Gaspar Marcos stepped off the 720 bus into early-morning darkness in MacArthur Park after the end of an eight-hour shift of scrubbing dishes in a Westwood restaurant. He walked toward his apartment, past laundromats fortified with iron bars and scrawled with graffiti, shuttered stores that sold knockoffs and a cook staffing a taco cart in eerie desolation. Around 3 a.m., he collapsed into a twin bed in a room he rents from a family. Five hours later, he slid into his desk at Belmont High School, just before the bell rang. The 18-year-old sophomore rubbed his eyes and fixed his gaze on an algebra equation.
And a chair as well! There's people with games and stories to tell. It's Play School. The much loved Australian children's television program celebrates 50 years on the air. [more inside]
This is a thing: Hot Cross Buns feat. poplocking Ironman ~ Batman Finger Family ~ Spider-Man, Captain America, and KeanuHulk get their Wee Willie Winkie on ~ Wheels come off the bus on a superhero field trip ~ Spider-Man and Hulk fight and sing. Meanwhile, Superman makes a difficult phone call.
In this six part video series, the BBC follows "22 year old Felicia during her pregnancy as she navigates a welfare system which critics claim puts unfair demands on poor and minority women."
"None of that for the Boxcar Children, who are so Puritan that Henry worries, out loud, that building a pool on Sunday would be amoral—before Jessie justifies the activity by saying that the pool will help them keep clean. " The Spirit Of Capitalism and 'The Boxcar Children' - Jia Tolentino for the 'New Yorker'
To attend class, backpack-carrying pupils from Atuler village in Sichuan province must take on an 800-metre [2,600-foot] rock face, scrambling down rickety ladders and clawing their way over bare rocks as they go. (SLGuardian with internal link to original reporting in Chinese)
"I was asked recently by a friend to meet some people from her church in the US who were visiting Uganda on a mission trip. The aim of the meeting was to convince them that supporting and visiting orphanages was doing more harm than good." [more inside]
Private schools, painful secrets. More than 200 students have been victims of sexual abuse and harassment at New England private schools since the 1950’s. At least 90 students or their families have filed lawsuits or other legal claims. At least 67 private schools in New England have been affected by allegations of sexual abuse by employees disclosed over the past 25 years. The Boston Globe's Spotlight team investigates. CW: The link contains content regarding molestation and sexual abuse that is likely SFW for most but some may find disturbing.
The playgrounds weren’t just beautiful. They were quiet. That was what struck me when I first moved to Vienna, Austria. Children there played and laughed, but rarely yelled across the park.
"'Too many children think that scientists are all middle-aged white males in laboratory coats,' Edward Atkins, 3-2-1 Contact's director of content, told The New York Times in 1983." The Kids' Show That Taught Me to Ask "Why?", an ode to 3-2-1 Contact. [more inside]
Watership Down: Parents left 'horrified' as Channel 5 airs 'traumatic' film on Easter Sunday [more inside]
Should parents of children with severe disabilities be allowed to stop their growth? (SLNYT) When children with severe disabilities that rely on caregivers for every basic need enter adulthood the simple tasks of caring for them can become prohibitively difficult for parents. A small group of doctors and parents believe arresting their growth could be for the best, but is it ethical?
Toddlers were responsible for more gun deaths than terrorists in the US in 2015. Gun rights advocate Jamie Gilt was recently shot in the back by her 4 year-old son, who used a loaded gun she'd left with him in the backseat of the car. These numbers don't seem to include deaths from older children, like the 11 year-old who shot and killed an 8 year-old last year, because she wouldn't let him play with her puppy.
Children of the Stones (previously) is the revolutionary 1977 British children's television drama telling the story of an astrophysicist and his son who arrive in the village of Milbury to study the giant Neolithic stones which surround it, and the community which is held in a strange captivity by the psychic forces generated by the stones. For BBC Radio, writer and comedian Stewart Lee explores the ground breaking television series and examines its special place in the memories of those children who watched it on its initial transmission in a state of excitement and terror. [more inside]
Selfies, Dating, and the American 14-Year-Old. "As crushes go from real-life likes to digital “likes,” the typical American teenage girl is confronted with a set of social anxieties never before seen in human history. Nancy Jo Sales observes one 14-year-old as she gets ready to embark on her first I.R.L. date."
Almost a quarter of the votes in the last US presidential election were cast by women without spouses, up three points from just four years earlier. They are almost 40% of the African-American population, close to 30% of the Latino population, and about a third of all young voters. The most powerful voter this year is The Single American Woman.
I’ve watched my dad gut a lot of deer, but this time it was different. It’s different when it’s your own deer. Everything was really interesting, how all the organs fit together and how they all come apart. How much blood is inside a deer…--11 year-old Iris, reflecting on her first deer hunting season. [more inside]
If asked to think of the lasting legacies of Ronald Reagan, you might conjure up the long shadow of US military intervention in Central America or the coordinated attack on organized labor and public-sector programs. Probably few of us would think about the spectacle of Shrek hawking Twinkies. But one lasting consequence of Reagan’s reign is felt by every parent in the country every day: As president, Reagan opened the floodgates to targeted junk food marketing to children and teens.What Ronald Reagan has to do with Dora on your Popsicle package: the backstory behind Shrek hawking Twinkies (and everything else) [more inside]
Most American rapes go unreported and unpunished. In part because ideas about what constitutes a ‘‘real rape’’ still hinder investigations and prosecutions, and many police officers continue to read vulnerability as complicity. But there is another unacknowledged side to the investigation of sexual assault: the huge numbers of victims who are children or teenagers. New Haven, CT detectives estimate that more than 80 percent of their cases involve minors — a number only slightly higher than national statistics. Such cases are rarely reported immediately, which means that there is rarely any physical evidence to investigate. "To Catch a Rapist:" How New Haven's special-victims unit fights a hidden epidemic of sexual assault that is disturbingly difficult to investigate. (Some may find the descriptions and topics in this article disturbing or triggering.)
Maternal kisses are not effective in alleviating minor childhood injuries (boo-boos): a randomized, controlled and blinded study, by the Study of Maternal and Child Kissing (SMACK) Working Group.
Sheila Heti (previously) profiles Raffi: The wondrous — and occasionally weird — relationship between the children’s-music superstar, his fans, and the man he used to be.
In 2007, the Pinellas County, Florida School Board abandoned integration, joining hundreds of US school districts in former Confederacy states that have resegregated since 2000. The Board justified the vote with bold promises: Schools in poor, black neighborhoods would get more money, more staff, more resources -- none of which happened. This past August, the Tampa Bay Times published an exposé, revealing how district leaders turned five once-average schools into Failure Factories. [more inside]
Children have been sending letters to Santa for well over a century now, and for much of that time those letters don't look very different from today's. Children want toys, and they want to convince Santa that they ought to get them. But where did that tradition come from, and how did it develop into its modern form? How did we come to believe that Santa lives at the North Pole and that the postal service can carry letters to Santa? What kinds of things have changed in the things children ask for over time? The Smithsonian's trying to deliver some answers for the holidays. (Previously: 1, 2).
Who Said ‘Game of Thrones’ Wasn’t for Kids? "What mother in her right mind would tell children the stories about beheadings and torture? A single parent for whom mealtimes are agony."
Indie auteur Richard Linklater pleasantly surprised audiences with his charming 2003 comedy School of Rock, in which a struggling musician (High Fidelity co-star and Tenacious D frontman Jack Black) hijacks a 4th grade prep school class and inspires them to become a killer rock band. Buoyed by likeable characters, a great soundtrack, remarkably talented kid musicians, and Black's lengthy, irrepressible, almost improvisational classroom scenes, the film earned rave reviews and inspired scads of copycat programs around the world (as featured in the '05 documentary and reality series Rock School). But while the cast kicked ass at their ten-year reunion concert in 2013, plans for a sequel fell through. Everyone loves an encore, though. And so this weekend saw the Broadway debut of the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical starring Alex Brightman, with a TV adaptation to air on Nickelodeon next year. Because there's no way you can stop... the School of Rock. [more inside]
"But at some point, my dad stepped into a phone booth and vowed to be more than the sum of his upbringing. He took on the monsters that followed him and declared war on the dysfunctional demons he carried. He chose to give his children the childhood he didn’t have." A Love Letter to the Cycle Breakers. [TW: childhood abuse]
For the first time in 35 years, an Chicago police officer has been charged with first-degree murder for an on-duty fatality, in this case, that of 17 year old Laquan McDonald. Last night, the city of Chicago released the dash-cam footage that had been kept out of the public eye for more than a year, showing Mr. McDonald being shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer. A second video, which was taken by a security camera at a nearby Burger King, was allegedly deleted by the police. [more inside]
"I can still hear him signing off his show similar to the way he concluded his letter to Amy Melder: “You’ve made this day a special day by just your being you. There is no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are.” Some have suggested that this message sought to instill children with a sense of self-importance, but to believe that is to fundamentally misunderstand Fred Rogers. At the core of Rogers’ mission was the paradoxical Christian belief that the way to gain one’s life is to give it away." (SL Atlantic)
On January 27, 1913 Mr. & Mrs. J.W. Savis of Pine Hollow, PA entrusted their daughter to rural carrier James Byerly out of Sharpsville, PA. He delivered her safely that afternoon to relatives in Clay Hollow. It cost 45 cents to send their daughter. For the first few years of the U.S. Parcel Post it was legal to mail children, as long as they were under 50 pounds. [SLPDF]
Invisible touch: the artist using magic ink to help China's blind children On a cold day, only the part of the image that has physical contact will be clear. But the sensitivity of the ink means the book looks different depending on the weather: on hot days, all the photographs will be visible at once and with no contact.
We've previously talked about the Langley School Music Project, Dondero High School's Pop Concerts, PS22's choir, and Chapel Hill's Chorus Project. Now we have first graders at the Grundschule Am Lemmchen in Mainz Mombach singing, playing, and acting out Kraftwerk's iconic single Roboter. [SLYT, if you ignore my links to previous school music groups.]
Who was the woman behind Pippi Longstocking? Freshly released wartime diaries along with a new biography reveal Astrid Lindgren, author of some of the world's most beloved children's literature, to be as radical and determined as her best-known character.
A Highly Irregular Children’s Story: David Gates reviews The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine, a children's book by Donald Barthelme. [Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 1976]
"Maybe you didn’t hear me. I really, really, really want it." Or, "The four conversations you can have with a small child."
Childcare costs on par or higher than rent is not a new story, it is well established that childcare costs have been skyrocketing in recent years. [more inside]
Maybe screen time isn't so bad for your kids... Here's a summary from LifeHacker Vitals, the tl/dr version of the paper recently released from the American Academy of Pediatrics- "Growing Up Digital:Media Research Symposium" held earlier this year. The full paper is located here. The Academy seem to be relaxing the rather strict limited time recommendation they've held in the past. Teenagers around the world are breathing a sigh of relief.
Why are little kids in Japan so independent? - 'If we had a nonviolent society, kids could walk around on their own, unafraid, like they do in Japan'. (via)
Mom News Daily has been rated the #1 source of information by woman parents. It's satire. [more inside]
For nine seasons, (1995-2004) comedienne and actress Kathy Kinney played Mimi Bobeck, the "outrageously made-up, flamboyantly vulgar, and vindictive nemesis" of Drew Carey on the sitcom The Drew Carey Show. Lately, she's been busy with a new role: professional children's storyteller. Welcome to Mrs. P's Magic Library. [more inside]
On September 20th, Ann Arbor-based freelance writer Emily Bingham, 33, wrote a post on Facebook that went on to be shared more than 40,000 times. Why? Because it touched on something that many, many women related to - namely, how often they're asked about their personal reproductive plans. [more inside]
Two million children are fleeing Syria, this is where they sleep.
'You worry they could take your kids' Teachers [in the UK] now have a statutory duty to spot signs of 'non-violent extremism', with children as young as three being referred for anti-radicalisation. Does the policy safeguard vulnerable pupils – or discriminate against Muslims?
"While people have long used online outlets to grieve loved ones and public figures, the intense, intimate mourning rituals for kids like Ryan are something else entirely. And while these rituals create a much-needed space for mourning in a culture that treats grief like it's contagious, not everyone wants their child subjected to such celebrity. But once begun, it's hard to stop."
"As long as 'feminine' is treated as a synonym for 'weak,' girls are going to continue to be underestimated and boys are going to continue to be bullied when they step out of the gender box they've been put in." Why does gender neutral clothing always mean 'boy' clothes for girls? [more inside]
The Badeau family have adopted over twenty children over the course of their marriage, spurred on by a mix of religion and a desire to help those who have no one left to turn to.
On August 25, a group of 100 men of color lined up outside Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, in Hartford to greet and cheer for the children on their first day of school. “In an urban community, people say that black men [aren’t] valued or there aren’t enough black men doing something,” Pastor AJ Johnson explained. “I wanted to prove everyone wrong.”
Why the healthy school lunch program is in trouble. [The Washington Post]
Student E114 is a case in point. E114 -- the identification code she was assigned by researchers studying eating habits at her public elementary school somewhere in the Northeast -- left the lunch line one day carrying a tray full of what looked like a balanced meal: chicken nuggets, some sort of mushy starch, green beans and milk. Exactly 13 minutes later she was done. The chicken nuggets and the starch were gone. But the green beans? Still there in a neat pile and headed straight for the trash. Before/after photos of what students ate.[more inside]
Georgia Tann was an influential adoption advocate who popularized adoption in the US from 1920s to the 1950s. She arranged adoptions for movie stars like Joan Crawford and Lana Turner and essentially devised the modern closed adoption. But Tann's babies were not necessarily unwanted, and in fact she frequently stole them from poor parents or told parents their children were dead. Worse, the children in her care were often neglected or abused, and Tann would adopt children to anyone with the money to pay her exorbitant fees. Remarkably, Tann's legacy of corruption, neglect, and child theft went unremarked until after her death.