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More than 5 million kids in the U.S. have have a parent who is currently or was previously incarcerated at some point since they were born. That's about one in every 14 kids under the age of 18.

Musicians team up with at-risk youth in songwriting workshop
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

The girls who live on the Vista Maria campus in Dearborn Heights have all experienced some kind of serious abuse or neglect. Some are the victims of human trafficking, all are in the foster care system. They come to Vista Maria to work through the trauma and heal.

Loren Kerns / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The White House released a summary last week detailing why trauma-informed schools are essential to student success.

Specifically, it focused on the educational barriers girls face when they’ve survived traumatic experiences like abuse, neglect and homelessness, and the need to rethink discipline policies to provide them with support.

Mom and kids
Rebecca L / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Finishing college and obtaining a degree is challenging. Debt, work and other responsibilities often stand in the way. The path to college graduation can be particularly difficult for students who also have kids.

Nearly 5 million college students are parents of dependent children, according to the Institute of Women's Policy Research (IWPR). That's 26% of all college undergraduates.

And almost half of them are single mothers, 89% of whom are low-income.

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It's officially fall. The leaves are changing colors. Cooler temperatures on the way. And if you're like me, you're about to crank up the thermostat.

But for many low-income families, the heating season presents a "heat or eat" dilemma. They are forced to choose between buying food and paying for utilities.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

How many kids are in a typical classroom in Michigan?

That’s a tough question to answer. And believe me, we’ve tried

But a new report from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan gives a clearer picture of class sizes in Michigan’s public schools.

mom and son in front of house
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

It isn’t easy to kick a drug or alcohol addiction. In 2013, there were an estimated 21.6 million people with substance abuse disorders. Only 18% of them got any kind of treatment.

If you’re a mother or a pregnant woman, getting clean can be even tougher. But there are an increasing number of programs that are trying to break down some of the barriers these women face. I drove to Richmond, Michigan to visit one program that's trying to make it easier for those women to get the help they need. 


Wesley Fryer / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

There's a growing debate about the long-term effects of harsh school punishments, like suspensions, expulsions, and school arrests

asthma inhaler
Christian Guthier / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

About 24 million people in the U.S. suffer from asthma. And more than 6 million of them are children.

The percentage of U.S. kids with asthma doubled in the 1980s and 1990s. And it continued to increase steadily until the trend changed in 2013, according to NPR.

Parker Knight / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Child hunger is a problem that is widespread across the country. About 1 in 5 kids in the U.S. live in "food insecure" households, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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