who may be developmentally or emotionally lagging behind others in their age group,” said Olson.  “Also, the one on one focused interaction of parents and staff reading to a child can give the child self confidence and a sense of being valued.”

Throughout the month of February, follow the Children’s Department on Twitter @DelKIDS for updates on the progress of the campaign.  Photos will be available throughout the month on Flickr at

“We’re very excited to use social media in a way that allows citizens to become partners in helping the vulnerable children we serve.  In many ways, this affirms our belief that children in residential treatment are children that have the same needs hopes and goals shared by all of us,” said Karryl McManus, Acting Secretary for the Children’s Department.

The Children’s Department provides a range of services to children who have been abused, neglected, are dependent, have mental health or substance problems, and/or have been adjudicated delinquent by the Courts. For more information, please visit

World Language Immersion Program Expands for 2013-2014 School Year

Seven More Elementary Schools to Offer Mandarin Chinese or Spanish Immersion Programs

Next fall, nearly 1000 kindergarteners and first graders will be enrolled in Governor Markell’s World Language Expansion Initiative, as seven more schools across the state begin offering students the opportunity to participate in an elementary immersion program studying either Mandarin Chinese or Spanish. This builds off the initial launch of the program, which debuted in three elementary schools in the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. An annual investment of $1.9 million will support  program reaching nearly 10,000 students in K-8 immersion programs by 2022.

“The ability to speak another language is a life skill that is becoming crucial in the global job marketplace and to our growing state economy,” Governor Markell said, noting that in Asia and Europe, children typically begin learning additional languages as early as 5 years old. “We have an incredible opportunity for Delaware youth to learn another language before they reach high school, a skill that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”

Schools participating in the first year of implementation include: McIlvaine Early Childhood Center (Caesar Rodney School District, Kent County), John. M. Clayton Elementary School (Indian River School District, Sussex County) and Lewis Elementary School (Red Clay Consolidated School District, New Castle County). An additional seven schools will begin offering the program for the 2013-2014 school year. They are:

  • Spanish Immersion Programs
    • South Dover Elementary School (Capital School District, Kent County)
    • Pulaski Elementary School (Christina School District, New Castle County)
    • Blades Elementary School (Seaford School District, Sussex County)
    • West Seaford Elementary (Seaford School District, Sussex County)
  • Mandarin Chinese Immersion Programs
    • Downes Elementary School (Christina School District, New Castle County)
    • Wilbur Elementary School (Colonial School District, New Castle County)
    • New Castle Elementary School (Colonial School District, New Castle County)


In addition, students participating in the first year of implementation at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center will continue their involvement at either Allen Frear Elementary School or W.B. Simpson Elementary School, bringing the total number of participating schools to twelve.

In the program, children are taught academic content in both languages. The focus is to build proficiency – students being able to use the language – not to teach grammar. The Delaware kindergarteners entering the program will be able to continue their immersion study into middle school and achieve Advanced Placement credit in ninth grade. In high school, they will be encouraged to study an additional language as well as continue their immersion language study through dual credit offerings.

“We are absolutely delighted with the Immersion Program at John M. Clayton Elementary School,” said principal Charlynne Hopkins. “It is exciting to see students learn academic content through a second language. To highlight the success of the program, we will be hosting a Parent Night where all of our Immersion parents can observe how well their child is learning both in English and Spanish and meet their 1st grade English teacher for next year.”

Delaware’s immersion model includes 50 percent instruction in the world language and 50 percent in English. Classes have two teachers – one for each language. The program includes one-way immersion, with predominantly native English speakers, as well as two-way immersion, with two language groups such as native English and native Spanish speakers.


More information about immersion and Delaware’s program is available through the Department of Education.

Photos from Governor Markell’s visit to the Chinese immersion program at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center are available on his Flickr page.

David Brinley’s Paintings Featured in the Mezzanine Gallery in February

David Brinley, a 2012 Individual Artist Fellow in Painting, will present an exhibition titled Circumventions, in the Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery from February 1-22, 2013. The Gallery, open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located in the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Friday, February 1 from 5-8 p.m. as part of Wilmington’s Art Loop.

David Brinley’s solo exhibition will showcase paintings based on past experiences that convey ideas for viewers to relate to their own inspirations. Brinley combines these themes into paintings that feature domestic objects juxtaposed with characters that relate to–and are drawn from–the artist’s personal history and memories. Personal observation, notes from Brinley’s sketchbook, ephemera, vintage books, music, and recollections inform the subject matter of each painting and ultimately determine the context and the content of the work.

Brinley graduated from the University of Delaware and from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, CA. He received his MFA at Murray Tinkelman’s Hartford Art School in the program for professional illustrators. Brinley has exhibited his work nationally and has had pieces featured in publications such as TIME, GQ, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, SPIN, Entertainment Weekly and the Los Angeles and New York Times.