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Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

The state Department of Children and Families is back in the news facing sharp criticism over multiple issues. This hour, we dig into them and we'll examine what, if anything, needs to change within DCF.

Logan Prochaska / Creative Commons
Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new investigative report from the Office of the State Child Advocate found "gross systems failures" across several units of the Department of Children and Families and other state agencies in their care of a toddler who almost died while in foster care.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. have reached historic lows, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, declining more than 40 percent from 2006 to 2014.

When Lanarion Norwood Jr. was 9 years old, he opened his family's refrigerator to find it almost empty. His grandmother, unemployed because of disability, had run out of food for the month. So Norwood did what many young children adamantly resist: He went to bed early. Sleeping, he reasoned, would help him suppress hunger, and he knew the next day he could eat at his Atlanta school.

This story is part of a series from NPR Ed exploring the challenges U.S. schools face meeting students' mental health needs.

Every year, thousands of children are suspended from preschool.

Take a second to let that sink in.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 6,743 children who were enrolled in district-provided pre-K in 2013-14 received one or more out-of-school suspensions.

Uncle Goose / Flickr

A transcript of this show is available here.

It's hard to think about language as being endangered or replaceable. But as our culture and means of communication evolve, certain languages find their utility in decline. Braille and sign language are in just such a predicament.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Three small children walked in front of Javier Mautino, as men on either side of him high-five the kids and wish them well on their first week of school.

"It's awesome, it's awesome," he said. "It's beautiful man, to see all those fathers out there and everything, that's great."

Scholastic, Inc.

Filmmaker and producer Morton Schindel died last week at the age of 98. For decades, Schindel's film innovations faithfully brought to life some of the most beloved children's books of all time from his Weston, Connecticut studio.

Surrounded by shouting, he's completely silent.

The child is small, alone, covered in blood and dust, dropped in the back of an ambulance with his feet dangling off the edge of a too-big chair.

He doesn't cry or speak. His face is stunned and dazed, but not surprised. He wipes his hand over his wounded face, looks at the blood, wipes it off on the chair.

angus mcdiarmid / Creative Commons

The baby was born full-term and healthy, but now, just a few weeks later, lay limp and unresponsive, barely breathing.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is seeking a new commissioner for the Office of Early Childhood. Myra Jones-Taylor has announced  her resignation, effective immediately.

A new study shows millions of pounds of produce go uneaten in Vermont every year and yet nearly 80,000 Vermonters are living in food-insecure households. Volunteers, legislators and farmers are trying to find ways to bridge the gap between unused food and people experiencing hunger.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Elementary school students in Newtown will return to a new building next month, and on Friday, media were allowed to tour the facility.

State of Connecticut

This hour, we sit down for a special one-on-one conversation with Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Michael Bzdyra. It's been a long, rough year for the DMV. We discuss efforts to improve the agency and take your comments and questions for the commissioner. Have you visited your local DMV branch recently? What was your experience like? 

Michael Greenberg / Creative Commons

Sepsis is always an emergency. But I bet many of you reading this don't know what it is. 

The CDC says there are over one million cases of sepsis in America annually -- many more globally -- and about 258,000 of those people die from it. It's the ninth leading cause of disease-related deaths and more people are hospitalized for sepsis every year than for heart disease and stroke combined. It's a major driver behind higher health costs.

USDA

Bonnie Hutson has a lot of stories to tell about the importance of feeding children. She works for the West Haven Family Resource Center, which provides food for kids and families during the school year.

Mabel Lu / flickr creative commons

Last fall, Colin saw The Bloodstained Men and Their Friends demonstrating in New Haven.

They wear white coveralls with red stains on the crotches.

There's a reason Jose Luis Vilson's students learn in groups: He wants them to feel comfortable working with anyone in the classroom, something he's realized in his 11 years of teaching doesn't always come naturally.

"I don't really give students a chance to self-select until later on, when I feel like they can pretty much group with anybody," he says.

How Parents Can Help Their Underage Kids Resist Alcohol

Jul 6, 2016

While a sense of inevitability often surrounds the topic of teen drinking, adults can play an important role in preventing underage alcohol use.

Two recent studies provide guidance for parents. One finds that parents who set limits in a warm and supportive environment reduced the risk that their adolescent children would binge drink. The other study reports on the potential of a home-based program that educates parents and children about alcohol prevention.

jglazer75 / Creative Commons

Connecticut's newly formed state Commission on Women, Children and Seniors is beginning to take shape.

Diane Orson

Summer's here and many Connecticut kids are heading off to camps and summer enrichment programs.

Thinkstock/Stockbyte / Thinkstock

Connecticut is ranked fifth in the nation for overall child well-being, according to the latest KIDS Count Data Book. It's the first time the state has cracked the top five since the rankings began 27 years ago.

William Neuheisel/flickr creative commons

As coverage of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida dominates the news, it becomes increasingly more difficult to shield children from these types of events. How much information is too much? 

I'm hanging out with my 4-year-old daughter in the early evening, trying to keep her entertained and pull dinner together, when my phone buzzes.

Normally I'd feel guilty for checking it immediately, and distracted even if I didn't. But this time it's not a Twitter mention or an email from my editor. It's a timely suggestion from an app called Muse.

Here's what it says: "Try playing 'Simon Says' with L, using directional words like: behind, around, between. (ex. 'Simon Says stand between the chairs.')"

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