January 19, 2018

Child poverty on rise

child poverty

Child poverty rates in the U.S. are on the rise, but health and education trends are showing improvements—including teen pregnancy reaching a historic low, according to the annual KIDS COUNT Data Book by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Read more  

“Man of Steel” darker, more solitary in 2013

Man of Steel movie

By Julie Samrick As a girl I swooned over Christopher Reeve as Superman.  I don’t know if it was his strength or that single curl of hair that fell on his forehead. Or maybe it was those goofy glasses he wore as Clark Kent that still couldn’t hide his cuteness. Perhaps it was his smirk,… Read more

Lance Armstrong’s Tale is as Timeless as Shakespeare

Lance Armstrong

By Julie Samrick The world’s greatest storytellers allow us to better understand human beings and their complexities through fiction. Lance Armstrong’s sad fall from grace since his admission of doping last week is a true story, but it could just as easily been torn from the great writers’ notebooks. Lance Armstrong symbolizes what students in… Read more

Best to the Worst Kids’ Films of 2012


By Julie Samrick It’s hard to compare the kids’ films of 2012 that are aimed toward older kids to ones that are for the under 7 crowd.  Still, in 2012 there were a few movies that had such strong stories they’re sure to be remembered as classics suited for the whole family.  Only G, PG… Read more

When The Mass Shootings Will Stop


By Julie Samrick As I sit stunned and heartbroken with the rest of America, my prayers so strongly with the people of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that I get an irrepressible lump in my throat every time I think of them, I’ve also been thinking about 13 years ago when the first American school… Read more

“Frankenweenie” Pays Homage to Classic Horror


By Julie Samrick “Science isn’t good or bad, but it can be used for both,” warns a schoolteacher to his eager student in Tim Burton’s latest dark film Frankenweenie.  Set in the 1950s when kids’ recreation meant undivided time for lots of imagination, young outcast Victor Frankenstein’s world is shattered when his one true friend,… Read more

The Age of Overparenting- Why and How to Let Kids Be Kids

tween daughter and mom

Can there be such a thing as over parenting?  The author of this piece makes so many excellent points about the type of hovering, yet well-intentioned, parenting that is so prevalent today…”I’ve begun to wonder if, by becoming so attuned to their every need and so controlling of their every move, I’ve somehow played a… Read more

Davy Jones Was a True Teen Idol


Detroit Free Press columnist and author of the bestselling memoir Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom recently discussed how Davy Jones was the quintessential teen idol, comparing him to the celebrity culture of teen heartthrobs today: “The stories themselves were equally gushing. There was no talk of drugs, arrests, DUIs or sex. Maybe they’d mention a first… Read more

Plot “Worse than Columbine” Thwarted

Jared Cano

A 17-year-old expelled student was stopped from committing a “catastrophic” hit on the Tampa area high school he once attended. Jared Cano, the suspect in custody whose plot was foiled to bomb Liberty high school, has said on his Facebook page he’d attended “University of Marijuana” and was seen wielding a machete in pictures. I… Read more

TV Review: Phineas and Ferb


The kids and I watched the Phineas and Ferb Movie- Across the 2nd Dimension this weekend.  An elongated Phineas and Ferb episode, at just over an hour, the stepbrothers and their sister, Candace, along with their pet platypus, Perry, and nemesis, Doofenschmirtz, find themselves in a parallel universe, where Doofenschmirtz’s body double gets to rule… Read more