Jennifer Guerra http://michiganradio.org en What kind of education do you get if you spend $12,000 per student? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-kind-education-do-you-get-if-you-spend-12000-student <p>Our <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/">State of Opportunity team</a> has been diving into the issue school funding over the past couple months.</p><p>The vast majority of Michigan K-12 schools get between <a href="http://www.msbo.org/sites/default/files/schaid14_hfa_omnibussummary.pdf">$7,000 - $8,000 per pupil</a> every year. But there are some schools that get more…a lot more. We're talking about roughly a $5,000 difference between the richest schools in the state and the poorest schools.</p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 16:49:09 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 15160 at http://michiganradio.org What kind of education do you get if you spend $12,000 per student? 5 things to know about Michigan's education gap http://michiganradio.org/post/5-things-know-about-michigans-education-gap <p>Over at our <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/">State of Opportunity website</a>, we've been on <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/term/gap-watch">Gap Watch</a>: achievement gaps, literacy gaps, technology gaps, gender gaps, etc.</p><p>Our latest documentary continues the trend.</p><p>It's called <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/education-gap-transcript-and-audio?nopop=1">The Education Gap</a>.</p><p>I hung out in two very different 5th grade classrooms over the course of a month and a half.</p> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 14:32:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 15026 at http://michiganradio.org 5 things to know about Michigan's education gap Lake County's "promise" to make college affordable for low-income families http://michiganradio.org/post/lake-countys-promise-make-college-affordable-low-income-families <p>College is expensive. For some families, it’s prohibitively expensive. Several school districts are trying to follow the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/kalamazoo-promise-scholarship-yields-mixed-results">Kalamazoo Promise </a>model by offering students money to help cover tuition costs. Jennifer Guerra with our State of Opportunity project introduces us to one such "promise" in rural northern Michigan's Lake County.</p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 11:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13655 at http://michiganradio.org Lake County's "promise" to make college affordable for low-income families In Lake County, there is such a thing as a free lunch http://michiganradio.org/post/lake-county-there-such-thing-free-lunch <p>More than 90% of school children in Lake County <a href="http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/1672-students-eligible-for-free-or-reduced-priced-lunch?loc=24&amp;loct=5#detailed/5/3744-3826/false/867,133,38,35,18/any/3551,13159">qualify for free or reduced price lunch</a>. To make sure they continue to eat healthy meals once school is out, the county’s school district offers free breakfast and lunch over the summer to any child in the county.</p> Wed, 24 Jul 2013 11:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13600 at http://michiganradio.org In Lake County, there is such a thing as a free lunch Lake County has a wealth of natural beauty but few job opportunities http://michiganradio.org/post/lake-county-has-wealth-natural-beauty-few-job-opportunities <p>Lake County, in central northern Michigan, is the poorest part of the state, with nearly half of its children living in poverty. That’s according to the latest <a href="http://www.mlpp.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/KC2012-Narrative-and-Data-Notes.pdf">Kids Count data</a>. So Jennifer Guerra with our State of Opportunity project went north to visit the rural county to see what life is like there for families.</p><p>The county is an area rich in natural beauty, with hundreds of lakes and streams and acres of forest land, but it's very short on job opportunities.</p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13529 at http://michiganradio.org Lake County has a wealth of natural beauty but few job opportunities Program aims to keep kids safe in homes and out of foster care http://michiganradio.org/post/program-aims-keep-kids-safe-homes-and-out-foster-care <p>More than 400,000 children are currently in foster care in the U.S. Once a child has entered the system, they remain there on average for <a href="http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport19.pdf">nearly two years</a>, according to a federal report. Our State of Opportunity team looked into a unique program that’s working to prevent kids in Michigan from even entering foster care in the first place.</p> Wed, 03 Jul 2013 11:30:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13355 at http://michiganradio.org Program aims to keep kids safe in homes and out of foster care 'People would expect me to fail, to keep popping out more babies.' An essay by a former teen mom http://michiganradio.org/post/people-would-expect-me-fail-keep-popping-out-more-babies-essay-former-teen-mom <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px; ">The&nbsp;</span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/things-are-getting-better-michigans-kids-sort" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px; ">latest Kids Count data&nbsp;</a><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px; ">show that roughly 11,000 teens gave birth in Michi Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13246 at http://michiganradio.org 'People would expect me to fail, to keep popping out more babies.' An essay by a former teen mom Drug shortages are affecting children in the NICU http://michiganradio.org/post/drug-shortages-are-affecting-children-nicu <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Our </span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">State of Opportunity project</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> focuses on kids and what it will take to get them ahead. At the most basic level, that means ensuring children are healthy. But as Michigan Radio’s Jennifer Guerra reports, nationwide drug shortages could threaten even that most basic task.</span></p> Wed, 19 Jun 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13109 at http://michiganradio.org Drug shortages are affecting children in the NICU 'It's so worth it.' The story of three girls, six buses and the hope for a better education http://michiganradio.org/post/its-so-worth-it-story-three-girls-six-buses-and-hope-better-education <p>School is almost out for summer! For some students, that means camp. For others, it means time to get a job. For the three high school sophomores you’re about to meet, it means a break - not just from school, but from riding the bus.</p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:03:30 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 13012 at http://michiganradio.org 'It's so worth it.' The story of three girls, six buses and the hope for a better education Giving the gift of music to at-risk kids in Grand Rapids http://michiganradio.org/post/giving-gift-music-risk-kids-grand-rapids <p>Every once and a while, our <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/">State of Opportunity team </a>receives a story pitch from someone in the community who's trying to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged youth. This is one of those stories. It’s a piece about boys, girls, and the universal language of music.</p> Wed, 15 May 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 12563 at http://michiganradio.org Giving the gift of music to at-risk kids in Grand Rapids Getting kicked off cash assistance, a personal story http://michiganradio.org/post/getting-kicked-cash-assistance-personal-story <p>As part of our State of Opportunity project, we’re following parents as they struggle to get off public assistance and make a better future for their children. This is an update on one of those families.</p><p>I first interviewed Keisha Johnson on a steamy summer day last June.&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px; ">Johnson, 25, grew up poor and is still poor to this day. But she has three reasons she wants to climb out poverty, and their names are&nbsp;Kaleb, Jurnee, and Alan,&nbsp;Jr.</span></p> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 12:30:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 11771 at http://michiganradio.org Getting kicked off cash assistance, a personal story Which is greener? A gas grill or charcoal? http://michiganradio.org/post/which-greener-gas-grill-or-charcoal <p><em>(Editor's note: This story was originally published in <a href="http://www.environmentreport.org/story.php?story_id=4552">July 2009</a>)</em></p><p>Neal Fisher thinks he’s an environmentally friendly kind of guy. He and his wife recycle, they use compact fluorescent light bulbs in the house, they walk most places and hardly ever use their car.</p><p>But when it comes to outdoor grilling... it’s charcoal all the way.</p><p>“It may be a little decadent when you’re taking the environment into consideration, but I do it.”</p> Thu, 23 Aug 2012 13:40:31 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 8776 at http://michiganradio.org Which is greener? A gas grill or charcoal? Report: Percentage of low-birthweight babies on the rise in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/report-percentage-low-birthweight-babies-rise-michigan <p>A <a href="http://www.milhs.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/RSwithAppendix.pdf">new report </a>shows Michigan has made some progress in improving maternal and infant well-being.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.milhs.org/">Michigan League for Human Services</a>&#39; Kids Count in Michigan project found a drop in the percentage of teen births over the past decade. Repeat births to teens and pre-term births have also decreased.</p><p>But it&rsquo;s not all good news. Jane Zehnder-Merrell, Kids Count in Mchigan project director, says the state saw worsening trends over the decade in babies weighing less than 5.5 pounds, or low-birthweight babies.</p><p>&quot;One of indicators that is of most concern is the 7 percent increase in low-birthweight, because that is what drives infant mortality particularly in the African American community.&quot;</p><p>African Americans babies had double the risk of being born too small, compared to white and Hispanic babies.</p><p>The report calls for more state investment in programs and policies to improve the well-being of mothers, and provide a stronger safety net for low-income families and their children.</p><p>Zehnder-Merrell says these data are not only indicators of how successful the next generation will be, but also &quot;how successful our state will be.&quot; Mon, 30 Apr 2012 19:13:58 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 7256 at http://michiganradio.org Report: Percentage of low-birthweight babies on the rise in Michigan Detroit's Roaming Table mixes civic engagement and urban planning http://michiganradio.org/post/detroits-roaming-table-mixes-civic-engagement-and-urban-planning <p>Changing Gears reporter <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/people/kate-davidson">Kate Davidson</a> last week debunked the conventional wisdom that Detroit has 40 square miles of vacant land. <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/detroit-has-tons-vacant-land-forty-square-miles?nopop=1">In her report she found </a>that in all likelihood the number is probably closer to half that.</p><p>Which, if you think about it, is still a lot of empty land.&nbsp;</p><p>Which is where the <a href="http://detroitworksproject.com/for-detroit-to-work-we-need-action-today/">Detroit Works Project</a> comes in -- that&#39;s the name of Mayor Dave Bing&#39;s revitalization plan for the city.&nbsp;The Detroit Works team has to figure out what to do with all that empty land. To help them find some answers, they&#39;re turning to Detroit&#39;s residents for help.</p><p>They&#39;re also enlisting the help of ... a table.</p><p><strong>A table, you say?</strong></p><p>Yes. But this is no ordinary table, dear reader. The purpose of this particular table is to &quot;disrupt people&rsquo;s everyday lives,&quot; according to Theresa Skora, who helped design it.</p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s meant to fold up and be put into a car and be taken around,&quot; says Skora. Which is why they call it the Roaming Table. &nbsp;And believe it or not this table &ndash; with its nifty green logo and stacks of glossy pamphlets &ndash; is key to the city&#39;s revitalization plan aka Detroit Works. Fri, 27 Apr 2012 12:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 7227 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit's Roaming Table mixes civic engagement and urban planning Roaming Table http://michiganradio.org/post/roaming-table <p>Changing Gears Reporter Kate Davidson debunked the conventional wisdom that Detroit has 40 square miles of vacant land. In her report she found that in all likelihood the number is probably closer to half that:</p><p><strong>DAVIDSON: That includes empty land - 19 square miles – and land with empty houses. No parks. </strong></p> Thu, 26 Apr 2012 21:00:55 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 7220 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan health officials urge vaccination to avoid pertussis outbreak http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-health-officials-urge-vaccination-avoid-pertussis-outbreak <p><a href="http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/whooping-cough-epidemic/">Washington</a>, Montana and other states are experiencing pertussis outbreaks.</p><p>The respiratory disease, also known as whooping cough, is highly contagious. If infants catch it, they often end up in the hospital.</p> Thu, 26 Apr 2012 16:49:09 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 7216 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan health officials urge vaccination to avoid pertussis outbreak Michigan poets Roethke, Hayden featured on new U.S. stamp http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-poets-roethke-hayden-featured-new-us-stamp <p>The U.S. Postal Service is paying homage to the world of poetry with ten new commemorative stamps.</p><p>Two Michigan poets will be featured on the new Forever stamps: <a href="http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/theodore-roethke">Theodore Roethke</a>, a Saginaw native and Pulitzer Prize winning poet; and <a href="http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/robert-hayden">Robert Hayden</a>, a Detroit poet, and the first black poet laureate of the United States.</p> Tue, 24 Apr 2012 20:08:32 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 7178 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan poets Roethke, Hayden featured on new U.S. stamp A Hemingway-themed hotel in Michigan's northern woods? http://michiganradio.org/post/hemingway-themed-hotel-michigans-northern-woods <p>Looking for a clean, well-lighted place to lay your head?</p><p>A company has plans to develop a slew of <a href="http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1954/hemingway-bio.html">Ernest Hemingway</a>-inspired hotels and resorts. The folks behind Hemingway Hotels &amp; Resorts only have a website at this point, but their plan is to build a minimum of 30 hotels worldwide, all based in places that were in some way relevant to the life, times and adventures of Papa Hemingway.</p> Mon, 23 Apr 2012 20:50:52 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 7162 at http://michiganradio.org A Hemingway-themed hotel in Michigan's northern woods? Racist artifacts on display at Ferris State's Jim Crow Museum http://michiganradio.org/post/racist-artifacts-display-ferris-states-jim-crow-museum <p>What was once a private collection of racist memorabilia has now been expanded to a full-blown museum on the campus of <a href="http://www.ferris.edu/">Ferris State University</a>.</p><p>When sociology professor David Pilgrim came to Ferris State, he brought with him his collection of racist artifacts and donated them to the university. For years the items sat in a small classroom on campus, but are now on display in the new <a href="http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/">Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia</a>.</p> Mon, 23 Apr 2012 19:25:31 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 7160 at http://michiganradio.org Racist artifacts on display at Ferris State's Jim Crow Museum U of M, Focus Hope team up on Detroit community development inititaive http://michiganradio.org/post/u-m-focus-hope-team-detroit-community-development-inititaive <p><a href="http://www.focushope.edu/">Focus Hope</a>, a well-known social services organization in Detroit, has spent decades providing food, career training and other services to people throughout southeast Michigan.</p><p>Now the University of Michigan&#39;s Graham Sustainability Institute is kicking in roughly $200,000 to help the nonprofit with its Focus Hope <a href="http://www.focushope.edu/page.aspx?content_id=3&amp;content_type=level1">Village Initiative</a>. The goal of the initiative is to transform the 100-block area around the Focus Hope campus, where thousands live at or below the poverty line.</p><p>John Callewaert is leading the U of M side of things. He says they&rsquo;ll be working on six projects ranging from legal issues around vacant land to developing playgrounds to &quot;moving towards college readiness&quot; within the community.</p><p>He says the strategies developed could be used as a model for other areas with &quot;lots of open space and economic decline.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>According to Focus Hope, their Village Initiative is based on a successful model being used in New York:</p><blockquote><p>This initiative is inspired by the adage that it &quot;takes a village to raise a child.&rdquo; Much like the <a href="http://www.hcz.org/">Harlem Children&rsquo;s Zone</a> in New York, the HOPE Village Initiative will bring together whatever resources are necessary to transform our community. Already, parents, businesses, retirees, educators, block clubs and others are working together to create opportunities for our children.</p></blockquote><p>Each of the six projects will receive up to $30,000 over 18 months. Mon, 23 Apr 2012 18:55:01 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 7157 at http://michiganradio.org U of M, Focus Hope team up on Detroit community development inititaive