Cigarette smoking among U.S. high school students has dropped to the lowest level in 22 years, federal health officials reported Thursday.
The percentage of students who reported smoking a cigarette at least one day in the last 30 days fell to 15.7 percent in 2013, according to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a large federal survey that has been tracking youth smoking since 1991.
On Wednesday, Rashema Melson will graduate at the top of her class as the valedictorian of Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C. She's headed to Georgetown University this fall on a full scholarship.
President Obama announced a five-year, $200 million initiative to help young black men succeed. It's calledÂ "My Brother's Keeper,"Â and aims to work with non-profits and foundations to search for solutions to the Â problems of young black men. Leaders cite school and job readiness, discipline, and parenting as a few of the problems they'll tackle, but it's Â mostly the bone-crushing poverty and low expectations that hold them back.Â
This well-intended initiative put forth to help young black men succeed will Â help a few beat the odds at the expense of the masses. The success feels good but may not change much.
A group of students at East Haven High School created a short documentary, â€śWeaving the Way: Lessons From the Weaver Bird.â€ť The film recently won outstanding documentary short at the Connecticut Student Film Festival.
Advocates for a 16-year-old transgender girl at York womenâ€™s prison are working with the Department of Children and Families to find a foster family for Jane Doe. Her story continues to attract national attention.Â
When the Boston Marathon bombing occurred, neuroscientists at Harvard University were midway through a study on trauma and the adolescent brain. As a result, they said they were able to make some new scientific links between PTSD and media exposure.
Last April, Professor Katie McLaughlin and her colleagues at Harvard were studying the brains of young people whoâ€™d been through serious adversity. They had recruited about 150 children and teens. Half had reported early trauma or stress, and half had not.
More than 4,000 children are in the custody of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families. But it's one girl, known as Jane Doe, who has galvanized advocates for juvenile justice reform and LGBT youth.
The first children's room in a public library may have been in Hartford, Connecticut. The head librarian here, CarolineÂ 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. Â
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. Â 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.
Michael Sayman is a 17-year-old game developer from Miami, whose app â€” 4 Snaps â€” has been going strong in the iTunes App Store. Sayman was highlighted at Facebook's development conference last week by Mark Zuckerberg. He graduates from high school this month and starts an internship at Facebook headquarters later this summer. Sayman spoke with Tell Me More about his app, how he used the proceeds to help his family and how some schools and teachers are overlooking the importance of tech.
Experts agree that climate change is a global problem. A documentary film company in our region planned to look at how Adirondack communities are adapting to climate change. ButÂ the filmâ€™s producer changed his focus after encountering high school students at a Youth Climate Summit.
The Commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families is defending her agency's rare transfer of a 16-year-old transgender girl to Connecticutâ€™s womenâ€™s prison. Joette Katz said the state had run out of options for the troubled youth.
Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would further protect the publicâ€™s right to record police officers. The bill has been pushed through the Judiciary Committee, which approved it two weeks ago. Theyâ€™re awaiting waiting again for the Senate and House to act. Current law already allows people to record police from a safe distance, but the bill would take it a step further by allowing people to sue officers who interfere with the recording of their actions.