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Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

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President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

MS program help families bond, promotes early child development

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Thursday, December 28, 2023   

A Mississippi home-visiting program is helping families build a strong, positive, nurturing relationship with their children.

The program equips parents in rural areas with skills to support their children's early learning and development.

Shenika King, early childhood lead associate for Save the Children in Mississippi, meets rural families where they are by helping them build a strong foundation for their children to thrive as learners in life. She said their early childhood coordinators are committed to providing quality early childhood education to the youngest residents.

"We do know that 90% of the child's brain is developed by the age of six," King pointed out. "Parents are their children's first teacher. And so we are going into the homes in rural Mississippi and making sure that parents have the tools and knowledge to be successful in supporting their child's development."

King added the coordinators provide parents and caregivers with guidance and tips and activities to instill everyday learning moments and routines in their child's life, which help them maintain a strong emotional bond with their children.

King acknowledged access to free books and public libraries are limited in the communities in which Save the Children early childhood program is present. She emphasized they ensure children have early literacy resources.

"We provide free books for them. We take books into the home, where they're able to read and help build their home library," King outlined. "Also, we make sure that parents understand the importance of reading. You don't necessarily have to just read the book, just different interactions, reading during bath time or talking to your child during mealtime."

SaRonn Mitchell, senior adviser of kindergarten readiness for Save the Children, said as part of Save the Children's home visiting program, caregivers cultivate early relational health through everyday moments and experiences.

"Our programs thrive in providing opportunities for caregivers," Mitchell explained. "To have activities and to build routines, like playing and talking and singing and reading together, during these times and really help build strong positive nurturing relationships."

Mississippi families can sign up via their local school district.

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


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