children

"They call me the Wolf," said the 25-year-old human smuggler sitting in front of me, sipping a Coke and stepping away for frequent cellphone calls.

"Everybody says we're the problem, but it's the reverse. The gringos don't want to get their hands dirty. So I bring them the Mexicans and Central Americans to do the dirty work for them," he says, smiling.

We've all done it. The bottle of Pepto-Bismol says to take two tablespoons, so you grab the nearest spoon from the silverware drawer and drink down two of those. It's probably pretty close, right?

Maybe not. With all the different sizes and shapes of spoons out there — soup spoons, dessert spoons, grapefruit spoons and coffee spoons, to name just a few — who knows if the spoon you chose is actually close to a tablespoon.

And when it comes to children, that lack of precision can be dangerous.

The Colin McEnroe Show is working on a show all about stuffed animals: the history of being attached, or developing a sentiment towards an object that comforts; the business of building them, and the awesome stories people have about their precious squishy toys.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

All children look forward to summer vacation, but when they're not in class, some of these kids also miss out on free meals and snacks. To feed more children, Hartford Public Schools has expanded its summer food program to libraries.

After a half-century of the War on Poverty, an anti-poverty agency in Ohio has concluded that decades of assistance alone just hasn't changed lives. Instead, it says, the ongoing breakdown of the family is to blame.

"You're seeing the same people come year after year, and in some cases generation to generation. And so then you think, why is that happening?" says Jennifer Jennette, program manager of the Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron and Richland Counties in Ohio.

Ever wonder why children can so easily figure out how to work the TV remote? Or why they "totally get" apps on your smartphone faster than you? It turns out that young children may be more open-minded than adults when it comes to solving problems.

Steve Honigfeld

Our third Health Equity Forum is a project we’ve been working on for a few years now with our partners at Connecticut Health Foundation, exploring the idea of health equity in Connecticut. How do we make sure that everyone has the best possible health outcomes regardless of race, regardless of how much money you have?

It’s a tricky issue for policy makers, which is why we’re so glad to have as the basis for our conversation a new set of information called the Connecticut Health Care Survey. Six organizations came together to put out this report, which is drawn from some 5400 households interviewed. 

In the stuffy, little gymnasium at Richard Kluge Elementary in Milwaukee, 16 boys and girls are stretching, jumping and marching to music.

Two years ago, the school had no gym, art or music classes due to budget cuts. But now, Kluge students get a so-called "special" class three days a week.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Each year, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center honors people whose writing advances social justice and inspires action. This year, the two winners of the Student Stowe Prize crafted essays on two issues that are very important in 2014.

Madeline Sachs, a high school student from Chicago, spoke on the inequity of juvenile sentencing standards, an issue that’s important as Connecticut lawmakers grapple with -- and still fail to implement -- a new law to come into compliance with a Supreme Court ruling on the issue. We hear some of her presentation and talk with a civil rights lawyer.

Tony Hisgett/flickr creative commons

This is a story about a little girl named Chelsea Wheeler, who lives in rural Oxford, the kind of small town that used to have a post office barber shop in one room. It's also the kind of town where citizens contributed at Town Hall to a giving tree set up in the Wheeler family name.

Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling on Washington to improve veterans’ access to medical care. Blumenthal sponsored a bill that passed the U.S. Senate last week and now heads to the house. This comes in response to growing controversy over delays in medical care at V-A facilities around the country. Blumenthal says the measure enables our heroes to seek healthcare outside of the VA.

Norwalk Walk Bridge Gets Inspection

Katelyn Kenderdine / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy said he'll sign a bill that could allow adoptees access to their birth records. Under the proposal, anyone 18 or older would be able to request a copy of their original birth certificate if they were adopted after October 1, 1983.

Ross MacDonald and Tony DiTerlizzi

Some of America's favorite children’s book authors will visit Newtown this weekend including the creators of Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Ella Enchanted, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. They’ll go to schools and talk with students on Friday and participate Saturday in panels and workshops.

Revelation

Jun 3, 2014
Bureau of Land Management / Creative Commons

His T-shirt says, “I am God”.
I think - My lucky day!
I’ll run over,
shake his hand,
ask for an autograph.
I might never have this chance again.

The federal law that governs special education lays out the goals pretty clearly: Students are entitled to an appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

But some parents of children with autism feel their local public schools aren't meeting their kids' needs. And with autism diagnoses rising, new schools are emerging specifically for autistic children.

Some parents see these specialized schools as a godsend. For others, they raise a new set of questions.

MaxiuB/flickr creative commons

As a result of repeated sound exposure while in the womb, it now appears a baby can later recognize these sounds, even the theme song of its mother's favorite television show. In other words, there is "neural memory." This is what we learned from a Science magazine story, examining the key findings of a Swedish study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (The author is cognitive neuroscientist Eino Partanen.) Does this explain something about the child musical prodigy? 

Diane Orson / WNPR

The word dulcimer means "sweet sound." There’s no better way to describe this American folk instrument.

Valentin Ottone / Creative Commons

Adults with college degrees are much less likely to smoke than the rest of the population. A new Yale University study searches for the reasons why.  

Steve Honigfeld

Our third Health Equity Forum is a project we’ve been working on for a few years now with our partners at Connecticut Health Foundation, exploring the idea of health equity in Connecticut. How do we make sure that everyone has the best possible health outcomes regardless of race, regardless of how much money you have?

It’s a tricky issue for policy makers, which is why we’re so glad to have as the basis for our conversation a new set of information called the Connecticut Health Care Survey. Six organizations came together to put out this report, which is drawn from some 5400 households interviewed. 

More than 200 girls who were abducted by militants in Nigeria's northeast have been located — but Nigeria's military says it's too risky to try to free them by force. The news comes after reports that the government had been negotiating for at least some of the girls' release.

The U.S. and other nations have contributed manpower and resources to the search for the girls, whose mass kidnapping inspired an international campaign demanding their safe return. U.S. surveillance aircraft have taken part in the search, using sensors that can detect body heat in complex environments.

How hard can it be for school cafeterias to swap white bread for whole-grain tortillas, cut sodium, and nudge kids to put more fruit and vegetables on their trays?

Tougher than you might imagine, according to some schools.

Two kindergartners were seriously hurt after the "bounce house" they were playing in was sent high into the air by a strong gust of wind Monday in upstate New York. Both children needed to be hospitalized after falling out of the inflatable playhouse.

Chion Wolf

The first children's room in a public library may have been in Hartford, Connecticut. The head librarian here, Caroline Hewins was an early advocate for taking seriously the reading needs of children starting in the late 19th century. Prior to that children's lit wasn't really treated as a genre that could stand on its own two feet.  

Today, of course, it's massive and diverse. Its themes range from light to darkness, its language may be mannered or naturalistic, its art may be glorious or crude.  And, there really seems to be a readership for all those possibilities. But, some would say we need more diversity.

Today on the show, we talk about children's books, first from the perspective of two authors and then with a scholar and a librarian.

U.S. Embassy Manila / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Child Advocate Sarah Eagan said the 2014 legislative session was beneficial for the children of Connecticut. 

Overall, Eagan said she's happy with what was accomplished in this short legislative session, including finding room in the budget to pay for 1,020 new preschool spots statewide.

Vernon Police Department

Police have found three missing boys in Bangor, Maine after issuing a multi-state Amber Alert.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

The story of an inmate at York Correctional Facility, known simply as Jane Doe, has caught the attention of Governor Dannel Malloy. She’s a 16-year-old transgender female at the center of a rare transfer of custody from the Department of Children and Families to the Department of Corrections.

Caitlin Regan / Creative Commons

Earlier this week, the General Assembly passed a bonding package allocating $22 million to strengthen school security across the state.

Gov. Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

The Connecticut General Assembly passed a budget this past weekend, which -- along with two other bits of legislation -- expands access to pre-kindergarten education. Advocates have said it doesn't reach the ideal goal of universal preschool, but it's an important step in that direction.

Paul Horton / Creative Commons

School officials and health care professionals joined lawmakers at the state capitol on Thursday, touting the importance of early mental health care intervention for kids. It's a cause that's gotten increased attention since the school shooting in Newtown.

The commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families has resigned following the deaths of three children on her watch.  Child welfare advocates say the focus now needs to shift to fixing problems at the state agency and preventing child abuse.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who had previously rejected DCF Commissioner Olga Roche’s resignation offers, said Tuesday he had reluctantly agreed to accept it now, believing the troubled child welfare agency can’t move forward with her at the helm.

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