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Carolyn Smith-Brown | Friday, May 17, 2019 - 2:11pm

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The Huffington Post article "SAT to Add 'Adversity Score' to Reflect Student's Privilege ," by Hayley Miller, reports on the 15 factor neighborhood score that may be reported with a student's SAT's when applying to college. The inclusion of community-level adversity with the SAT is conceptually a major step towards acknowledging the environmental impacts that can affect SAT outcomes. Philadelphia is a region with one of the highest densities of colleges and universities as well as the seat...
Caitlin O'Brien | Friday, May 10, 2019 - 2:15pm

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As a citizen who has reversed more than 100 overdoses, every now and then I have a cry that is so uncontrollable, and painful, and deep, that I wonder if I will ever stop crying. Recently, I experienced one of those cries. It was after reversing a young man who was overdosing who looked just like my son. He was 16 or 17 years old, still with his school ID around his neck. It took three doses of Narcan — the overdose reversal medication — to bring him back. Surprisingly, he wanted me to call...
Caitlin O'Brien | Monday, May 6, 2019 - 1:14pm

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Chera Kowalski remembers working at McPherson Square Library when overdoses became a more common occurrence in Kensington. It was 2015, and Philadelphia saw 696 overdose deaths that year — a 52% increase from just two years before — eighty percent of which involved opioids. There were more than twice as many overdose deaths than homicides. At the time, library staff didn’t have naloxone — an opioid overdose reversal medication — or the training to administer it. The best staff members could...
Caitlin O'Brien | Monday, April 1, 2019 - 9:33am
Childhood trauma is a widespread issue. According to Child Trends, nearly half of children in the United States and in Pennsylvania have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience, or ACE, which often leads to traumatic stress. Research is clear that traumatic stress in children can negatively impact cognitive, academic and behavioral outcomes. Yet schools are not equipped to address these problems. A recent ACLU report notes that 90 percent of U.S. public schools do not meet the...
Caitlin O'Brien | Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 12:45pm

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The Philadelphia school board is slated to decide a tough topic Thursday night: Should every high school in the city require students to pass through metal detectors? All 49 Philadelphia district high schools have the scanning equipment, but three don’t use it. A proposed board policy would shift that, effectively requiring Science Leadership Academy, Science Leadership Academy at Beeber, and the Workshop School to use their metal detectors. Amir Curry, a senior at SLA Beeber, thinks that...
Caitlin O'Brien | Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 9:30am

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Before that damp and rainy Tuesday night, most of the passengers waiting for their trains at Suburban Station had never met Kenny Solomon. We didn’t know about the car accident that permanently damaged his body, or his recent fall at Suburban Station down an entire flight of steps. We also didn’t know anything positive about Mr. Solomon or his likes and dreams. But his introduction to us, and anyone who happened to be in the vicinity that night was resounding. But the scene that unfolded on...
Caitlin O'Brien | Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 12:14pm

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Thursday marks one year since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which set off a wave of activism across the country, as students and youth called for more gun control and safer schools. Young people in Philadelphia and other urban areas seized the opportunity to bring long-awaited attention to gun violence and trauma that impacts them on a regular basis. But some activists, students, and teachers say one year later, not much has changed in the way of...
Caitlin O'Brien | Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 9:57am

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New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) has spent the last few years hearing community residents’ needs from Lehigh to Allegheny avenues via meetings and door-to-door surveys, and letting that input shape its work. Last month, the Kresge Foundation awarded NKCDC a two-year, $150,000 grant to take its community development work to the next level. The funding is part of Advancing Health Equity through Housing , a new Kresge Health Program initiative that addresses harmful ways...
Caitlin O'Brien | Friday, January 18, 2019 - 9:30am

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(Philadelphia) -- Mayor Jim Kenney announced on Thursday that the city would dedicate more than $4 million to "interrupting" violence on neighborhood streets. Flanked by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, members of City Council and anti-violence advocates, Kenny introduced a set of new programs that will focus on gun violence as a public health problem. He said the city would seek to promote a more data-driven and "holistic" approach to stanching the city's rising homicide rate.
Caitlin O'Brien | Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 9:48am

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The best leaders lead by example. At the Gen. Louis Wagner Middle School at 1701 Chelten Ave., students are able to come into their own, succeed in the classroom, and prepare for their future because of the leadership roles and innovative thinking of the administration and teachers at their school. “Some of our goals this school year was continuing to improve our attendance and providing trauma informed training for everyone,” said principal Maya Johnstone. “Last year, we improved our...

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