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New Haven Food Truck Makes Its Rounds

Aug 22, 2011
Tim Cipriano

A mobile food truck is roaming the streets of New Haven this summer, handing out free meals to students from low income neighborhoods. The truck is reaching kids who might not otherwise get a healthy meal.  

The Betsy Ross School in New Haven is empty -- kids are out for the summer. But the parking lot outside -- that's buzzing. The New Haven School Food Truck has arrived.

Cheating Schools

Aug 18, 2011
albertogp123

The state is investigating teachers and staff at a Waterbury elementary school about suspected cheating on the 2011 Connecticut Mastery Tests.

This follows widespread cheating scandals uncovered in the District of Columbia, Baltimore and Atlanta…just this year.  In a story this month, the magazine Education Week put it this way:

“As long as test scores are used in any field to make decisions on rewards or punishments, including for schools or educators, a small percentage of people will be willing to bend the rules - or break them.”

Hariadhi via Wikimedia Commons

Despite the high stakes attached to its multimillion-dollar statewide school testing program, new allegations of cheating show that Connecticut--like many other states--relies almost entirely on local districts to spot and report fraud.

An apparent cheating scandal at a Waterbury elementary school on the Connecticut Mastery Test came to light only after Waterbury officials alerted that state last month that something was amiss.

Flickr Creative Commons, Monica's Dad

The famine in the Horn of Africa is getting worse by the day.

Somalia is suffering deeply from the 3 year drought with more than 3.5 million Somalis facing starvation.

An estimated 600,000 of the starving are children.

Disaster relief organization, AmeriCares - based in  Stamford, CT - recently shipped emergency aid to Somalia. Inside the shipment are enough medical supplies to care for roughly 15,000 people.

alexkerhead, creativecommons

Every year Renbrook Summer Adventure in West Hartford has a group of campers that focus on musical theater - and this year it got our attention. Why? Because they’re doing radio theater. Where We Live senior producer Catie Talarski had to make a trip to visit the budding radio thespians. She brought us this audio postcard.

You can see (and hear) their radio theater production Thursday August 4 at 2PM and 6PM at Renbrook School in West Hartford.

Flickr Creative Commons, renaissancechambara

So much has changed. 

Raising Happiness

Jun 22, 2011
R. M. Calamar

What do we wish most for our children? Next to being healthy, we want them to be happy, of course! Fortunately, a wide array of scientific studies show that happiness is a learned behavior, a muscle we can help our children build and maintain. 

Wikimedia Commons

"But, Charlotte," said Wilbur, "I'm not terrific." 

woodleywonderworks, Flickr Creative Commons

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.

From the bestselling author of Cultural Literacy, a passionate and cogent argument for reforming the way we teach our children.

Uma Ramiah

The Eli Whitney Museum in Hamden is a place of exploration for kids. The museum is open to all students, but it targets a special kind of learner.

Nestled next to a waterfall on a few acres of green land, the museum is chock full of marbles and springs and catapults of all kinds -- all atop dusty, well-used shelves.

One morning last week kindergarteners from New Haven's Conte West Hills Magnet School sanded bits of balsam wood to turn into toy boats that would demonstrate the physics of water.

Editor B, Flickr Creative Commons

A new study finds a link between lead poisoning in young children and lower scores on the CT Mastery Tests.  And black children in the state are more likely to be exposed to lead.

First, researchers looked at blood lead data for all Connecticut 4th graders in the 2007-2008 school year. Then they studied test scores on the CMTs.  

Rebecca Anthopolis is a statistical analyst with the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative at Duke University where the data were analyzed.

State Wants To Feed Hungry Kids This Summer

May 17, 2011
Flickr user sampsyo

If Tim Cipriano has his way, food trucks won't just be for trendy urbanites anymore.

"It's like the big craze out there so we're looking to capitalize on the craze and get one donated to us that's similar to an ice cream truck that would be outfitted with refrigeration," Cipriano says.

Cipriano is a chef and director of food services in New Haven's public schools. He wants to use the truck to deliver meals to areas that aren't covered by the summer food service program. Right now, most of the food is served at schools, parks and summer camps.

Diane Orson

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 as teachers 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.

DC Central Kitchen, Creative Commons

The Connecticut Health Investigative Team or C-HIT has uncovered that many school cafeterias in Connecticut are not getting regular inspections as required by law.  Some schools, who were cited for various health infractions, did not even get a follow-up inspection to ensure they had resolved their health issue.  We talked to C-HIT reporter and co-founder, Lisa Chedekel about the story.

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. 

creative commons, danielle_blue

Children who sleep with fumes from water-based paints and solvents are two to four times more likely to suffer allergies or asthma, according to a new scientific study. Swedish and U.S. scientists measured the compounds - propylene glycol and glycol ethers - in the bedroom air of 400 toddlers and preschoolers, and discovered that the exposed children had substantially higher rates of asthma, stuffy noses and eczema. The irony is that these compunds are supposed to be healthier than the old, high-polluting, oil-based paints and solvents.

Week of the Young Child

Apr 12, 2011
Pawel Loj, Creative Commons

This week has been designated The Week of the Young Child by the National association for the Education of Young Children, Joining us by phone is Maggie Adair, executive director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance.

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.

Harriet Jones

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.”

Harriet Jones

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.

Diane Orson

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