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    PNS Weekend Update - April 18, 20150 


    In focus on our weekend rundown: tough questioning in New Orleans as the Justice Department tries to get President Obama’s deferred action on deportation plan unstuck; West Coast sardine fisheries are closing early—we’ll let you know why; and we’ll introduce you to a high school senior being honored this weekend for beating the odds.

Education

PHOTO: Five high school seniors each will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship Saturday at the 23rd Annual Beat the Odds Celebration from Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota. (Left to right: Martell Person, Makayla Hout, Kao Soua Yang, Nasro Mohamed, Randy Mathews) Photo credit: Children's Defense Fund - Minnesota.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The path to future success can be tough for any teen, but many face major life challenges and prevail. With the end of the school year quickly approaching, five of the state's high school seniors who have beaten the odds are being honored. Among them is Kou Soua Yang at Johnson Se ...Read More

GRAPHIC: Virginia teachers and parents say punitive over testing is hurting children, especially the very young ones. Graphic courtesy of Put Kids First.

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia tests school children too much and starts much too early according to some teachers in the state. Rebecca Jasman, a Louisa County elementary school teacher, says the testing puts what she calls a "ridiculous amount of pressure," even on very young children. She says she's se ...Read More

PHOTO: They teach kids, fix roads, care for the elderly and more. On Saturday, state workers are holding a half-dozen rallies in Washington communities to call attention to their jobs, in a campaign called Public Service Matters. Photo credit: Microsoft Images

OLYMPIA, Wash. - This weekend, state employees are asking their fellow Washingtonians to consider the value of the "service" in public service. They'll rally in six cities, from Centralia to Medical Lake, to make the points that their jobs matter and their contracts should be taken seriously by stat ...Read More

PHOTO: According to a new report, in order for Texas to meet infrastructure needs and make sure schools and parks stay open, costs needs to be shared more fairly among taxpayers. Photo credit: Leaflet/Wikimedia commons.

AUSTIN, Texas - In order for Texas to meet its infrastructure and public works obligations -- making sure bridges don't collapse and schools and parks are open for business -- costs need to be shared fairly among taxpayers, according to a new report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities. Bra ...Read More

PHOTO: Nevada parents with children who would benefit from tutoring might be able to find it, free of charge, at their local public library. Photo courtesy of Austin Public Library.

LAS VEGAS - Classroom overcrowding may prompt some students in Nevada to seek a little extra help to keep up with their studies. Hiring a tutor can be expensive, but the local library may have a no-cost solution. Valerie Marchalonis, head of the Children's Services Department at Sahara West Library ...Read More

PHOTO: West Virginia social workers are hopeful about reforms to the state's juvenile justice system. They say new truancy rules and other public school efforts can help keep kids out of jail. Photo credit: Richard Ross, courtesy of Annie E. Casey Foundation.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia schools have a key role in reducing the number of kids who end up in jail – and while social workers say preventing truancy is an excellent starting place, its only part of the picture. As the state works to reduce the number of juveniles in the criminal just ...Read More

PHOTO: Poet Kane Smego is coming to Charleston this week to address a conference of Social Workers. He says says he'll talk about a central part of his work - teaching young people how to use spoken word performances to better understand themselves and others. Photo courtesy of Smego.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Poetry is a tool that can help young people break out of isolation, according to the keynote speaker at a conference of social workers this week. Spoken word artist Kane Smego plans to talk to folks about how it works Wednesday morning during the annual spring conference ...Read More

PHOTO: A new report from the Food Research and Action Center finds that one in six American households said there were times they couldn't afford to buy food in 2014, many relied on community food banks such as the one above. Photo credit: BotMultichillT/Wikimedia Commons.
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AUSTIN, Texas - While Congress considers cuts to safety-net programs such as food stamps - now known as SNAP benefits - a new report by the Food Research and Action Center shows that millions of Americans still are struggling to put food on the table. The study, "How Hungry is America?," found that ...Read More

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