children

African Orphanage
10:42 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Connecticut-Based Non-Profit to Build a Children's Village in Tanzania

Bekka Ross Russsell of The Small Things with children.
Credit The Small Things

A Connecticut-based non-profit has received a major grant to start construction on a village for orphaned children in Tanzania. The Small Things, based in East Haven and Africa, partners with the Nkoaranga Orphanage, which cares for youngsters from birth to five years old.

When they age out of the orphanage, some kids are able to move in with family members or live in foster homes, but most are sent away to boarding schools.

Read more
Family Court
9:56 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Are There Better Ways of Handling Child Custody Cases in Connecticut?

Dr. Elizabeth Thayer said the system needs to change but advocates shouldn't just criticize the GALs.
Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

There's growing tension in Connecticut between parents and guardian ad litem lawyers or GALs, who are appointed to represent minor children in child custody cases.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue March 25, 2014

A Look Inside Connecticut's Family Court System

Credit AndreyPopov/iStock / Thinkstock

Earlier this month, The Connecticut Law Tribune reported that a number of the state’s guardian ad litem lawyers had withdrawn from their child custody cases. Their actions came in response to growing tension within the family courts, where parents and advocates have criticized the system -- and the lawyers in it -- for high fees and lack of oversight.

Read more
Child Mental Health
2:03 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Kids Benefit From Counseling At The Pediatrician's Office

Behavior issues like defiance and aggression are common, and short-term counseling can help parents and kids do better.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:49 pm

Pediatricians often recommend some mental health counseling for children who have behavior problems like defiance and tantrums. But counseling can be hard to find. Children are much more likely to get help if the counselor is right there in the doctor's office, a study finds.

The children in the study had behavior problems, and many also had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or anxiety. They were 8 years old, on average, and two-thirds were boys.

Read more
Sandy Ground Project
6:02 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Volunteer-Built Playground in Hartford Celebrates Sandy Hook Shooting Victim

The Sandy Playground Project has built playgrounds in New Jersey and Connecticut to remember the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook and restore the east coast after Hurricane Sandy.
Credit Alan Yu / WNPR

A corner of a Hartford's Elizabeth Park became a construction site last weekend, but this wasn't just any ordinary project.

Even on a chilly day in March, hundreds of people came to watch. The organizers hope the community will continue to feel a strong connection to the playground that was built.

A group called the Sandy Ground Project is building 26 playgrounds as living memorials to the children who died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. 

Read more
Chemicals and Kids
4:37 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

A Call for Pesticide-Free Town Greens

A new bill could extend the state's pesticide ban to public parks, playgrounds, and town greens.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / jetsandzeppelins

Connecticut lawmakers are once again eyeing restrictions on pesticides. A new proposal would ban their use at public parks and town greens.

Read more
Legislative Session
4:25 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Malloy Wants to Ban Sale of E-Cigarettes to Minors

Governor Malloy speaks about the bill at the Trinity College Boys & Girls Club in Hartford.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy wants to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. He said the makers of the devices may be trying to hook smokers while they're young. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue March 11, 2014

School Resource Officers and the Safety of Our Students

School resource officers have long been a fixture in many urban schools.
Credit rob.wall / Creative Commons

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, something changed at many schools in Connecticut. Armed guards started appearing in places they hadn’t before: in elementary and middle schools. Districts have struggled with the questions of whether this kind of increased security is worth the cost, and whether it provides the kind of school environment they want.

Read more
Influences Online
2:57 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Of Cigs And Selfies: Teens Imitate Risky Behavior Shared Online

High school students whose friends posted photos of drinking and smoking were about 20 percent more likely to become drinkers or smokers themselves.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 9:59 am

Teenagers put a lot of stock in what their peers are doing, and parents are forever trying to push back against that influence. But with the advent of social media, hanging out with the wrong crowd can include not just classmates, but teenagers thousands of miles away on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

Read more
Connecticut First
5:24 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Blumenthal Talks Rail Safety; Protecting Children from Toxic Chemicals

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut discussed his priorities for rail safety today in Hartford, in his first hearing as chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation in Washington. Blumenthal stressed the importance of renewed investment in rail infrastructure and strong federal oversight.

Read more
Where We Teach
2:42 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

What It's Like to Be a Teacher in Connecticut Today

WNPR hosted approximately 70 teachers in the CPBN Learning Lab to talk about what it's like to teach today.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Why do teachers want to teach? In the era of education reform, teacher evaluations, and standardized testing, it's a question that some teachers are asking themselves.

Last week, WNPR's Where We Live hosted an evening panel discussion with teachers from across the state in order to accommodate their schedules which don't line up with a live morning call-in show. 

We invited educators to join us in the audience and there was a general sentiment of openness to new evaluation methods and ways of measuring performance. But they also expressed a desire to balance it with support from administrators. The teachers on the panel said they are interested in getting better at teaching, and so they want feedback and support, not a stern visit that comes with a score and an up or down vote.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Where We Teach: A Conversation With Connecticut's Teachers

WNPR's John Dankosky moderates a discussion with teachers Liz Natale, David Bosso, Ebony Murphy-Root, and David Low.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our teacher panel welcomed educators from across the state. We broadcasted live from the CPBN Learning Lab, the home of the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet High School Satellite Campus and the Institute for Advanced Media.

Are you a teacher? Why did you decide to enter this profession and what keeps you going back to school every day? Find our tweets from the discussion at #WhereWeTeach, and watch our video of the event below.

Read more
Tracing Your Roots
6:39 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Proposal Could Allow Adoptees to Access Birth Certificates

The legislation would allow adopted adults to access their birth certificate.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / Katelyn Kenderdine

A proposal that went before the Public Health Committee could allow adopted children access to their birth certificate if they are age 21 or older.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Will Connecticut See a Second Maximum Security Facility for Girls?

Where We Live guest Martha Stone.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Each year, 1.4 million of the nation’s eleven- to 17-year-olds enter the juvenile justice system. Of these boys and girls, some 71,000 are sent to incarceration facilities, where they may remain for several months in seclusion from the outside world. 

Read more
Parenting
3:35 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Orphans' Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child's Brain

In the Institute for the Unsalvageable in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania, shown here in 1992, children were left in cribs for days on end.
Tom Szalay

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 12:07 pm

Parents do a lot more than make sure a child has food and shelter, researchers say. They play a critical role in brain development.

Read more
Connecticut First
6:00 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Malloy's Universal Pre-K Plans Unveiled; Metro-North Officials Meet

Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, the Executive Director of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood, appeared on WNPRs Where We Live to discuss plans for universal pre-K. Just over 1,000 seats would be added next school year for children from low-income families. Jones-Taylor said a quality pre-K program sets children up for future success. The first phase of the program would cost $13.8 million, which has been built into Malloy’s budget proposal.

Read more
Universal Pre-K
2:01 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Malloy's Pre-K Plan Targets "Most Vulnerable" Children

Myra Jones-Taylor, executive director of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood, speaking on Where We Live.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Malloy’s latest early childhood education proposal centers on universal access to pre-kindergarten. The phase-in plan would offer seats to 1,000 three- and four-year-olds for fiscal year 2015, and would expand to serve 4,000 additional children by 2019. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Pre-K and Right-to-Die Bills Face the Legislature in 2014

Myra Jones-Taylor, executive director of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's agenda includes universal access to pre-kindergarten. But in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing universal pre-kindergarten.

What's the difference?

This hour, we ask the executive director of the Office of Early Childhood, who is working on this issue.

Read more
Education
1:37 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

States Want Kids To Learn A Lot — Maybe Too Much

A fifth-grade student uses her cursive skills at a school in Baltimore. The Indiana Senate recently passed a bill that would restore instruction of cursive writing as an educational standard.
Lloyd Fox MCT/Landov

Jean Leising admits she's no expert on brain development, but she still hopes to do something about the way kids learn.

Leising serves in the Indiana state Senate. Last month, she convinced her Senate colleagues to pass a bill that would restore instruction of cursive writing to the state's educational standards — the set of skills and knowledge kids are expected to master in each grade level.

Even in the email age, teaching cursive might be a great thing. But when legislatures impose mandates on instruction, professional educators get nervous.

Read more
Trafficking Victims
6:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Sixteen Minors Rescued in Trafficking Ring Around Super Bowl 48

Credit Ira Gelb / Creative Commons

The FBI and dozens of law enforcement agencies rescued 16 juveniles in four states, including Connecticut, during an operation that targeted forced prostitution around the Super Bowl. 

Read more
Teen Health
3:27 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Most Teens Aren't Active Enough, And It's Not Always Their Fault

The CDC would be happy with these guys, who were playing in Birmingham, Ala., in July 2013. Teenage boys say basketball is their favorite activity.
Mark Almond AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:43 am

Sure, you think, my kid's on a football team. That takes care of his exercise needs, right? Probably not.

"There are these bursts of activity," says Jim Sallis, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. "But if you think about it, one hour of playing football out on the field means that the vast majority of that time is spent standing around waiting for the next play."

Read more
Athlete Safety
3:26 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Young Athletes Risk Back Injury By Playing Too Much

A West Coast team player kicks the ball during a match at the Adidas Challenges America's Youth Soccer Stars tournament in Venice, Calif.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 9:27 am

Jack Everett sat on his living room couch wearing a back brace, eyes glued to a massive TV set playing his favorite video game, NHL 2013.

"I'm the Boston Bruins," the 10-year-old said as he deftly worked the video controls. "The guy that just shot was Milan Lucic. He's a really good guy on our team."

Whether at home or during recess at his elementary school in suburban Los Angeles, Jack's young life now is about sitting still.

"Well, I can eat lunch with friends, and I play cards," Jack says. But his classmates are out running and jumping outside.

Read more
Child Well-Being
2:03 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Task Force to Recommend Reforms to Child Custody Cases

Jennifer Verraneault, an advocate for families, speaks during the task force meeting on Thursday.
Credit CT-N

A state task force is recommending reforms to child custody cases in state courts, including capping court-appointed child guardians' fees that many parents say are wiping out their finances. The task force met in Hartford today to finalize recommendations it plans to submit to state lawmakers on Friday. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Delivering by C-Section

Theresa Morris is a professor of Sociology at Trinity College and the author of "Cut It Out: The C-Section Epidemic in America"
Chion Wolf WNPR

Over 30 percent of women deliver their babies by Caesarean section in the United States, a significant increase over the five percent of women undergoing the surgical procedure in 1970, and a change that, overall, has not improved the health of newborns.

Read more
Connecticut First
6:01 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Sex Trafficking Forum Strengthens Partnerships; Textbook Costs Examined

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families held a full-day forum on Wednesday about domestic minor sex trafficking. The aim was to raise awareness of the issue and to strengthen partnerships across the state to combat the victimization of children. Keynote speaker Audrey Morrissey shared her experience as a survivor of the commercial sex industry, and discussed her work teaching young girls how to avoid her fate.

Read more
Connecticut First
6:23 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

New Commuter Watchdog Group; Bridgeport Fails to ID Special Ed Students

Read more
Kids and Guns
2:08 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Yale Study Examines Rate Youth Are Hospitalized for Gun Injuries

In 2009, 7,391 young people were hospitalized for gun injuries.
Spotmatik/iStock Thinkstock

Firearm injuries are the second leading cause of death among children in the U.S., but there has been scarce information available about the number of young people nationwide who are hospitalized because of gun injuries. 

Now Yale researchers have analyzed hospital data, and their study was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. 

Read more
Foster Children
11:44 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Forum Focuses on Challenges for Youth In State Care

Jaquan Harris of the DCF Youth Advisory Panel.
Credit CT-N

Connecticut Voices for Children held a forum on Thursday called, "Raising the Grade: Improving Educational Opportunities for Youth in State Care." State lawmakers, child advocates, and community leaders gathered at the capitol to hear sometimes emotional testimony from members of the DCF Youth advisory panel, teenagers who have been in the care of the state for most of their lives.

Read more
Obesity
3:37 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Cash Or Credit? How Kids Pay For School Lunch Matters For Health

Lunch at the West Salem School District in Wisconsin.
Michelle Kloser for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 1:39 pm

American kids have a problem with obesity, according to the most recent studies. In fact, the closest thing we have to good news about childhood obesity is that kids are not gaining weight as rapidly as they were some years ago.

Researchers may have identified one surprising new factor in why kids are overeating.

Read more
Bravo Waterbury!
3:21 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Music Program in Waterbury Teaches Children Team-Building Skills

The Asylum Saxophone Quartet featuring Bravo Waterbury! woodwinds.
Credit Bravo Waterbury!

Two years ago, we reported on plans to launch after-school music education programs for low-income children in several Connecticut cities. The programs are inspired by El Sistema, a music phenomenon in Venezuela that’s touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids, and captured the attention of the world. WNPR’s Diane Orson now reports on Bravo Waterbury!, an initiative of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra.

Read more

Pages