Children

WIKICOMMONS / Nevit Dilmen

Iowa has enough money through March to continue providing health care to children from moderate and low income families, while Congress figures out how to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The program provides healthcare to nearly 9 million children nationwide, including 60,000 in Iowa. States structure CHIP programs differently, which means funding will run out in different places at different intervals.

Laura Beth McConahie / Flickr

This show originally aired on March 4, 2016.

Psychotherapist Jeanne Safer found the roots of her 1996 book, Beyond Motherhood: Choosing a Life Without Children, in her own life.

“I became interested because I had to be interested. I really was struggling myself to make this decision. It took me five years to do it. I really worried about it, I thought about it, I didn’t talk to many people about it because I didn’t really know anybody who was going through it.”

Image courtesy of Wokandapix

School districts across the country are struggling to adapt to growing school lunch debt. Many children who cannot afford their school lunches have been subjected to what is commonly referred to as "lunch shaming," which involves practices that can humiliate children in public schools who have unpaid lunch debts. One such method involves dumping a student’s lunch in the trash once they get to the cash register.

Ann Feilmann of Iowa's Department of Education says that schools participating in the National School Lunch Program are working to curb this issue.

Flickr / jess2284

Iowa ranks fifth nationally in overall child wellbeing in this year’s Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count Data Book. But there's still room for improvement.

As a senior associate and fiscal director for the Des Moines-based Child and Family Policy Center, Mike Crawford works with the Casey Foundation on its annual report. He says that while Iowa compares very well to other states, when Iowa is compared to itself the picture is less optimistic.

International Labour Organization / Flickr

It may seem odd that a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate promotes anger. But that is exactly what 2014 winner Kailash Satyarthi believes is necessary for change to occur in the world. 

Kids on Hawk-I, Iowa’s Medicaid program for low income children, are receiving new insurance cards in the mail. But they might not put them to much use, since Iowa’s Medicaid program is scheduled to go into privatized management on March 1.

Initially the transition to privatization was scheduled for New Year’s Day. In anticipation of this date, insurer Wellmark scaled back its Hawk-I resources; but now the transition is scheduled for March so Wellmark’s Hawk-I contracts need a new home.

Pan American Health Organization

Earlier this month, a team of researchers released a study that found one major difference between life and death for extremely preterm infants—those born from 22 to 26 weeks of gestation—was how aggressively the doctors attempted to save the babies’ lives.

Flickr / United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The world’s first openly gay head of government is in Iowa. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir served as Iceland’s Prime Minister from 2009 to 2013.

Sigurðardóttir is one of the keynote speakers for the 10th annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, which takes place Friday at the Prairie Meadows Event Center in Altoona. 

Vox Efx / Flickr

In Iowa, there are around 6,000 kids in the foster care system. While many of those are children of color, foster parents are mostly white. How much does it matter?

Flickr /M Glasgow

The teen birth rate in Iowa is down more than 35 percent since the year 2000.

That’s according to the 2013 Iowa Kids Count report. The annual study released by the Des Moines-based Child and Family Policy Center charts trends in child wellbeing in the state of Iowa.

Jason Parks

Finding a trustworthy and affordable child care provider is one of the biggest challenges working parents face. At the same time, providers are asked to do demanding and important work for little pay.

Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to that problem, says infant and toddler consultant Beth Walling.

"It's like trying to tackle poverty," she says.

Walling is especially concerned, since studies show there's an achievement gap that exists at 10 months of age.

"A 3-year-old’s vocabulary can predict their third grade reading level."

IPR's Pat Blank

Cedar Falls High School Senior Agatha Fenech will serve as a National Child Awareness Month Youth Ambassador. As one of 51 youth ambassadors, Fenech will receive funding and training to lead an initiative to raise awareness about the health and community benefits of locally grown produce. Fenech was selected through a competitive application process based on the quality of her project proposal and its potential to creative substantive, large scale change that benefits young people in Cedar Falls.

Ryan Henderson

Governor Terry Branstad is defending his reluctance to grant asylum to unaccompanied children fleeing extreme violence in Central America.

"It would be wrong for us to send a signal that if you come here illegally, we're just gonna disperse you throughout the country and you don't have to go home."

Social justice advocate Connie Ryan Terrell of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa says many in Iowa’s faith community are disappointed with Branstad's decision, since the state has a history of welcoming immigrants.

Peter Merholz

Today, kids average six hours of screen time a day.  According to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics, children whose parents limit screen time get more sleep, do better in school, have fewer behavior problems and lower their risk of obesity.  Doug Gentile, associate professor of psychology at Iowa State University, discusses the reverse results on the studies. 

Jeff Wasson

The Winter Olympics begin tomorrow, which got us thinking about the young athletes who will be watching the games... who may one day compete at state, national , or international levels.

Now more than ever, children and their parents are faced with the decision of whether or not to specialize in a sport at an early age – some children being only a few years old. Today on Talk of Iowa, we explore the concept of specializing children in sports.

Stuart Seeger / StuSeeger / Flickr

It’s football season and as Iowans stream into bleachers to cheer on high school football teams concerns about head trauma at the highest level of the game is filtering down to youth levels.

Jon S / NS Newsflash

Join host Ben Kieffer for this edition of River to River that quickly moves through a variety of news stories of note: implications of an Iowa Supreme Court decision, a possible new Department of Transportation app to prevent texting-and-driving, a tapeworm diet, Iowa college football, and more.

Credit MaST Charter Community School / mastcharter / Flickr

Children are very observant… they notice differences in skin colors, hair, clothes, ways of talking...  Host Charity Nebbe discusses how children learn about race and how parents can teach their children about race and ethnicity with Erin Winkler, associate professor of Africology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Madeleine Rogin, a kindergarten teacher and

Crown Archetype

Comedian Jim Gaffigan started his career discussing life as a single guy in New York.  Now Gaffigan is married and lives with his five kids in a two bedroom, five-floor walk-up apartment in Manhattan. Host Charity Nebbe talks with the comic about his new book "Dad is Fat" which explores the complexities of fatherhood as well as the pros and cons of a delicacy known as “Hot Pocket.”  

Zach Wahls / Facebook

Just last year BSA reaffirmed its policy that gay members and gay or lesbian leaders are prohibited from participation. However, now the BSA is considering revising that policy so that each local chapter can individually decide its policy on gay membership. Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, who is one of the national leaders encouraging the Boy Scouts to be more inclusive.

Pete Prodoehl / Flickr

While parents still worry about who their children are interacting with online, parents are focusing their concern now on how their children are represented online. Ben Kieffer talks with experts about the way children perceive the Internet and how their posts could affect their academic or professional future. Then Iowa school officials discuss efforts to prevent cyber bullying in Iowa.

Eagle.Dawg / Flickr

Analysts are saying the outcome of this election hinges on one factor – turnout. Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa party officials across the state to find out what the major parties are doing to get out the vote.Then, Greg Hamot a University of Iowa College of Education professor, and Rachel Willis, executive director at Kids Voting USA, talk about how kids perceive the candidates and the discussions parents can have with them about the election.

In 2008 more voters UNDER the age of 35 participated in the election than voters OVER the age of 65. And voters under 30 overwhelmingly supported Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama. But, a lot can happen in four years. Host Ben Kieffer talks with young voters about who they’re supporting in 2012 and the issues important to them.  Guests include Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research for the Pew Research Center, Steffen Schmidt, University Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University, and Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote.