Children

Courtesy Squam Lake Natural Science Center

At the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, visitors learn about New Hampshire’s environment up-close: observing otters, black bear and moose as the walk the center’s trails. Eric Kelsey and his daughter Sophie are regular visitors, and Sophie attended the center’s Blue Heron School, a nature-based early learning center.

Elizabeth / Flickr/CC

After allowing their six and ten year old children to walk a mile home by themselves, a Maryland couple are fighting accusations of child neglect. The case has inflamed a familiar argument over how much supervision and independence children need. We’ll look behind the clichés and get the range of views on free-range parenting.

Does Homework Matter? N.H. Educators Weigh In

Aug 3, 2015
Marco Nedermeijer / Flickr/CC

The emerging focus in New Hampshire on what’s called “competency-based” education, emphasizes mastery of a subject over time in class or number of worksheets completed.  But traditional homework has many defenders, who say it solidifies class learning and fosters good study habits.

  This program was originally broadcast on January 8, 2015.

GUESTS:

Jack Rodolico for NHPR

A new state law aims to boost the number of children screened for lead poisoning. There's good reason New Hampshire is aiming for that goal.

Children aged 0-6 are the most likely to suffer permanent health and cognitive damage from lead exposure. Yet in 2013, New Hampshire tested a mere 16.5 percent of children in this age group for elevated blood lead levels. That's concerning because 62 percent of New Hampshire's houses were built before 1978 - the year the federal government cracked down on lead paint.

Summer Camp: An Antidote To 'Helicopter Parenting?'

May 26, 2015
Camp Emerson / Flickr/CC

We talk with author Michael Thompson, who argues in his new book that kids need summer camp more than ever.  With today’s over-scheduled and over-protected children, Thompson says summer camp remains one of the few places where kids have to rough it, stretch their boundaries, and conquer the challenges of the great-outdoors.

Jenny Cestnik via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/bak3Qg

Despite the fact that New Hampshire has one of the nation’s lowest poverty rates and is often rated as a top spot to raise children, indicators show that the gap between poor and wealthy families is growing.  On today’s show we join NHPR’s series, The First Decade, with a broader view of the impact of housing and neighborhoods on a child’s well-being. Then, an inside look at what really goes into designing effective affordable housing and how even the most seemingly trivial details can make or break a project.

The First Decade: N.H. Family Demographics

May 18, 2015
Emma Fierberg / Flickr Creative Commons

The Granite State has one of the lowest childhood poverty rates in the nation. But behind that rosy figure is a widening gap between children who have and those who have not. As we kick off our series “The First Decade” we’ll look at the causes, effects, and potential solutions for families struggling in New Hampshire.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

There are many factors that affect the way a family with children lives. We've selected ten of these - factors which affect income, access to resources, and stability - and combined them to illustrate how families are doing at either end of the income spectrum.
 
This graphic illustrates how the top 25% and bottom 25% compare, and how the bottom 25% compares with the average of all New Hampshire families. 

Notes on the data:

David Goehring via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/4mMuQE

After Walter Scott was fatally shot by a South Carolina police officer last month, his family speculated he fled the police because he feared going back to jail for unpaid child support. On today’s show: a closer look at child support policies and why some argue it keeps poor men trapped in a cycle of debt, unemployment and prison. 

Then, the modern answer to hieroglyphics, emoji can convey tone and emotion in a single image. Later we’ll delve into emoji use around the world, and what it reveals about cultural and national identities. 

Joan Cross/NHPR

On Belay uses adventure-based recreation as a platform to build community for kids whose families have been affected by cancer. The Kontarinis are one such family. After Angelo passed away from kidney cancer in October, 2010, His wife Melissa and their three children (aged eight, five and three) faced the daunting task of “getting on” with their lives. 

Mary Jill LaRocca is an elementary school health teacher in Manchester. She helps students navigate the barrage of unhealthy messages that kids are exposed to. She turns to Media Power Youth’s Media Smart curriculum to help her students think critically about messages that promote violence, alcohol use, junk food and more, so they can be wise media consumers. 

Families First Health & Support Center

The state of New Hampshire is receiving nearly $4.8 million in grant money to support home wellness visits for young children and pregnant women.  Federal Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced the grant Thursday as part of $386 million awarded nationwide to support home visitation programs.  Burwell says the grant gives New Hampshire the flexibility to tailor its home visit programs to address the needs of the communities they serve.  The national Home Visiting Program currently serves about one-third of the counties in the country with high rates of low birth weights

1.1.15: Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 2015
Thomas via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/96asVp

It’s official: 2015 is here. And with the New Year comes an opportunity for a fresh start. On today’s show, we’ll start 2015 on the right foot. Philosopher and historian Roman Krzanric discovers lessons for living a richer, more satisfying modern life, by looking for examples in the past. Plus, an inside look at the 11-billion-dollar self-help industry. We’ll talk to a writer who attended workshops, conferences and visualized success – all to better understand America’s fixation with self-improvement.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Melanie Everard, was an opera-skeptic. “I was much more than a skeptic, I disliked opera intensely.” A surprising sentiment from a music teacher, and it made her an unlikely candidate to participate in an educator’s workshop conducted by the Metropolitan Opera. 

 

Ian Britton via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/4DHLWW

When the cold winds blow and the snow falls, there’s no more romantic and carefree way to travel than a train. Today air and interstate travel have turned these engines of American mobility into expensive relics. On today’s show, we’ll pen a love letter to riding the rails.

And the old world charm continues with the particular intimacy of handwritten letters. From the Queen’s scone recipe, to life-saving encouragement from a punk rock icon, we’ll talk to a collector of correspondence deserving a wider audience.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Ryan Van Lenning / via flickr Creative Commons

Not so long ago, when talking to kids about marijuana, the script for parents was simple: just say no. But legalization has made the conversation more complicated. On today’s show, how to talk to kids about marijuana.

Then we examine a growing issue for some working parents: the forever clock. From all-night diners to big box stores that never close, our economies run 24-7. We’ll take a look at the latest in around-the-clock service: 24 hour day care.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Courtesy David Mulder via Flickr Creative Commons

The Children’s Dental Network offers preventive dental services in 27 schools in and around Derry, NH to children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to those services. Jeanne Carroll and her husband are both college grads, and considered themselves “middle class;” they never thought they would have difficulty providing dental health care for their three children. 

Brad Flickinger / Flickr/CC

As laptops, iPads, and smartphones become commonplace in kids’ lives at home and school, parents are increasingly uneasy about where to set limits, or even what counts as 'screen time.' We’ll talk about that, and then also another conundrum of the digital age: whether taking time to teach kids handwriting and cursive in school still has value.

GUESTS:

Nicole McCracken

State health officials say a survey shows there’s progress being made in the battle against childhood obesity in New Hampshire.

A statewide survey that tracked the actual weights of third-graders finds obesity rates have dropped by a whopping 30 percent since 2008.

Director of Public Health José Montero says when he saw the numbers, he recalculated them all himself to make sure there wasn’t a mistake.

He says they’re correct, and mark a tremendous step forward in childhood health.

Courtesy Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center

The Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center offers year-round programs for all ages. Its “Wildquest” camps help connect kids with nature and their local landscapes. 

Prescott Farm has always been a landmark for Gretchen O’Neill. “We’re very grateful that our daughter, Gabriella, can come here to attend the camp, or that we can come up and explore it and walk the trails.

Mary Jill LaRocca is an elementary school health teacher in Manchester. She helps students navigate the barrage of unhealthy messages that kids are exposed to. She turns to Media Power Youth’s Media Literacy for Safe and Healthy Choices curriculum to help her students think critically about messages that promote violence, alcohol use, junk food and more, so they can be wise media consumers. 

Have Youth Sports Become Too Intense?

Aug 25, 2014
Amherst Patriots / Flickr/CC

There’s a lot of concern these days that an ethic of winning at all costs, promoted by over-zealous parents or coaches, is ruining youth athletics. And kids are paying the price, from sports injuries at ever-younger ages, to constant practice that cuts into family time. But now, some adults are crying “foul” and calling for change.

Emilia Ornellas is a student teacher at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. She works with middle and high school students in the Student Enrichment Program in the Arts, also known as SEPIA. She explains that the program offers art classes Manchester students grades K-12.

Dhahiro Osman is an outgoing student who participated in the SEPIA program. Her interest? Self-improvement. “I thought that I’d give it a try, because I’m not a good artist; I thought this might be my chance to be good at it.”

Kurn Hattin Homes for Children was established in 1894 for children whose families are not able to care for them. Lyssa Jackson was such a child, born to parents with mental illness. “I lived with my mother until I was about eight and at that point, I wasn’t going to school very often. My mother was keeping me out of school because she was not feeling secure with my teachers because of her own internal issues.”

The Boys and Girls Club is more than a place to simply do homework or hang out with friends. Brittany Wheeler joined the Concord chapter four years ago, during her first year of high school. The club fosters a sense of community among the participants of its after-school program. As Wheeler says, it’s a place where kids “can feel safe after school and not get into trouble.”

Courtesy David Mulder via Flickr Creative Commons

The Children’s Dental Network offers preventive dental services in 27 schools in and around Derry, NH to children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to those services. Jeanne Carroll and her husband are both college grads, and considered themselves “middle class;” they never thought they would have difficulty providing dental health care for their three children. 

Cheryl Senter

Girls at Work empowers girls by putting power tools in their hands, and teaching them how to use those tools. The girls build tables, sheds and bookshelves, but learn bigger lessons along the way. Hollie Brenton, 18, has worked with the program for ten years and says it has changed her life.

Cheryl Senter

Kids Culinary Arts teaches kids cooking and nutrition during after school programs, vacations and summer camps. The organization works in school districts and towns to get kids cooking and eating healthy foods. Matthew and Nicole Heiter, 11 and nine years old, have become experienced hands in the kitchen. Their mother, Lauren credits Kids Culinary Arts.

Cheryl Senter

The Great Bay Stewards work to preserve and protect the Great Bay estuary through education, land protection and research. Sharon Musselman, one of the educators, is recently a retired teacher who often brought her own classes here to explore this ecosystem.

"I'm excited to be here at Great Bay Discover center," Musselman said. "I brought my first grade class to Great Bay for 15 years because it is such a great experience for first graders."

Dr. Murray Straus has studied the use of spanking and corporal punishment with children for decades, as a professor of sociology and founder and co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire.

He compares the research on spanking to studies on cigarettes – people use it because it seems right at the time, but that’s because they can’t see the long-term dangers.

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