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July 24, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Higher rate of Virginia children living in poverty, study shows

YOUTH
Although children in Virginia are faring better in terms of education and health, 15 percent are living in poverty – up from 13 percent in 2005. This comes out of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count report highlighting four areas of life for children. It is believed that the increase in poverty could be a result of the increase in single-parent households in the state. (WAMU, 7/24)

Ted Groves is the Kids Count Director at Voices for Virginia’s Children. He says much of that relates to the increased number of single-parent homes. He says raising a child on one income is difficult.

[…] it’s unlikely that trend will revert back to the two-parent norm soon. So a solution is to find ways to support single parents.

[…]

Another contributing factor is the number of people living near poverty. Groves says more Virginians now spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing, which makes it challenging to meet other family needs.

HOUSING │ In light of the recent report from The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, the lack of low-income housing, due in part to the needs of the middle-class, is broken down here. (WaPo, 7/24)

EDUCATION
– A pilot summer program for D.C. Public School students, “D.C. Meets Washington,” is teaching youth about careers in the city. Students are learning about the possibilities in the fast growing fields of information technology, hospitality and engineering, while meeting with professionals and taking field trips in an effort to get them thinking about career choices before high school. (WaPo, 7/23)

– Also out of the new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, are state-by-state rankings on how students are doing academically. (WaPo, 7/22)

Fairfax schools to vote on spending millions to turn half-day Mondays into full class days (WaPo, 7/23)

Opinon: In this blog post featured in The Washington Post, Hollywood writer/producer-turned-English teacher Ellie Herman writes about the strong links between generational poverty and struggling schools, and how the conversation surrounding them must change. (WaPo, 7/24)

FOOD 
– Urban farmers in the Petworth neighborhood’s Twin Oaks Community Garden are opposing plans by the D.C. Department of General Services to pave over a portion of the garden in order to provide parking space for Powell Elementary School. (WAMU, 7/23)

Opinion: Why is D.C. a Food Co-op Desert? (OPinions, 7/23)

HIV/AIDS Opinion: Recently, officials at the International AIDS Conference reported that ending the epidemic by 2030 is possible. Ralf Jürgens writes on the Open Society Foundations blog about the need for further funding of human rights programs to realistically approach that goal. (Open Society, 7/23)

ARTS │ A Prince George’s County teen was recently awarded a gold medal in a competition for his inspirational artwork depicting his heroes. (WaPo, 7/22)


A photographer is taking “family portraits” to a whole new level by photographing complete strangers in a familiar way. Take a look!

-Ciara

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