children

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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."

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Connecticut First
6:23 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

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

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Child Health
6:19 am
Wed January 15, 2014

DCF Behavioral Health Plan Will Focus on Early Identification

State Senator Dante Bartolomeo said the state should ideally have a "braided" system of services for families.
Credit Ray Hardman / WNPR

The state of Connecticut will begin developing a plan to meet the behavioral health needs of all the children in the state. The plan is required under legislation passed last year by the General Assembly in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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Child Care
12:33 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

State’s Child Care Oversight: Minimal Monitoring, Lax Enforcement

Tumble Bugs Day School was cited multiple times for violations from 2007 to 2010.
Credit Tony Bacewicz

On its website, the Tumble Bugs Day School in Norwalk boasts a “highly experienced, nurturing” staff who serve infants and toddlers in a “stimulating setting.”

But a review of state Department of Public Health records shows the child care center has had numerous complaints and citations in recent years for lapses in supervision that have injured and traumatized young children.

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Advertising
4:32 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Energy Drink Companies Find Unique Ways to Market to Children

The Red Bull RC Helicopter.
Ray Hardman WNPR

In a press conference at the legislative office building in Hartford on Monday, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal called on energy drink companies to stop marketing their product to children through toys bearing the energy drink's logo.

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Ommmm
1:37 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Cognitive Control, Focus for the Young Child

Credit Tiffany Assman, Creative Commons

Daniel Goleman is a psychologist and author who may be best known for his writings on emotional intelligence, an idea that challenges the old concept of IQ as the most important measure of one’s abilities. He joined Where We Live to talk about his new book FOCUS: The Hidden Driver of Excellence.

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Child Health
9:34 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Sandy Hook Mother Talks About Trauma in Children

The mother of a child killed in the Newtown school shootings spoke to staff at Connecticut Children's Medical Center Tuesday morning. Nelba Marquez-Greene was a featured speaker during a lecture on child traumatic stress and PTSD.

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Children
9:38 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Toy Safety a Concern as Holiday Shopping Gets Underway

ConnPIRG's annual survey of toy safety warns that not all toys comply with stricter new laws.
Credit polica/iStockphoto / ConnPIRG

With the holiday shopping season underway, the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group has released its annual report on toy safety. Director Abe Scarr cautioned that parents and guardians need to watch out for toys with toxic chemicals on store shelves.

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Medication
6:03 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

More Children Are Being Medicated For ADHD Than Before

iStockphoto

The number of children being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And families increasingly are opting for medications to treat kids. Two-thirds of children with a current diagnosis are being medicated — a jump of 28 percent from 2007 to 2011.

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#SFBatKid
6:41 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Holy Empathy! Batkid Lives Superhero Dream In San Francisco

Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, talks strategy with Batman before saving a woman from peril in San Francisco on Friday. The Make-A-Wish Foundation turned San Francisco into Gotham City for Miles, creating a daylong event to grant the leukemia survivor's wish to be a superhero.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 6:50 pm

Friday was a busy day in the crime-fighting world. As a superhero might say, you never know when a dastardly plot will emerge. And sometimes you're outnumbered. But not in Gotham, and not today — because an entire city seemed to stand with Batkid, aka a 5-year-old boy named Miles, whose wish to be a superhero has been granted.

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China
8:29 am
Fri November 15, 2013

China Eases One-Child Policy, Ends Labor Camp System

Children participate in a drawing contest on May 13 celebrating international children's day in Qingdao, China.
Wu Hong EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 11:47 am

China announced Friday that it is loosening its decades-old one-child policy, and abolishing its system of "re-education through labor" camps.

In order to have a second child, one parent would have to be an only child under the new rules. Previously, both parents had to be only children in order to have a second child.

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Learning Time
6:55 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Schools in Three Connecticut Districts Adding 300 Hours to School Year

The TIME Collaborative hopes to fill empty classrooms like this one with enriching after-school programs for disadvantaged children.
Credit mahlness / Creative Commons

Several schools in Connecticut will expand their school days under a new initiative. The goal is to improve student achievement, and offer poor children access to enriching after school activities.

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Student Health
9:40 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Federal Bill Aims to Better Protect Students With Food Allergies

A shot is delivered to treat an allergic reaction.
Credit Michelle McCandless / U.S. Navy

President Obama signed a bipartisan bill Wednesday that offers financial incentives to states if schools stockpile epinephrine. Epinephrine is the emergency medication considered the primary treatment for a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis.

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Guns
1:50 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Movies Rated PG-13 Feature The Most Gun Violence

Gun violence has become increasingly common in PG-13 movies like The Avengers, released in 2012.
Zade Rosenthal AP

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 1:33 pm

Parents who rely on movie ratings to decide what their children can watch may think that PG-13 films have fewer villains flashing guns than R-rated movies.

But they're wrong.

The PG-13 movies actually show more gun violence, a study finds.

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the worst haircut ever
2:06 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Rob Ford, Gawker, and My Kids

Rob Ford (r) and my kids (l).
Credit Gawker

We normally write about other people -- because other people are the news. Not us.

And then, sometimes, really strange things happen.

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Technology
3:10 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Kids And Screens, NSA And Our Data

A protester appears behind Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, at a hearing of the House intelligence committee this week in Washington.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:52 pm

Each week, we round up the tech and culture stories from NPR and beyond. Let's do this, folks.

ICYMI

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Where We Live
8:31 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat: Battling Childhood Obesity

Dr. Ann Ferris
Chion Wolf

It’s Halloween. Do you know what your kids are eating? Is this one of the few days of the year where maybe it’s okay for kids to have a little bit of candy, or are you one of those parents who skips the treats altogether and hands out toys or toothbrushes instead?!

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