High School Workshops

Stories From Our School Workshops

From Fuller Heart To Fuller Stomachs

Doing her part in the community to better the lives of the Hartford homeless is a passion of Jodyann Fuller, a sophomore at Achievement First Hartford Academy. The nonprofit group she’s part of, Our Piece of the Pie (OPP), assists in food pantries around the city, says the 15-year-old aspiring pediatrician. When she is not at home cleaning and cooking or watching makeup tutorials on YouTube, Jodyann is on the streets, talking to the less fortunate of Connecticut’s capital city and discussing plausible solutions to the homelessness crisis. OPP works to get urban youth involved in their economy and community, according to its website. “I really like helping people, especially who are in need,” Jodyann says.

Drug, Liquor Arrests Down At Yale And Harvard

Drug and liquor arrests at Yale University and Harvard University have decreased since 2013. At Yale, 38 students were arrested for drug abuse violations and 20 students were arrested for liquor law violations in 2013, compared to 13 drug arrests and 3 liquor law violations in 2015, the Yale Police Department reported. Similarly, Harvard University reported 11 drug arrests in 2013 and 9 in 2015. Liquor law violations dropped from 7 in 2013 to 1 in 2015. Marisol Dahl, a 2015 Yale graduate, said she witnessed drinking and drug violations almost daily on the campus in New Haven.

As Childhood Obesity Declines, Advocates Worry About Scaled Back School Lunch Guidelines

Between 2009 and 2012, the rates of obesity dropped 3.7 percentage points among children aged 2 to 5 and 0.3 percentage points among children aged 6 to 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. During the presidency of Barack Obama, campaigns such as the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and the Let’s Move campaign were born. Their purpose was to create healthy lunches for kids in school and to reduce childhood obesity. Such initiatives are in doubt now that President Donald J. Trump has taken office. In his first major act, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue began scaling back federal healthy eating requirements in school lunches that had been championed by former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Teen Dating And Sexual Violence Drops In CT, Nationally

In Connecticut, teenage dating violence has declined slightly, but on average 1,300 teens say they have experienced some form of violence each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2013, 1,436 or 11.1 percent of teenagers surveyed said that they experienced sexual dating violence compared to 1,328 or 8.0 percent of teenagers in 2015. For physical dating violence the numbers fell from 1,466 teens or 9.0 percent in 2013 to 1,276 teens or 11.5 percent in 2015. This mirrors a national trend where the number of teens experiencing physical or sexual dating violence has dropped slightly. Nationally, about 10,000 teens reported experiencing physical and sexual dating violence yearly, reports show.

Richmond: The Educational Struggle And How They’re Fixing It

Richmond’s students are lagging behind Virginia’s average on tests and graduation rates, but the city is trying to lessen the gap. According to the KIDS COUNT database, in the 2016-2017 school year 14.6 percent of students in Virginia were below the expected level for the PALS-K, which determines if a student’s readiness for kindergarten. In Richmond, 25 percent were below the expected level on the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screen. In the same year, 80.2 percent of high school students graduated within four years while 91.3 percent of Virginia’s students did the same. The KIDS COUNT database also shows that in the 2015-2016 school year, Virginia had a passing rate of 76 percent on the third grade Reading SOL, or Standards of Learning, a mandatory test going over the material students have learned throughout the year.

Study: Gender Inequality Remains Rampant In Nation’s Newsrooms

Women had just 37 percent of the bylines at the 10 most circulated U.S. newspapers in 2015, while just 32 percent of those delivering the evening news at the major TV networks that year were women, according to a major study. Although 51 percent of the country’s population is female and, according to Nielsen Scarborough, women make up 54 percent of media consumers, gender inequality exists across the media landscape, said the Women’s Media Center in its 2015 report. This includes online and in wire services. “We can do better. And we must,” said Julie Burton, president of the women’s center, in comments on the group’s website.

Thousands Of Bodies Go Unclaimed Annually In the U.S.

The body of John Back, 67, from Bridgeport, Connecticut, spent 8 months in the chief state medical examiner’s morgue, even though he had a girlfriend and family who could have taken his remains. Back’s situation, as recounted by the Connecticut Post, is not unique. There are an estimated 40,000 unclaimed bodies nationally stored in morgues, sixwise.com reports. It is a situation that coroners and others fear could become worse because of the opioid epidemic and financial constraints on states trying to deal with growing numbers of unclaimed bodies. States ranging from Connecticut to California have been trying to find ways to deal with the financial and practical burdens of disposing of the unclaimed deceased residents, some of whom are homeless without anyone to take their remains or family members who don’t want to pay for them to be buried or cremated.

Deaths From Opioid Overdoses Soar In West Virginia

West Virginia had the highest rate of deaths for opioid drug overdoses in 2015, the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. West Virginia’s rate was 41.5 per 100,000, followed by New Hampshire at 34.3; Kentucky at 29.9; Ohio at 29.9, and Rhode Island at 28.2. Connecticut’s rate was 22.1 per 100,000. “Opioids—prescription and illicit—are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999,” the 2015 report from the CDC said.

Amusement Park Rides: Summer Fun With Some Risk Of Injury

This summer, millions of Americans are flocking to amusement parks, and more than 1,500 will likely leave with injuries. In 2015, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions reported from a survey from 154 parks that an estimated 1,508 people were injured, while 82 were seriously injured. From 2003 to 2015, the number of injuries fluctuated. The highest number of injuries were reported in 2003 at 1,954 injured, and the highest percentage of severe injuries out of all injured were reported in 2014 with 9.6 percent. The actual chance of being severely hurt at one of these parks are 1 in 16 million, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, making the chances of dying extremely rare.

UConn Students: University Encourages Victims To Report Sexual Assaults

From 2013 to 2015, the University of Connecticut reported having more sexual assaults in each year than the University of Massachusetts. UConn had a total of 104 reported sexual assaults from 2013 to 2015, compared to 42 at UMass, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Former and current UConn students interviewed said the number of reported sexual assaults is high, in part, because the university encourages sexual assault victims to come forward. “People look at the numbers as a bad thing when it isn’t,’’ said Julia Werth, a 2017 UConn graduate who served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Campus newspaper. “They should make it less intimidating” to report assaults.