Some young people seem driven to invent. And if that spirit is nurtured it can become the basis for a successful business career. In the first of a two part series on early entrepreneurship, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan met some of the state’s very youngest creative minds at Connecticut’s Invention Convention.
Thousands of children struggling against poverty find hope - and the path to a better life - through classical music.
Its not some pipedream...but a very real and inspiring story of El Sistema - The System: a music phenomenon in Venezuela that’s touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids and captured the attention of the world.
Today, we talk with the author of a book about El Sistema. We’ll also speak with educators who are using music to transform the lives of students right here in Connecticut.
A program that serves families in a distressed, low-income neighborhood in Meriden has been awarded federal money to expand. The Meriden Family Zone ties together services and supports to improve the lives of families and young children.
Families who are part of the Meriden Family Zone tend be disconnected from life in the larger city, says David Radcliffe, director of Meriden Children First.
Bridgeport’s Board of Education has appointed Paul Vallas, interim superintendent, part of the state’s takeover of the struggling school system. Vallas is a nationally recognized education reformer who’s spearheaded turnaround efforts in Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans.
Departing Bridgeport superintendent John Ramos joined a panel of school leaders earlier this month to talk about the effect of inadequate education funding on disadvantaged students.
State lawmakers and policy leaders met in Hartford on Tuesday to outline challenges facing Connecticut’s children. Some of the key issues may come up in the 2012 legislative session.
Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Jewell Mullen listed several areas of particular concern. "They include the disproportionate incidence of infant mortality, particularly in New Haven, but in our urban areas and increasingly in our smaller cities; the rising prevalence of childhood obesity; also, needing to put a new focus on preventing violence and injury."
Though education advocates are expressing frustration at an overall lack of progress during this legislative session, there’s one area where people are feeling cautiously optimistic. A bill focusing on early childhood education could help tackle the state’s stubborn achievement gap, and may better position Connecticut for future federal funding.
Last year, the city of New Haven announced the start of an ambitious 5-year education reform program. Schools were assigned levels, or “tiers". That’s something that might not affect kids as much asteachers and school administrators.
With summer vacation just a few weeks away, we visited a lower-performing “Tier Three” school to talk with educators and parents about what’s changed this year.
A bill that would raise the starting age for kindergarten has passed out of the Appropriations Committee. Critics are concerned that it does not provide an alternative for kids whose families cant afford an extra year of preschool.
The idea is to require children entering kindergarten to be five years old by October 1st. This new law would take effect in 2015, and supporters say it would improve teaching and learning because right now, the age range in kindergarten is too wide.
Like many other school districts, Hartford, Conn., rewards schools that perform well and closes schools that perform badly.
But Hartford is also a district that allows parents to choose their child's school. As the theory goes, parents should naturally choose the good schools over the bad ones — but as it turns out, they often don't.
Many communities around Connecticut rely on small businesses to provide essential, basic services. For WNPR’s latest small business profile, Harriet Jones visited a home-based daycare in Hamden that’s helping children and parents alike.
Morning exercise is all part of the routine at Every Child Ahead in Hamden.
“I just care for them like they’re my children, and I think that’s why I keep my daycare full.”
If Connecticut is to have an engaged and productive workforce it must have reliable childcare. Childcare comes in many different forms, but an increasing number of providers are small, home-based businesses. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.
In a tiny condo in Hamden, Lushanna Thompson is allowing her small charges to let off some steam.