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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Programs help rural families bond to nurture healthy kids

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Tuesday, December 26, 2023   

Studies show that 90% of a child's brain develops by age six - so Save the Children's home-visiting program helps families build a strong, positive, nurturing relationship with their kids.

The program equips parents in rural areas with skills to support their children's early learning and development, and fosters parent-school connections.

Victoria Rodriguez is the lead associate for the nonprofit's kindergarten readiness program in the Central Valley.

"We try to help parents by giving them things that they can do in their busy routine to really create connecting moments and learning moments with their children," said Rodriguez. "Simple conversations, sometimes like little runs, little songs, or just simply talking about what you're doing throughout your routine. And spending time with that little person you love."

Parents are their children's first and best teachers - and the family needs to be emotionally and financially stable to provide a safe, loving home.

So early childhood coordinators try to establish a connection with the family, to find out their most pressing needs.

Families can sign up via their local school district, or find out more at Savethechildren.org.

SaRonn Mitchell is senior advisor for kindergarten readiness at Save the Children.

She said the program aims to prevent child abuse and neglect by spotting cases of domestic violence or addiction - and getting the family help.

"Early relationships build the well-being of both the child and the caregiver," said Mitchell. "Early experiences in life build the brain architecture. And so when you have toxic stress, it can derail the healthy development of the child."

Save the Children partnered with the University of San Francisco to initiate a pilot community health program, which has empowered Save the Children's home visitors in the Central Valley to better assess and support the families' health and emotional well-being.




Disclosure: Save the Children contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Early Childhood Education, Education, Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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