Local

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This summer the news was full of the stories of children who fled to the U.S. because of violence in Central and South America. Here is one of those stories, 7 years later. From Dustin Dwyer and State of Opportunity.
Families & Community
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Three of Michigan Radio's projects: MI curious, State of Opportunity, and Infowire, have come together to report a story about children's mental health. Here's the result.
Families & Community
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You may have seen a flash mob on YouTube, or even experienced the phenomenon in real life: A group of people converge on a public space, seemingly out of the blue, for a recreation of, say Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Or Verdi’s Requiem – it could be anything. Now in Detroit, a group of Catholics has created a variation on that. The Mass Mob is a crowd sourced effort to revive urban churches … which have a lot of empty pews these days.
Arts & Culture
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Dustin Dwyer sat in on a "know your rights" training this week that was really a forum on how young black people can survive interactions with police.
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One of the most famous studies about how important impulse control is gets called the "marshmallow study." Enter the "cookie monster study," about how to actually teach kids that impulse control. And, more importantly what not to do.
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Dustin Dwyer reports on lower homicide rates in cities across the state. But there's a caveat. "We have to be careful about getting excited before we can see if it’s a one-year blip," says Wendy Regoeczi, director of the Criminology Research Center at Cleveland State University.
Families & Community
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State of Opportunity is running an occasional series about the people who make the decision to try to tackle childhood poverty one kid at a time. We’re calling this series, "One Person Who Cared."
Families & Community
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The Home Depot in Madison Heights, for instance, has a "flood recovery zone" set up inside the store's entrance. Things like drywall, paint, cleaning supplies, dehumidifiers, and appliances are flying off the shelves.
Business
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Dustin Dwyer profiles the Goodson family in this weeks State of Opportunity feature. Stacy Goodson says, "If a child showed up at your doorstep, hungry, needing somewhere to live, you would let them come stay with you. ... we sign up to be the doorstep that they show up on."
Families & Community
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Excellent Schools Detroit tries to help parents navigate the educational landscape in Detroit. Dan Varner heads up the group, and says the amount of choice is simply overwhelming. Dustin Dwyer sat down with Varner to learn more about what he thinks can help and how Varner got to where he is.
Families & Community
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Crime is down in Flint, but the city has still seen more than 800 violent crimes since the beginning of the year. State of Opportunity has the story of two young people trying to deal with the effects of all that violence, and the mentors trying to help them.
Families & Community
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I spent this past Monday with about 100 elementary school students at Camp Burt Shurly, a 250-acre campground near Chelsea. The week-long, overnight camp is run by the Detroit Public School district.
Families & Community
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If it seems like these reports are always coming out, well, that's partly true. The sheer number of indicators to analyze means that reports trickle out throughout the year.
Families & Community
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Instead of using "right" and "wrong" to describe Standard American English versus African-American English, Craig’s model uses "formal" and "informal" designations, so there’s no judgment attached to either language.
Education
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All this year, producer Zak Rosen has been reporting on the first year of the James and Grace Lee Boggs School in Detroit. Whitney Walker is the office manager at school, which her daughter Zoe also attends. Whitney Walker is also a poet, and in this installment of the Boggs School series she offers a documentary poem about her transformative experience working at the school.
Education
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Jennifer Guerra visits a Catholic High School using an apprenticeship model to give their students a competitive advantage.
Education
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Jennifer Guerra from the State of Opportunity team talks to one young man who says advice from his mom and hope for his brothers made a difference in his decision to leave gang life behind.
Families & Community
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State of Opportunity Reporter Dustin Dwyer shares his thoughts on why a viral video of hockey player Jordin Tootoo giving his stick away to an eagerly awaiting kid makes him sad. It has to do with the young woman in the upper right part of the frame.
Families & Community
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At 3:00 p.m today you can tune into Lester Graham's documentary, "Growing up in poverty and pollution," produced for State of Opportunity. Or, you can listen to the compelling stories these families anytime over at State of Opportunity.
Environment & Science
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State of Opportunity's new service, Infowire, looks at why so many young people who've aged out of foster care don't know they're eligible for health care. Foster care advocates are trying to get the word out. Do you know a young person who needs this information? Send them over to State of Opportunity and get them hooked up with the Infowire.
Health
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"Beating the odds doesn't just happen." In the two years since Dustin Dwyer's been reporting for the State of Opportunity project, he's finding breaking the cycle of poverty involves more than luck. We're starting a series on people who've broken the cycle and the person who helped them get ahead. Today, Dustin speaks with Jamie Alexander, a social worker who credits her grandparents with letting her know that "not going to school was not an option."
Families & Community
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We've been calling this story, State of Opportunity meets StoryCorps. Get ready to be moved. Meet Bentley. He's a rambunctious five-year-old at the James and Grace Lee Boggs School. Zak Rosen and filmmaker Andrea Claire Maio continue our series on the school and its students. In part five of the series, hear how everyone benefits from inclusive education.
Families & Community
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According to NPR's Gabrielle Emanuel, it's possible for a child to have more than two legal parents in about 10 states. Michigan isn't one of them. State of Opportunity takes a look at what it means legally for more than one adult--straight or same-sex--to parent a child in our state.
Law
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New parents are seeing the benefits of having social workers and health care professionals come to their homes to offer hands-on lessons in early childhood development. But what happens when funding for these programs dries up? This week, on State of Opportunity, Dustin Dwyer takes a closer look at infant and early childhood home visiting programs in Michigan.
Families & Community
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From the mouths of babes – or more like from the imagination of kids dreaming up the next big software application: Dustin Dwyer and State of Opportunity spent the afternoon listening to teens from the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology's after-school program. They presented their ideas to software industry and community professionals in Grand Rapids.
Education
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One of State of Opportunity's most popular posts is "Five facts about achieving the American Dream" (http://goo.gl/1BAxma). Dustin Dwyer looks at inequality and why it's difficult for children to escape the cycle of poverty. We're revisiting this post with another look at what the research says about whether the American dream can be revived. Spoiler alert: It's going to to take a lot more than individual will.
Economy
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Our wintery weather continues, but that shouldn't stop you from coming out to our Issues & Ale event in Grand Rapids this evening. We'll be asking you and our panelists, "What can we do to close the digital divide in education?" State of Opportunity's Dustin Dwyer will moderate this conversation with educational technologists Kim Dabbs of the West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology, Hilary Goldmann of the International Society for Technology in Education, and Anne Thorp of the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District. This event kicks off the Michigan Association of Computers in Learning conference, so there will be plenty of knowledgeable and concerned educators in the audience. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at Founders Brewery in the Centennial Room (2nd floor). Come warm up with challenging conversation about creating equitable access to the tools our kids need to succeed in the 21st century.
Education
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On the State of Opportunity blog, we're gearing up for Michigan Radio's Spring Challenge by featuring our most popular posts. We think of this as showing our supporters a "return on engagement." Here's how we're using your contributions to tell the stories of Michigan's most vulnerable population: children living in poverty.
Families & Community
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What's the point of evaluating teachers and then not providing constructive feedback for improvements? That's the challenge legislators are tackling with changes to Michigan's teacher evaluation law. State of Opportunity's Dustin Dwyer sat in on a teacher development session in Grand Rapids to find out which new techniques are being used to coach educators more effectively.
Education
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The culture and ideas that surround issues of kids and well-being are just as important to the public discussion as the daily realities. Head over to State of Opportunity for a review of Short Term 12, a feature film about at-risk kids in a care home and the adults that try to teach them how to cope. It's just out on DVD, at your public library, Netflix, etc.
Arts & Culture

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