children

A 4-year-old child who died of a rare brain infection in early August has led Louisiana health officials to discover that the cause is lurking in the water pipes of St. Bernard Parish, southeast of New Orleans.

Copyright © & Ⓟ Sandra Boynton 2013

Connecticut resident Sandra Boynton is hard to label. She's arguably one of America's most popular children's book authors. She's an artist whose whimsical greeting cards are wildly popular. She's also a music composer who's produced five albums and been nominated for a Grammy.

Katie Doderer is a very poised 15-year-old with short blond hair and a wide smile. She's a straight A student who loves singing, dancing and performing in musicals.

This could be considered something of a miracle.

"I have a complex medical condition known as congenital central hypoventilation – blah—syndrome. CCHS," Katie explains, stumbling on the full name of her malady. "Basically my brain doesn't tell me to breathe. So I am reliant on a mechanical ventilator."

Lucy Nalpathanchil

The last person a struggling parent wants to see at his or her door is a worker from the state Department of Children and Families.  Years of adversarial relationships with families have contributed to the troubled agency's reputation.  In the last year, DCF has adopted a reform that turns the old way of doing things on its head.

Amy DeRosa is a 36 year old mom with two children. She's a pretty positive person despite life handing her one challenge after another.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

The last person a struggling parent wants to see at his or her door is a worker from the state Department of Children and Families. Years of adversarial relationships with families have contributed to the troubled agency's reputation. Now, as WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, DCF has adopted a reform that turns the old way of doing things on its head.

Amy DeRosa is a 36 year-old mom with two children. She's a pretty positive person despite life handing her one challenge after another

A fresh analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the tide may be turning on the childhood obesity front.

After decades of steady increases, 19 states and U.S. territories saw small decreases in their rates of obesity among low-income preschoolers. And another 20 states held steady at current rates.

A CDC map shows several Southern states — including Florida, Georgia and Mississippi — that are part of the downward trend.

How Can We Make Kids Enjoy Summer Reading?

Jul 31, 2013
Flickr Creative Commons, Tom (hmm a rosa tint)

Summer’s here, surf’s up, and you can watch all your favorite TV episodes in re-runs, but instead you have to read — what? David Copperfield? Eight-hundred pages long? That doesn’t seem fair. But that’s what your school told you to read. 

I’m Mark Oppenheimer, your guest host for the Colin McEnroe Show, and today we’ll be talking about summer reading. Not the kind you choose to do, but the kind your school makes you do. The kind you get tested on in September.

Nagobe, Flickr Creative Commons

Home birthing? Doulas? Midwives? Hypnobirthing? Prenatal massage? Today, we’re talking about alternative birthing.

Fifty years ago, it was pretty simple: you went to the hospital, they knocked you out, and you had your baby — while dad smoked a cigar in the waiting room. Or if no hospital was nearby, you gave birth at home and hoped a savvy neighborhood lady could to help out. In later years, the question became home birth versus hospital birth.

Earlier this week, The President and Co-founder of the Families and Work Institute came to Hartford to talk about the work she’s been doing in early childhood development. Hartford Community Schools was chosen as one of a handful of communities nationally to take part in her “Mind in the Making” initiative - meant to share life skills and give hands-on training for parents and educators. Today, we’ll talk with Ellen Galinsky.  

Sunsetme on Flickr Creative Commons

Today, we’re talking about the changing face of fatherhood.

While the birth of most children don’t get as much attention as the arrival of the royal baby, many of us already know what Prince William has yet to learn, this is just the start.

Of course, he’ll have a little help raising his young son--something a lot of dads don’t have. A recent series of reports from the Pew Center on Social and Demographic Trends say that in the United States, single father households are rising.

Each year, children across the country have a hard time caring for their teeth. A new study says that the problem is made worse because kids can't get in to see a dentist. The report comes from the Pew Children's Dental Campaign and makes two big observations.

Sujata Srinivasan

A new study finds that the way teachers interact with young children while they play, can have a powerful impact on toddlers’ mathematical abilities. WNPR visits a pre-school on the campus of Eastern Connecticut State University.

This toddler is rolling a dice on a board game, trying to figure out how many spaces to get to a pig. Along the way, his teacher is constantly engaging him in “math talk.” The child was one of about 65 four and five-year-olds in a study on the importance of math education during play.

Professor Sudha Swaminathan.

Sujata Srinivasan

A new study finds that the way teachers interact with young children while they play, can have a powerful impact on toddlers’ mathematical abilities. WNPR visits a pre-school on the campus of Eastern Connecticut State University.

This toddler is rolling a dice on a board game, trying to figure out how many spaces to get to a pig. Along the way, his teacher is constantly engaging him in “math talk.” The child was one of about 65 four and five-year-olds in a study on the importance of math education during play.

Professor Sudha Swaminathan.

Advocates for Trafficked Kids: They're Victims, Not Criminals

Jun 13, 2013
Hartford Courant

Sex trafficking isn't a problem in foreign lands.

Child advocates say up to 200,000 kids are trafficked into the sex trade each year.  That number prompted federal lawmakers to look into the problem this week.  Surprisingly, it's the Senate Finance Committee  that has jurisdiction over child welfare programs 

Connecticut's Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families testified at a Senate hearing on Tuesday in response to a bill that would require states to do more to help children who've been exploited by sex traffickers.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Senator Beth Bye may be leaving this legislative session more disheartened than any other lawmaker.

Despite being funded in the state budget, the Office of Early Childhood was never actually created.

One of the bills biggest supporters is Bye, who was honored earlier this month as a 'Child Champion' by the CT Early Childhood Alliance.

"This is probably the most discouraging situation I've run into since I've been in elected office," said Bye.

Flickr Creative Commons

There is a lot happening in Connecticut education.

Public school districts are busy preparing for the new Common Core State Standards that promise more rigor, a different kind of high-stakes testing, and a teacher and Principal evaluation system that could lead to job loss if students don’t make the grade.

Is the common core the key to closing the achievement gap? To preparing students for a career? Or are these big changes a grand, untested...and expensive experiment? We’ll find out more from a panel of experts.

Tony Bacewicz/C-HIT

Ten-year-old Joey Smith shared a celebratory high-five with Heather Kunkel, a mental health professional who was visiting the boy’s Thomaston home. “Things are great, spectacular even,” he said, as the two chatted at the kitchen table.

It’s a dramatic turnaround for Joey who met Kunkel when she was summoned to Thomaston Center School because he had threatened to harm himself. Now Joey, who has autism, is back at school with a modified curriculum to suit his individual needs and his parents have access to an educational advocate and community resources.

Chion Wolf photo

“There are a few circumstances in life in which most people respond the same way, such as starvation. The emotional and psychological stance, as we'll as mental calculations, one takes to prevent starvation would all basically be the same.

“If your child dies, it's an assault on your life, and because of that there is a universal response — [and there are] some basic common elements to that response.” — Bruce Clements

Today, Bruce joins us for a live call-in show on coping with the death of a child.

Chion Wolf photo

“There are a few circumstances in life in which most people respond the same way, such as starvation. The emotional and psychological stance, as we'll as mental calculations, one takes to prevent starvation would all basically be the same.

“If your child dies, it's an assault on your life, and because of that there is a universal response — (and there are) some basic common elements to that response.” — Bruce Clements

Today, Bruce joins us for a live call-in show on coping with the death of a child.

Play

May 13, 2013
Rishabh Mishra/flickr creative commons

Teaching to the test. Homework in kindergarten. What price are we paying for eliminating play in school? While parents and educators want the best for kids, what is the best? What if countries with high education success rates start those kids on a diet of free play in school? We never hear about that part, but we will in this hour. Edward Miller, an expert in the value of play in child development is our guest. His data is mind altering. Don't miss this show. It's about how to develop a rich human being, from early childhood and onward.

Letting Kids Play

May 13, 2013
Rishabh Mishra/flickr creative commons

Teaching to the test. Homework in kindergarten. What price are we paying for eliminating play in school? While parents and educators want the best for kids, what is the best? What if countries with high education success rates start those kids on a diet of free play in school? We never hear about that part, but we will in this hour. Edward Miller, an expert in the value of play in child development is our guest. His data is mind altering. Don't miss this show. It's about how to develop a rich human being, from early childhood and onward.

May is Foster Care Awareness Month, and as WNPR's Ray Hardman reports, advocates are pushing to extend foster care from 18 to 21 years old.

Living With Food Allergies

May 6, 2013
Joyosity, Flickr Creative Commons

No one can escape the issue of extreme food allergies. Maybe it's you who is allergic to peanuts, dairy, shellfish, citrus. Maybe it's your little son or daughter. Or maybe you don't have any allergies, but because you eat food, you find that other people's allergies affect your life. Are you ever asked to keep peanuts out of the snack you're bringing to school? Or to keep dairy out of the cake you made for the office birthday party?

Living With Food Allergies

May 6, 2013
Joyosity, Flickr Creative Commons

Victoria Soto Memorialized As Mentor

Apr 29, 2013
Wikipedia

Going to class wasn't enough. Victoria L. Soto wanted to help children. So, she started as a volunteer.

Photo courtesy of Flickr CC by Adkp

Waterbury police are collaborating with mental health professionals in a pilot program that aims to reduce traumatic stress in children.  As WNPRs Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the program is meant to provide support to children after the arrest of a parent or caregiver.

Photo courtesy of Flickr CC by Adkp

Waterbury police are collaborating with mental health professionals in a pilot program that aims to reduce traumatic stress in children.  The program is meant to provide support to children after the arrest of a parent or caregiver.

Frank Wallace

CPBN Education is establishing a PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab at America’s Choice at SAND School in Hartford. There is only one other elementary school and only three middle schools in this nationwide program, which includes over 40 schools, with teams from New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., South Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Louisiana, Utah, Texas and California.

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