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In The News …

Why Kids Drop Out: Identifying The Early Warning Signs (WAMU): “New graduation numbers to be released this month are expected to show that just more than half of public school students in the District actually graduate high school in four years. Students don’t drop out of school for any one reason. It’s usually a complicated mix, including individual traits, home life as well as school and neighborhood characteristics. But many researchers believe children exhibit clear warning signs early on that can help identify those at risk of dropping out. This report focuses on Turner Elementary School in Southeast, whose graduates attend a middle and high school “where approximately 20 percent of students can read and do math at grade level.” Attendance is the most critical challenge, as nearly 20 percent of DCPS students “had more than two weeks of unexcused absences last year.” To learn more about Catalogue education enrichment nonprofits, head this way.

Study: Child Abuse Affects More US Kids than SIDS (TIME): “When it comes to child abuse, the first year of life is the most dangerous for children. Although SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, attracts far more attention, the rate of hospital admissions related to SIDS is actually lower than the rate of child abuse — 50 per 100,000 children under age 1 for SIDS, compared with 58.2 per 100,000 births. [...] Researchers at Yale University found that abuse landed 4,569 children under 18 in the hospital in 2006; 300 of them died.” Locally, SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) of Northern Virginia and Alternative House are working for safe, permanent homes for children in need.

Where Poor Washingtonians Live (Urban Institute via DCentric): “Compared to many other metros, the Washington region has weathered the Great Recession and its aftermath relatively well. Nonetheless, unemployment remains stubbornly high.” While the District’s poverty rate is two and a half times higher than in the region overall, “poverty isn’t confined to the central city. The total number of poor people living in the region’s suburbs today (370 thousand) far exceeds the number living in DC (102 thousand).” The report also includes an interactive map, which charts the spatial concentration of poverty by race over the past twenty-five years — and indicates that the “majority of the Washington region’s poor people live in non-poor neighborhoods.”

Report: Large charitable donations on the rise (CBS News): “Money donated by the nation’s most chartable people is starting to catch up with pre-recession giving, thanks in part to some very large bequests from a few donors. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports Monday in its annual report of the nation’s most generous people that the top 50 donors made pledges in 2011 to give a total of $10.4 billion” compared to $3.3 billion in 2010. Editor Stacy Palmer noted that the findings suggest “a healthy uptick in giving — the highest level in three years. The increase is more likely a sign of economic improvements.” Anonymous gifts are not included in the survey; and major anonymous contributions (over $1 million) totaled $546 million.

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