An award-winning author of books for young readers is coming to East Lansing this week. Jacqueline Woodson's 30 books for young adults, middle graders and children have won a multitude of awards including a National Book Award in 2014 for “Brown Girl Dreaming”. The MSU Department of Teacher Education is bringing her in for a talk tonight.
Like thousands of Michigan baby-boomers, Ken Dawson is planning to retire soon. Dawson has spent six years at Michigan State University, most recently as a project representative in the school’s Infrastructure, Planning and Facilities Department. Unlike many of those retiring boomers, he will soon be embarking on a challenging adventure. Beginning in about a month, the Farmington Hills resident will begin a 3,100 mile hike atop the spine of North America: the Continental Divide.
Michigan takes a lot of pride in its nickname as the “comeback” state. And after taking a beating during the Great Recession, Michigan is indeed on the upswing. Forecasts say the state should continue to see economic growth and improvements to the unemployment rate in the next two years. But not everyone is feeling the impact of that recovery yet. Among those left behind are the nearly 550,000 Michigan children living in poverty.
Early childhood education is really important. Years of research has shown that a quality pre-school can have a big impact on a child’s learning later on. And it’s especially important for kids of color or from low-income backgrounds. But for years, Michigan was leaving behind tens of thousands of its most vulnerable kids.
After six years of federal oversight, Michigan is seeking to reclaim control of its child welfare system. The state came under supervision of federal monitors in 2008. That was after a 2006 class action lawsuit that alleged the Michigan Department of Human Services had failed to protect the safety and well-being of almost 19,000 children in state custody.
A recent Michigan State University study indicates that the more familiar young children are with the brand names of less healthy foods, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese. The study is interesting for several reasons, not the least of which is how you get a bunch of 3 to 5 year olds to express themselves on ideas like brand identification.
With more daylight and the end of school, lots of kids will have the opportunity to play outdoors more in the coming weeks and months if they choose to. Outdoors time has decreased drastically for children. A new MSU study indicates that there are benefits to outdoor free play besides the physical exercise.