WUOMFM

State of Opportunity

Wednesday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

State of Opportunity is a special project produced by Michigan Radio with major financial support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The project features documentary reports, first-person storytelling, youth journalists, an online portal, and Michigan Radio’s Public Insight Network.

The goal is to expose the barriers children of low income families in Michigan face in achieving success.

Scantron Test Form
The Review Univ. of Delaware / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Poor kids in Michigan, and across the country, do worse in school than their wealthier peers.

That’s particularly true for kids attending schools where most of the other students are also low-income, too. Schools that do manage to get kids in concentrated poverty performing on par with wealthier peers are the exception.

This information is probably not all that surprising to you. But if you need a visual aid, take a look at where the bottom 5% of schools are in Michigan. 

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.

flickr user JD Hancock/CC by 2.0

There have been lots and lots of studies on whether additional funding for schools really leads to better outcomes for kids. And, for a long time, some of the conclusions of those studies were a bit mixed.

But in the past year or so, a few new studies have made the case that money does matter for student outcomes. And one study in particular uses Michigan’s Proposal A as the proof.

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.

Dustin Dwyer

Finding a home in Grand Rapids is becoming more difficult, especially for renters with low incomes. According to Zillow.com, the average cost of a rental unit in Grand Rapids rose almost 8 percent last year. That was the 11th highest increase in the country, among the 200 largest cities. Even for those who can afford to rent, finding a place isn’t easy.

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.

Best Buddies Delaware / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

I am a mother of two young girls. And I am fully aware that one day I will have to have "the talk" with each of them about puberty and the things that come with it. While I can't exactly say I'm excited about it, I want to make sure they are equipped to cope with the transition.

Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Many girls – particularly those from low-income families – feel unprepared for puberty, according to a new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Donnie Ray Jones / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Childhood obesity rates for children and adolescents in the U.S. ages 2 to 10 have remained at about 17% over the past decade. But here's a bit of good news: The number of overweight toddlers in the U.S. seems to be going down.

That's according to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pages