Kyler Nipper started the nonprofit Kyler’s Kicks to make sure others with limited means can have a new pair of shoes. It’s a struggle Kyler knows all too well. The 14-year-old lives in a shelter with his family and says he was bullied and attacked for his worn-out sneakers
Category : Children
TobyMac, former member of DC Talk and an influential Hip Hop artist with seven solo albums, has written a song about the experience of losing a son.
“‘21 years’ is a song I wrote about the recent passing of my firstborn son, Truett Foster McKeehan. I loved him with all my heart. Until something in life hits you this hard, you never know how you will handle it”, the artist said on his Instagram account. He said he was thankful for all those who have surrounded his family with “love, starting with God’s”.
He and his wife Amanda have four other children.
The past 12 weeks of sabbatical have been one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. I am profoundly grateful to the clergy, vestry, and the people of St. Michael’s for blessing me so generously and joyfully. The sabbatical went beyond what I had even hoped and was a summer I will always cherish.
In the months leading up to the sabbatical, my prayer for this time set apart was taken from Psalm 36: that the Booman family would be able to feast on the Lord’s abundance, drink from His delights, and see the light of His glory—all while sheltered under the shadow of His wings. Little did I know how critical the last clause of that prayer would prove to be…
Read it all (page 3).
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) January 14, 2020
(This Day) Gunmen Free Woman After Collecting N60,000 Ransom, As Anglican Cleric and his Son are Attacked
[A] few hours after the release of a 60-year-old woman, Mrs. Banjo Ademiyiwa, sequel to the payment of N60,000 ransom, gunmen last Monday attacked an Anglican Church cleric, Reverend Canon Foluso Ogunsuyi, and his son, who is a Nigerian Army sergeant with machetes.
Ademiyiwa was kidnapped on Ikun-Oba Akiko Road in Akiko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State last Monday just around where Ogunsuyi and his son were attacked.
The cleric is the shepherd in charge of Danian Marian Memorial Anglican Church, Ikun Akoko in Akoko South-west LGA of the state.
A source told journalists that the gunmen during the attack collected valuables, including N92,000 cash from the vehicle in which the cleric and his son were travelling.
While the gunmen spared the cleric, his son who sustained several machete cuts, was admitted at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owo.
This feast suggests that things that God cares about most do not take place in the centers of power. The truly vital events are happening in refugee camps, detention centers, slums and prisons. The Christmas story is set not in a palace surrounded by dignitaries but among the poor and humble whose lives are always subject to forfeit. It’s a reminder that the church is not most truly herself when she courts power. The church finds her voice when she remembers that God “has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble,” as the Gospel of Luke puts it.
The very telling of the Christmas story is an act of resistance. This is how the biblical story functioned for my ancestors who gathered in the fields and woods of the antebellum South. They saw in the Christian narrative an account of a God who cared for the enslaved and wanted more for them than the whip and the chain. For them Christianity did not merely serve the disinherited — it was for the disinherited, the “weak things” that shamed the strong.
Christians believe that none of this suffering was in vain. The cries of the oppressed do not go forever unanswered.
“The Christmas story must be told in the context of suffering and death because that’s the only way the story makes any sense,” writes Esau McCaulley. https://t.co/QQqnbcb53t
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 27, 2019
We remember this day, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by the order of King Herod. Receive, we beseech thee, into the arms of thy mercy all innocent victims; and by thy great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish thy rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
December 28th is Childermas, also known as Holy Innocents’ Day, commemorating King Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents. pic.twitter.com/hLwTcH6PwD
— Tradical (@NoTrueScotist) December 28, 2019
On Dec. 25, the entire Wiederstein family plans to gather at a relative’s Missouri cabin, 400 miles from Edmond.
On the agenda: hunting and riding four-wheelers.
“We’re not running from it,” Allen said of the memories at home. “We’re just spending time together.”
The Wiedersteins say they realize how fleeting life can be. Time together, then, is the most precious gift of all.
A well-written story on a wonderful family with deep @okchristian ties: Despite ‘unthinkable’ grief, Christian couple has hope. HT to @OCcomm alumni @bobbyross for writing, and @ItsHunterTime, who graduated Friday. https://t.co/WV1soqO4Jk #oklahoma #TalkwalkerAlerts
— Josh Watson, Ph.D. (@joshuatodPRprof) December 16, 2019
An eight-year-old YouTube presenter has topped its list of high earners, making $26m last year.
Ryan Kaji (real name Gaun) made his toy review empire unboxing toys on YouTube from when he was just three. Now the eight-year-old has his face on toys and gets spotted in the supermarket.
A video from four years ago shows him woken from a toy-car bed by his parents, to find a giant egg with toys inside next to him. His speech is not yet fully developed – in the intro he says “welcomes to Ryan toy review”.
He plays with a series of toys that he retrieves from the egg, including a large racetrack that he puts toy cars on. Everything in the room, from his bed to the toys he plays with, is on the theme of the popular Pixar movie Cars.
The highest YouTube earner this year? An eight-year-old https://t.co/mbrZZqyPF5
— Guardian Tech (@guardiantech) December 20, 2019
After more than a millennium of male dominance choirgirls now outnumber choirboys in England’s cathedrals for the first time.
The tradition of boys singing in cathedral choirs dates back at least 1,110 years with the first boy choristers singing at Wells Cathedral in the year 909.
There are now 740 boy and 740 girl choristers in English cathedrals, according to church statistics, but The Times has learnt that both of these figures have been slightly rounded up. There are, to be more precise, now 739 girls and 737 boys, marking the first time that choirgirls have outnumbered choirboys.
Read it all (requires subscription).
Exclusive: After more than a millennium of male dominance, choirgirls now outnumber choirboys in England’s cathedrals for the first time in history. https://t.co/j4yxqNunY3
— Kaya Burgess (@kayaburgess) December 20, 2019
Our households – who lives with us, how we are related to them and what role we play in that shared space – have a profound effect on our daily experience of the world. A new Pew Research Center analysis of data from 130 countries and territories reveals that the size and composition of households often vary by religious affiliation.
Worldwide, Muslims live in the biggest households, with the average Muslim individual residing in a home of 6.4 people, followed by Hindus at 5.7. Christians fall in the middle (4.5), forming relatively large families in sub-Saharan Africa and smaller ones in Europe. Buddhists (3.9), Jews (3.7) and the religiously unaffiliated (3.7) – defined as those who do not identify with an organized religion, also known as “nones” – live in smaller households, on average.
— Pew Research Global (@pewglobal) December 12, 2019
If some say friends are the family you choose, then one young boy’s family just got much bigger.
Michael Clark Jr., from East Grand Rapids, Michigan, was so excited about his adoption day that he invited his entire kindergarten class to his adoption hearing.
In a packed courtroom on Thursday, Michael’s classmates filled up the first rows of seats in the Kent County courtroom and even gave sweet testimonies about how much they love their fellow friend.
I love this, so sweet: https://t.co/WDHkOXpdTS
— J Mummey🐰 (@mummey_j) December 6, 2019
(WSJ) Erica Komisar–We need to be reminded of the great value faith traditions have for our children
As a therapist, I’m often asked to explain why depression and anxiety are so common among children and adolescents. One of the most important explanations—and perhaps the most neglected—is declining interest in religion. This cultural shift already has proved disastrous for millions of vulnerable young people.
A 2018 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology examined how being raised in a family with religious or spiritual beliefs affects mental health. Harvard researchers had examined religious involvement within a longitudinal data set of approximately 5,000 people, with controls for socio-demographic characteristics and maternal health.
The result? Children or teens who reported attending a religious service at least once per week scored higher on psychological well-being measurements and had lower risks of mental illness. Weekly attendance was associated with higher rates of volunteering, a sense of mission, forgiveness, and lower probabilities of drug use and early sexual initiation. Pity then that the U.S. has seen a 20% decrease in attendance at formal religious services in the past 20 years, according to a Gallup report earlier this year. In 2018 the American Family Survey showed that nearly half of adults under 30 do not identify with any religion.
Nihilism is fertilizer for anxiety and depression, and being “realistic” is overrated. The belief in God—in a protective and guiding figure to rely on when times are tough—is one of the best kinds of support for kids in an increasingly pessimistic world. That’s only one reason, from a purely mental-health perspective, to pass down a faith tradition.
Giving your children a spiritual or religious center will benefit them for their entire lives, writes @EricaKomisarCSW
Is this bridge too far
Life-Love-God bigger than We
Hope springs eternal
Haiku2u #the?ofHopeFaithLove https://t.co/E8JQGkMzdo
— Hal Allred (@RoryCalhoun) December 6, 2019
The takeover by stealth of Utilitarian thinking means that we are now a people that thinks the idea of society having winners and losers is inevitable. We measure everything from the number of steps we take to the length of our sleep and how many seven year olds can spell the word ‘turnip’.
As a result, we are losing the ability to talk about the things that cannot be measured. And if the world is governed according to the edict “what gets measured gets done”, we may be neglecting some of the most important things about being human. Like love.
You’re probably thinking ‘I’m not a utilitarian’. Even if you’re not utilitarian, think of what you mean by justice. Usually you mean fairness, you get back what you put in. It is unjust not to be paid what you are worth. I’m just thinking of the BBC gender pay gap.
In a way, some forms of Christianity, certainly the ones that I have been involved in, contribute to this too. The Low Anglican tradition that I love deeply teaches a transactional salvation. We are distinguished from animals by virtue of consciousness, self–reflection, moral capacity, the act of repentance. I have literally no idea if that is right or wrong but it does appear to be a kind of cost–benefit, quid pro quo.
If the point of our lives is what we are capable of doing then the implication must be that a human life lacking in the capacity for purposive action will be worthless, pointless. Those who are involved in the lives of people with disabilities disagree. Our insider experience tells us differently.
Extraordinary lecture ‘Human Dignity, Different Lives & the Illusions of Choice’ from Sally Phillips tonight @Theosthinktank “What if the meaning of our lives is nothing to do with what we *do* at all, but with surrender, acceptance and love?” pic.twitter.com/8fxcgHX0Y8
— Tim Jones (@jonestdotorg) November 27, 2019
Over the last 10 years, however — and again, I acknowledge that this is impressionistic — I think we have reached a third phase in liberal attitudes toward marriage, a new outworking of cultural individualism that may eventually render the nuanced liberalism my colleague describes obsolete.
This new phase is incomplete and contested, and it includes elements — in #MeToo feminism, especially — whose ultimate valence could theoretically be congenial to cultural conservatives. But in general the emerging progressivism seems hostile not only to anything tainted by conservative religion or gender essentialism but to any idea of sexual or reproductive normativity, period, outside a bureaucratically supervised definition of “consent.” And it’s therefore disinclined to regard lifelong monogamy as anything more than one choice among many, one script to play with or abandon, one way of being whose decline should not necessarily be mourned, and whose still-outsize cultural power probably requires further deconstruction to be anything more than a patriarchal holdover, a prison and a trap.
The combination of forces that have produced this ideological shift is somewhat murky — it follows a general turn leftward on social issues after the early 2000s, a further weakening of traditional religion, the cultural ripples from Obergefell v. Hodges, the increasing political polarization of the sexes and, of course, the so-called Great Awokening.
But it does not feel like a coincidence that the new phase tracks with the recent decline in childbearing. If the new liberal hostility to marriage-as-normative-institution is not one of the ideological causes of our latest post-familial ratchet, it is at least a post facto ideological excuse, in which the frequent prestige-media pitches for polyamory or open marriages or escaping gender norms entirely are there to reassure people who might otherwise desire a little more normativity (and a few more children) in their lives, that it’s all cool because they’re in the vanguard of a revolution.
Why are the world’s wealthiest societies failing to reproduce themselves? The tangle of questions involved doesn’t map neatly onto the existing lines of liberalism and conservatism, writes @DouthatNYT: https://t.co/gtwBxnGSGV
— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) December 3, 2019
Further to the letter ‘Abortion Pledges,’ (Times – 28/11/19) we are grateful to the signatories for raising concerns in connection with this important and emotive subject.
The Church of England’s stated position combines principled opposition with a recognition that there can be strictly limited conditions under which abortion may be morally preferable to any available alternative. This is based on our view that the foetus is a human life with the potential to develop relationships, think, pray, choose and love. Those facing unwanted pregnancies realise the gravity of the decision they face: all abortions are tragedies, since they entail judging one individual’s welfare against that of another (even if one is, as yet, unborn). Every possible support, especially by church members, needs to be given to those who are pregnant in difficult circumstances and care, support and compassion must be shown to all, whether or not they continue with their pregnancy.
A couple who threatened to take a school to the High Court over its religious assemblies have won their fight for alternative activities for their children.
Lee and Lizianne Harris withdrew their two children from assemblies at Burford Primary School in Oxfordshire over fears they were being “indoctrinated”.
The legal bid said the school breached their right to freedom of belief.
Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust said the case had diverted valuable funds.
The couple, who are non-religious, enrolled their children at the town’s only state school in 2015, before the trust took over.
But the children were unhappy watching Bible stories, including the crucifixion, during the Wednesday assemblies.
With all the advocacy and educational work that you do on mental health issues, why was doing a retreat for moms a priority?
After Matthew died, I talked to hundreds of parents who have kids with mental illness. And it slowly began to dawn on me that not only did parents not have enough support, they didn’t have good community.
There are a lot of reasons for that. There’s stigma and discrimination against people living with mental illness. In the Christian community, there’s a standard that we feel like we have to measure up to—you know, perfect marriages, perfect families, always “things are good, things are good.” And when your life isn’t good, you end up hiding how difficult your life really is.
When there is serious mental illness, there can be extreme chaos, violence, or threats of violence. There is extreme dysfunction. There can be homelessness, substance abuse, and a sense of helplessness. And so parents don’t have a place where they can really say, “This is what my life is like.” And I just kept thinking, what can I do, what can I do? How can I help make a place for others, particularly moms, where they can be real, where they can tell their story, where they can find community?
Then a really good friend—you!—said early this year, “Have you ever thought about doing a retreat for moms?” And my response was “Uh, no, but I will.” It became crystal clear to me that that was exactly what I was supposed to do.
The interview I got to do with @KayWarren1 for Christianity Today @CTmagazine is a must read. You’ll see how God is using the anguish of her son’s life & death w/mental illness to help other moms facing similar suffering. She’s rich, deep, faith building. https://t.co/mQkAKcUBQ9
— Kelly Rosati (@KellyMRosati) November 12, 2019
(WSJ) Russell Moore on an important new law that prevents discrimination against Catholics and evangelical Protestants in adoption services
It’s no secret what happens when faith-based providers get pushed out. A year after Boston stopped working with them, the percentage of youth in foster care who left the Massachusetts system because they aged out rose more than 50%. With fewer available homes to place children in, aging out is one of the worst outcomes as it increases a child’s likelihood of homelessness and unemployment. The rate still has not returned to pre-2006 levels. In 2011 Illinois passed a law discontinuing its partnerships with faith-based agencies—then lost more than 1,500 foster homes between 2012 and 2017. All this when the world desperately needs more providers.
And it made this week’s news even more encouraging. On Thursday, the White House announced a new rule that will help faith-based organizations remain a vital part of the child-welfare system. The Obama-era provisions redefined federal nondiscrimination policies in a way that excluded faith-based groups. The new rule brings regulations at the Department of Health and Human Services back in line with all other federal nondiscrimination law and Supreme Court precedent.
This is not a narrowing rule that excludes gay people and others from serving children. Instead, the regulation merely ensures that no one is kept from serving, while ending an attempt to stop religious organizations from doing so consistent with their convictions. It’s a welcome statement that the child-welfare system is about the welfare of children—not proxy culture wars.
Communities of faith have a lot to offer to children in foster care. Barna research shows that practicing Christians may be more than twice as likely to adopt compared with the general population—with Catholics three times as likely and evangelicals five times as likely.
The most important thing was for the child to understand the meaning of the story, not the exact words on the page. So, if a kid came to the word “horse” and said “house,” the teacher would say, that’s wrong. But, Harper recalls, “if the kid said ‘pony,’ it’d be right because pony and horse mean the same thing.”
Harper was shocked. First of all, pony and horse don’t mean the same thing. And what does a kid do when there aren’t any pictures?
This advice to a beginning reader is based on an influential theory about reading that basically says people use things like context and visual clues to read words. The theory assumes learning to read is a natural process and that with enough exposure to text, kids will figure out how words work.
One big takeaway from all that research is that reading is not natural; we are not wired to read from birth. People become skilled readers by learning that written text is a code for speech sounds. The primary task for a beginning reader is to crack the code. Even skilled readers rely on decoding.
Read it all from earlier this year.
This year, eighth-grade reading scores in 31 states dropped two to seven points — which the federal government deemed significant — compared with their performances in 2017. Indiana, New Hampshire and Virginia had the largest declines. Fourth-grade reading scores dropped in 17 states, with New Jersey’s six-point drop the largest. Only one state, Mississippi, improved, the data showed.
James F. Lane, the superintendent of public instruction in Virginia, said that while grade-level proficiency was a goal, the school system “must also recognize that Virginia’s schools are enrolling increasing numbers of students whose learning is impacted by poverty and trauma.” He said the school system needed to recruit and retain high-quality teachers and equip them to meet the needs of a “changing student population.”
Average math scores fared considerably better, particularly among fourth graders. Nine states had significant increases in fourth-grade math, compared with 2017. Again, Mississippi led the pack. The eighth-grade score in three states improved, while those in six states declined.
American students have made large gains in math and small gains in reading since 1990. But those improvements began to level out around 2009. There is no consensus on why that happened.
The average American 8th-grade reading score on a national exam declined in more than half of the states https://t.co/XQa5pQWfzE
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 30, 2019
Responding to the 2019 Young People and Gambling report which was published on Wednesday, Bishop Alan said:
“This new evidence from the Gambling Commission provides welcome and much-needed insight into the world of gambling that children are living in
“There continue to be 55,000 children classed as “problem gamblers” and a further 87,000 at risk. While this remains a national scandal, the Commission uses detached phrases such as: “The 2019 results do not represent a significant increase over time.”
“Tens of thousands of families could be living in a nightmare with their child’s level of gambling activity. When the average spend on gambling by children is £17 per week it is evidence of potential serious family finance problems….
We look forward to welcoming to All Saints’ the Right Reverend Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans.
Bishop Alan will join us next Sunday to celebrate our Patronal Festival, and to Baptise and Confirm several candidates.https://t.co/0Ue9SdqcBK pic.twitter.com/t1H01HdCcL
— All Saints HR (@AllSaintsHR) October 30, 2018
Ais likes to dance. She knows the words to “I’m a Little Teapot.” Her dimples are disarming.
Her parents didn’t want their daughter to dance. They didn’t want her to sing. They wanted her to die with them for their cause.
Last year, when she was 7, Ais squeezed onto a motorcycle with her mother and brother. They carried a packet that Ais refers to as coconut rice wrapped in banana leaves. Her father and other brother climbed onto a different bike with another parcel. They sped toward a police station in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, a place of mixed faith.
The parcels were bombs, and they were set off at the gate to the police station. Catapulted off the motorcycle by the force of the explosion, Ais rose from the pavement like a ghost, her pale head-to-toe garment fluttering in the chaos. Every other member of her family died. No bystanders were killed. The Islamic State, halfway across the world, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Ais, who is being identified by her nickname (pronounced ah-iss) to protect her privacy, is now part of a deradicalization program for children run by the Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs. In a leafy compound in the capital, Jakarta, she bops to Taylor Swift, reads the Quran and plays games of trust.
At a School for Suicide Bombers’ Children, Dancing, Drawing and Deradicalization pic.twitter.com/aiDdRyfeD7
— ShamelNews (@NewsShamel) October 18, 2019
Teachers report mixed feelings about online grade books. Sean Riley, a high-school teacher in Seattle, said students and parents can become so focused on the metrics that they lose sight of the bigger picture. “It starts to turn learning into a series of tasks to be completed instead of a process of exercises to learn more,” he said.
Obsessive grade-checking is also symptomatic of the desire, peculiar to a generation that has grown up with everything just a swipe away, to receive instant gratification. Mr. Riley said this can lead to anxiety and disappointment in some students.
The upside is when students use the information to advocate for themselves.
Parents try to control the urge to check their kids’ grades all the time, but some can’t help themselves https://t.co/zHfGS2bd1M
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 15, 2019
3 years ago, the NFL launched an initiative granting players permission to wear custom cleats to promote their charitable causes. That fall, Hopkins wore pink and blue shoes that had “End Abuse” written on the outside in all caps. Next to the heel, an artist painted four tiny icons of women, one of whom was rendered in a different color from the others, a symbol of the one in four women who have experienced intimate partner violence.
The year Hopkins was drafted, Greenlee started a nonprofit called SMOOOTH (Speaking Mentally, Outwardly Opening Opportunities Toward Healing) in order to assist survivors of domestic violence. Her son has quietly worked with her to advance the cause, meeting with the women she has mentored, raising money for her organization and others, and speaking to high school students about his past. While it’s difficult to recount the harrowing sounds he used to hear behind closed doors as a boy, the process of dredging them up can also be palliative, he says. “It’s helped me learn a lot, about life, about how to treat a woman,” he says. “It’s helped me become a man.”
Like her son, who she’s quick to point out is also a survivor, Greenlee harbors painful childhood memories — recollections of being “that 15-year-old girl that took that abuse, that lay on the floor, that didn’t think she was ever going to be anything,” she says. When she visits shelters, she meets women who haven’t shed those feelings of inadequacy. Her foundation has helped dozens of survivors transition to their new lives, giving them vouchers, counseling and even makeovers. “I want to tell [them] … you don’t have to stay there,” says Greenlee, who agreed in May to let a film company produce a movie about her life. “I’ll help you get out of this, just listen to me. Just follow my lead. I’m telling you: There is light after darkness.”
Man this story is wrenching and humane https://t.co/Wqb46ISNKG
— Morgan Pomaika’i Lee (@Mepaynl) October 16, 2019
Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is dog heaven. On sunny Saturday mornings, the park’s open green space, Long Meadow, fills with hundreds of canines frolicking during off-leash hours. The dogs’ owners hover nearby like watchful parents who, when playtime ends, head over to the nearby farmers’ market or go out for brunch. Later in the day, they might make time for doggie yoga or the pet bakery before coming home to their pet-friendly apartment buildings, many featuring dog baths and groomers.
Roughly 600,000 dogs live in New York City, along with half a million cats. About half of U.S. households own a pet, which adds up to at least 77 million dogs and 54 million cats. Generationally, millennials are the most enthusiastic pet owners, with some 70 percent boasting of having at least one pet.
What you’re less likely to see, especially in America’s largest cities, are children. Pets are now more common than kids in many U.S. cities. San Francisco, for example, is home to nearly 150,000 dogs but just 115,000 children under age 18. Farther north, Seattle has more households with cats than with kids. Nationwide, pets outnumber children in apartment buildings. In New York neighborhoods like Long Island City and Williamsburg, wealthy singles have the highest number of pooches per capita.
In a recent Atlantic essay, Derek Thompson wrote about how “America’s urban rebirth is missing a key element: births.” Manhattan’s infant population is projected to halve in 30 years. High-density cities are losing families with children over age six, while growing their populations of college-educated residents without children. Indeed, the share of children under 20 living in big cities has been falling for 40 years.
Young professionals’ four-legged friends have replaced those babies.
— City Journal (@CityJournal) October 9, 2019
Elderly residents of Inez, the tiny seat of Martin County, Kentucky, deep in the heart of Appalachia, can still vividly remember the day the president came to town. Fifty-five years ago, while stooping on a porch, Lyndon Johnson spoke at length to Tom Fletcher (pictured), a white labourer with no job, little education and eight children. “I have called for a national war on poverty,” Johnson announced immediately afterwards. “Our objective: total victory.” That declaration transformed Fletcher and Martin County into the unwitting faces of the nation’s battle, often to the chagrin of local residents who resented the frequent pilgrimages of journalists and photographers. The story never changed much: Fletcher continued to draw disability cheques for decades and never became self-sufficient before his death in 2004. His family continued to struggle with addiction and incarceration.
Today Martin County remains deeply poor—30% of residents live below the official poverty line (an income of less than $25,750 a year for a family of four). Infrastructure is shoddy. The roads up the stunning forested mountains that once thundered with the extraction of coal now lie quiet, cracked to the point of corrugation. Problems with pollution because of leaky pipes mean that some parts of the county are without running water for days. “Our water comes out orange, blue and with dirt chunks in it,” says BarbiAnn Maynard, a resident agitating for repairs. She and her family have not drunk the water from their taps since 2000; it is suitable only for flushing toilets. Some residents gather drinking water from local springs or collect rainwater in inflatable paddling pools.
The ongoing poverty is not for lack of intervention. The federal government has spent trillions of dollars over the past 55 years. Programmes have helped many. But they also remain fixated on the problems of the past, largely the elderly and the working poor, leaving behind non-working adults and children. As a result, America does a worse job than its peers of helping the needy of today. By the official poverty measure, there were 40m poor Americans in 2017, or 12% of the population. This threshold is extremely low: for a family of four, it amounts to $17.64 per person per day. About 18.5m people have only half that amount and are mired in deep poverty. Children are the likeliest age group to experience poverty—there are nearly 13m of them today, or 17.5% of all American children.
Child poverty costs America between $800bn and $1.1trn annually, a new report suggests https://t.co/cmdFOvVwt8
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) October 5, 2019
Seventeen-year-old Tanvi Barman spends most of her free time throwing birthday parties. But not for people she knows — for homeless children who otherwise couldn’t afford them.
The high school senior travels to different homeless shelters around the Bay Area and throws personalized parties for children there. Barman has been working on her organization since she was in eighth grade. She calls it “No Birthday Left Behind.”
Barman told CBS News she got the idea when she was volunteering with her family at a homeless shelter. It later hit her that the pleasures in life she takes for granted — like birthday parties — may be unavailable to homeless children.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 9, 2019
Thanks to private-school choice—vouchers, tax-credit scholarships and education savings accounts—this year nearly half a million children in 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia will attend schools their parents selected.
Critics of school choice often argue that low-income families lack the knowledge or ability to choose meaningfully between schools. Worrying that parents will be taken advantage of or make poor decisions, they oppose choice programs or favor onerous testing requirements to prove they are effective.
New studies on school choice in Colombia and Barbados, however, suggest families know something that tests can’t detect. These two countries, with per capita incomes a quarter and a third of America’s, respectively, can teach us a lot about how the most economically disadvantaged families choose schools.
Stanford’s Eric Bettinger and his research team found that students who won a lottery for a voucher in Colombia were 17% more likely to complete high school on time than students who lost the lottery. The study, released in July, used a method of random assignment to compare apples to apples. So it isn’t because of selection bias that lottery winners earned 8% more than lottery losers by the time they turned 33. It’s because their parents were allowed to choose schools that were better fits for their children.
A working paper by @KiraboJackson found that when students attended a school their parents preferred, it improved student well-being significantly when it came to educational attainment, success in the job market, and health, as cited in a @WSJ op-ed. https://t.co/Fy1xWKF3k0
— Institute for Policy Research (@IPRatNU) September 4, 2019