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Paulette Parker

Digital Journalist - Blogger

Paulette is a blogger for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously interned as a reporter in the Michigan Radio newsroom.

Before working at Michigan Radio, she was the news editor of The Washtenaw Voice at Washtenaw Community College. She has an associate degree in journalism from WCC. And she is currently a junior at Eastern Michigan University, pursuing a bachelor's degree in media studies and journalism.

When she isn't working she is spending time with her husband and two young daughters.

Girl eating peach
Bruce Tuten / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

If you follow State of Opportunity regularly, then you know we've talked quite a bit about food deserts – places where fresh fruits and vegetables are in short supply.

baby laying down reading
Donnie Ray Jones / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

As the week winds down, many of us are looking forward to a little rest and relaxation. I thought I'd share some recommended reading – and listening – for you to check out if you have some free time this weekend:

1. How Segregated Schools Built Segregated Cities

Kid hanging upside down at playground
Virginia State Parks / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The benefits and necessity of school recess have been widely debated over the past decade. But growing research shows recess helps improve academic achievement, prevents bullying, and develops emotional and communication skills.

For example, a 2009 study of more than 10,000 American kids found improved behavior when they got at least one recess period of 15 minutes or longer.

But how should effective recess be structured? How long should it be? What should children do during that time? There seems to be little guidance on what makes "good" recess.

Young boy doing homework
Eric Cuthbert / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

It seemed like skipping students ahead a grade level or putting them in split-grade classes were common strategies to keep advanced students engaged when I was in elementary school.

Classroom
Allison Meier / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Today is Inauguration Day and President Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

As Barack Obama leaves office, we're taking a look back at the changes to public education in the U.S. during his tenure and looking ahead to what the future of education might look like under the new administration. Here's what we've been reading. 

jail cells
miss_millions / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Having a parent behind bars can be a traumatic experience for a child. Studies show parental incarceration can affect school achievement, health, relationships and increase a kid's risk of going to prison themselves in the future.

Produce aisle
Linda Hoenstine / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

More than 43 million Americans receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - formerly known as food stamps. 

money and tax forms
Pictures of Money / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The 2017 tax filing season begins January 23. But millions of low-income families across the country will face delays in getting their refunds. The delays impact nearly 40 million families claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit.

softball player
Ian Sane / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Participating in school sports is a great way for children to stay healthy. But the benefits go far beyond that. Kids who participate in sports have higher academic achievement, lower dropout rates and they develop skills like decision making, communication, team work and time management.

Cody / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The number of kids with peanut allergy tripled between 1997 and 2008, according to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE).

The idea that your child could be exposed to nuts and have a reaction that is damaging, or even fatal, can be pretty scary. In the past, caregivers were told to avoid exposing kids in danger of developing an allergy to peanut products for the first few years of their lives.

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