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.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Early Tuesday, 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot and killed by police outside the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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

In recent years there's been a lot of talk about homework. Recently, I told you about my daughter's preschool homework load, and research that suggests education is becoming overly structured -- to the detriment of students.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

On an industrial block on Detroit's east side, there's a big, black building that sits along a stretch of warehouses. The front of the building is covered in glass windows. A banner sprawled across screams: "Welcome to Downtown Boxing Gym!"

The building is home to the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program. The afterschool program was started by Khali Sweeney in 2007.

dilapidated house
Paul Sableman / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Here at State of Opportunity, we've been talking a lot lately about how your neighborhood can shape the person you become.

Researchers have narrowed down the impact of neighborhoods to factors as specific as the city block where you live.

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

Almost 25 million people in the U.S. live in food deserts. These are neighborhoods with limited access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food sources. Nearly half of these residents are low-income.

Girl reading book in library
Barney Moss / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Summer is finally here, and students are enjoying some time off from school. But come September, many students will be several weeks behind where they were when school ended in June.

The Kellogg Foundation and Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project will host a panel on, "Early Childhood Education: The Unfinished Agenda." Guests include Bob Harbison from Smart Start Oklahoma. Oklahoma has one of the nation's most successful head start programs with 75% of all the state's 4-year-olds enrolled in public preschool. The panel will livestream Thursday morning at 7am. Bring your morning cuppa!

We've been tracking the discipline gap between students of color and students with undiagnosed learning disabilities. News from the west coast that might roll across the nation to narrow that gap: LA Unified School District will no longer use "willful defiance" as a reason to suspend students.

With a plan on the table already to close elementary and middle schools in Buena Vista, the recent budget shortfall that led to an abrupt end to the 2012-13 school year is only making worse problems for kids and parents. Michigan Radio's Sarah Hulett reports on the situation.

As part of her documentary on race, Jennifer Guerra spoke with kids---of all races---about how race shapes their lives in school, in their neighborhood, and among their peers. Tune in on Thursday at 3pm, and again at 10pm, to hear what kids, teachers and parents have to say on the topic. And in the meantime, check out this story from NPR's Arts Desk on how kids are using "yo" as a gender-neutral pronoun. Linguistic innovation coming from a teen near you!