children

We are education reporters by day and parents by night (and day). But, in recent weeks, our two worlds have collided, with parents and educators equally concerned about the spread of COVID-19. So here's a quick rundown of some of the great questions we've heard from listeners and readers and the answers we've been able to explore in our reporting. For even more, you can listen to this new episode of NPR's Life Kit podcast.

Q. What's the single most important thing we can do to protect our kids?

When it comes to children's prospects in life, the neighborhoods where they grow up matter a lot. Schools, safety, access to healthy food, places to play are all things that help to shape their futures.

Now, new data from the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at Brandeis University reveal a sharp racial divide in access to such opportunities in almost every major metropolitan area of the country.

"AGAIN!!!"

That request/demand will be familiar to any parent — kids hardly ever want to read a book just once. So we asked Matt de la Peña, Newbery medal-winning children's author (and dad), to recommend books that stand up, reading, after reading, after reading, after reading ...

The good news is, there are a lot of great books out there. "We're in a golden age of picture books," says de la Peña. "There are books tackling so many different subjects that were never explored in the past."

Every day, as many as 500 babies in sub-Saharan Africa are born with HIV. Standard practice in many of these countries is to give them treatment if they test positive, but not for weeks or even months after they're born. The concern is that newborns can't tolerate the powerful drugs.

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Jimmy Kimmel wants parents to know one thing about his debut children's book: It takes just five minutes to read.

Sexual violence against children happens everywhere: in wealthy enclaves, in slums, in suburbs, in rural villages.

Invariably, it happens in secret: in the privacy of family homes, in dark corners of schools and churches, and in murky shadows at neighborhood, community, sporting and scouting events.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

At eight-years-old David Hall was taken from his mother’s house in Canadian County and placed into foster care. He had been abused most of his life and was struggling with PTSD.

Hall says he didn’t talk about being abused, he assumed it was normal.

“That’s not really something you talk about at school. When I was a kid, I talked about Scooby-Doo and things like that,” Hall said.

The first time Jessica Calise can remember her 9-year-old son Joseph's anxiety spiking was about a year ago, when he had to perform at a school concert. He said his stomach hurt and he might throw up. "We spent the whole performance in the bathroom," she recalls.

Back in the 1960s, a Harvard graduate student made a landmark discovery about the nature of human anger.

At age 34, Jean Briggs traveled above the Arctic Circle and lived out on the tundra for 17 months. There were no roads, no heating systems, no grocery stores. Winter temperatures could easily dip below minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Briggs persuaded an Inuit family to "adopt" her and "try to keep her alive," as the anthropologist wrote in 1970.

Donnie Ray Jones / Flickr

Low-income women and children in Oklahoma will still receive federal food benefits despite the partial federal government shutdown.

The Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program helps low-income pregnant and nursing women and parents of young children buy nutritious food, like eggs, milk, and formula.

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