Lt. Governor Unveils Website for Teachers

Professional Development Videos Provide Information on Working with Children with Special Needs

WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn unveiled a new website – – full of videos created by teachers, for teachers, that focus on educating children with special needs.

Watch Lt. Governor Denn share his idea for this project here:

Some of the organizations that will promote the website and share with their members are the Delaware Autism Program, Delaware Parent Teacher Association, Delaware State Board of Education, Delaware State Education Association, and the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens.

A full list of acknowledgements for all of those that generously volunteered their time for this project in on the website, but the Lt. Governor wants to extend special thanks to Dr. Vince Winterling and the Delaware Autism Program, Dr. Laura Dewey of Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital, Dom Squittiere and Corey Bowen of Red Clay Consolidated School District, The Centreville Layton School and The Pilot School. Additionally, thanks to Catherine Miller and Ann Calamia of HNH Multimedia Productions for their work in bringing this year-long project to life.

Lt. Governor & Advocates Announce New Rights for Kids with Disabilities

WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn was joined by disabilities advocates, legislative leaders, and educators to address the rights to reading interventions that students with disabilities gained under a new law passed in June. The new law requires that schools provide young students with dyslexia and decoding disabilities and other disabilities with early, intensive, evidence-based assistance in order to better help those students learn to read.

Senate Bill 229 requires that IEPs for any child with a disability – who is not beginning to read by the age of seven – document the evidence-based interventions the school is using to build the child’s ability to read or document why such interventions are inappropriate. The law also requires the school to provide the interventions through extended school year or summer services, regardless of whether the child would otherwise qualify for those services.

For children who have struggled to read – and their families – this new law presents an opportunity to ensure those students are receiving the instruction most likely to make them readers who are able to access many more opportunities for learning and growth. Because any intervention may deem itself “evidence-based,” the Lt. Governor has a guidance document, included at the end of this post, for parents on how they can determine that their child is receiving interventions in compliance with the law.

The purpose of today’s announcement was to inform parents of eligible children that their children are entitled to this assistance, so they can specifically ask their schools for it.

“Reading is the foundation of education,” said Lieutenant Governor Denn. “When children are exposed to best practices in reading instruction, learning becomes a more positive experience. These practices have the potential to improve lives by giving these kids paths to information and imagination.”

Lieutenant Governor Denn was joined at today’s press conference at the Bear Library by Sen. Nicole Poore, House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, and parent Kim Hamstead.

Sen. Poore noted that when children have difficulty reading, they may also develop social and emotional problems that can affect their learning and peer relationships. “A child who sees they are not meeting expectations – their own, their teacher’s, their family’s – are known to be more at risk for anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, and they don’t always have the language to relieve those feelings through appropriate self-expression.”

“The fact that support will be available throughout the year is a major step forward for these students,” Rep. Longhurst said. “A lot of kids lose some ground over the summer and if you’re already falling behind, it’s even harder to get caught up with everyone else without that extra time for learning and practice.”

“With help from my son’s school, I found a reading specialist that used a specific curriculum and teaching methods that had proven effective for children with reading challenges,” said Ms. Hamstead. “My son followed this program for over 2 years and now he is a very confident reader and likes to volunteer to read in front of his class. The key to his success was early intervention and following an evidence-based reading program.”

Reading Interventions FAQ for Parents

Lt. Governor In New Castle County for Events

Visits Old State Elementary School
Delivers Speech on Public Education at The Rotary Club of Wilmington

WILMINGTON, Del. – On Thursday, May 29th, Lt. Governor Matt Denn will be in New Castle County.

He will visit Old State Elementary School in the Appoquinimink School District, where he will be in Carrie Maxwell’s 4th grade class. Her class extended an invitation for the Lt. Governor to visit and learn more about the Leader in Me process at the school. Mrs. Maxwell’s 34 students have been working on a presentation for the Lt. Governor and he will then take a short tour of the school.

The Leader in Me process helps develop the essential life skills and characteristics students need in order to thrive in the 21st century and is designed to be integrated into a school’s core curriculum. Based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, The Leader in Me produces results such as higher academic achievement, fewer discipline problems, increased self-confidence, and increased engagement among teachers and parents.

The Lt. Governor will then be the featured speaker at The Rotary Club of Wilmington with his speech focusing on the future of public education. The Wilmington Rotary Club, founded in 1914, is an established Community Service Organization with a practicing motto of “SERVICE ABOVE SELF.” This Club proudly supports life-enhancing services to citizens of all ages in the City of Wilmington and greater Wilmington areas through their finances, time and talent. The Wilmington Rotary Club has a membership of over 240 community and business leaders.

Thursday, May 29, 2014
9:30am – 10:30am Visits Old State Elementary School
580 Tony Marchio Drive

12:45pm – 1:30pm Featured Speaker at The Rotary Club of Wilmington
Hotel DuPont, Gold Ballroom
42 W. 11th Street

Lt. Governor and CJC Announce 2014 Byrne Grant Recipients

82% of non-profit funding dedicated to re-entry services; up from 46% in 2007

WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn, Chair of the Criminal Justice Council, and Chris Kervick, Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Council, announced the 2014 Byrne Grant recipients at a press conference at the Rick VanStory Resource Center in Wilmington.

This year’s Byrne Grants were awarded to seven non-profits agencies – representing all three counties – that specialized in the CJC’s priority areas of Re-entry and Recidivism Reduction for Adults and Juveniles, Juvenile Prevention and Intervention, and Reducing Homicide and Violent Crime. The total of all awards is $501,079.76 and 82% of funding is dedicated to re-entry services, up from 46% in 2007. The increase in re-entry funding reflects a decision by the CJC to concentrate its limited federal grant resources in this important area.


Lt. Governor Denn said, “These groups have proven track records of providing quality services that continue to make a difference in our communities. I am impressed with their plans to expand these much-needed programs in our state.”

“The Byrne Justice Assistance Grant is the cornerstone federal assistance program for the Criminal Justice Council,” said Executive Director Chris Kervick. “It allows the flexibility required to support local programs as they provide much needed services to the people who need them most. The Criminal Justice Council congratulates this year’s grant recipients and we look forward to working with the agencies to make each program successful.”

Rick VanStory Resource Center CEO Allen Conover said today, “We would like to thank the Delaware Criminal Justice Council for the opportunity to enhance our ability to provide essential services to individuals involved with the criminal justice system that are mentally ill and/or that suffer from substance abuse. We look forward to utilizing our collective experiences to assist others.”

Here is a list of recipients, the award amount, and short description of what the funding will be used for:

Boys & Girls Clubs at Oak Orchard/Riverdale: Stop It Before It Starts Prevention Program $50,930.00
Facilitating 2 curriculums: “Positive Action” on bullying, substance abuse, and suicide for 8 to 13 year-olds; and “Courage to Speak” on drug abuse prevention for parents. Grant will fund program facilitators, counselor, and educational equipment.

Courageous Hearts Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning Center Equine Assisted Learning: Power Tools for Living Program $39,690.00
Providing therapeutic equine activities for at-risk youth. The program teaches youths to interact with and care for horses, and offers mental health counseling. Grant will cover salary for the director, bookkeeper, equine specialists, & therapist, as well as facility rental.

Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing, Inc.: Re-entry Opportunity and Recidivism Prevention $97,900.00
Provide shelter, job placement, case management, and counseling to former inmates.

The Hospitality School, Inc.: Culinary Arts & Restaurant Training Reducing Recidivism $69,933.00
Provide culinary training for hard-to-employ individuals, specially focusing on ex-offenders. This free, 14-week program also teaches soft skills & financial literacy, and includes an internship.

Rick VanStory Resource Centers: Case Management for Mental Health Offenders $115,711.76
Provide case management, mental health counseling, and substance abuse treatment to homeless former inmates. Program will operate in all counties.

Victims’ Voices Heard: Victim Impact: Listen and Learn / Stand Down: Courage to Change $60,000.00
Implement two programs that involve group sessions at correctional institutions; one focuses on victim impact awareness and the other on setting and working toward re-entry goals.

The Way Home, Inc.: Expanding Way Home Case Management Services $66,915.00
Add to the agency’s case management staff to serve inmates who are re-entering the community. Case manager will assist with employment, education, and basic needs.

Background: The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program (42 U.S.C. 3751(a)) is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. JAG funds support all components of the criminal justice system from multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces to crime prevention and domestic violence programs, courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives. JAG funded projects may address crime through the provision of services directly to individuals and/or communities and by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of criminal justice systems, processes, and procedures.

Event pictures can be found here.

Lt. Governor Denn Welcomes Winners of 6th Annual Art Contest


DOVER, Del., – Today, May 19th, Lt. Governor Matt Denn will welcome winners of the 6th Annual Lt. Governor’s Art Contest to Legislative Hall in Dover.

This year, the contest received hundreds of amazing entries from students all over Delaware. Each entry was truly unique and showed particular character. Art came from schools all over Delaware and was done by artists from Pre-K through 12th grade. Thirty pieces were chosen in 12 categories (1st, 2nd, 3rd places & honorable mention in elementary, middle and high school categories).

This year’s theme was “Family Fun in Delaware.” Participants created a piece of art that highlighted what family fun in Delaware means to them. Winners will have their artwork displayed in the Lt. Governor’s Dover and Wilmington offices for the entire year following the contest.

The winners and their families will attend an art reception in Legislative Hall, where their artwork has been beautifully displayed by the Department of State’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. The Lt. Governor will make remarks, hand out awards, and take pictures with the artists and their families. This year’s winning artwork comes from 7 schools (sorted by district):

Appoquinimink School District:
• Middletown High School
• MOT Charter School

Capital School District:
• Central Middle School

Milford School District:
• Milford High School

Caesar Rodney School District:
• Major George Welch Elementary School

Indian River School District:
• Millsboro Middle School

Red Clay School District:
•Cab Calloway School of the Arts

Art Contest Reception
Monday, May 19, 2014
Legislative Hall
411 Legislative Avenue
Dover, DE 19901
*Doors open at 5:15pm; remarks by Lt. Governor at 6:00pm.

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