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April 10, 2017

This week’s family-related news included a story of divorced parents who take family photos together every year, a program in Mexico which helps students, who were deported from the U.S., cope with their new circumstances, a photo essay focusing on the anxiety of high school students, a spotlight on how movies often do not consider the feelings of adopted and foster children, an extensive exploration of what it means to be a “step mother,” research on whether pre-school teachers need college degrees to be effective, an important announcement by NYS concerning free tuition, for eligible families, at public colleges and universities, a list of the best children’s books of 2016 — as determined by NYC librarians.

Divorced Parents Reunite Each Year for Family Photo: ‘You Are Not Divorcing the Child’ Tribune Media Wire, April 3, 2017 Adam and I are not perfect co-parents, but we made a deal when we got divorced, to put our son first and to value the richness that we each bring to his life, for different reasons…So yes, we still have a family portrait taken, and I still pay good money to have the images printed, framed, and placed in our son’s bedroom.

Deported Students Find Challenges at School in Tijuana Claudio Sanchez, NPR, April 3, 2017 In the border city of Tijuana, there’s a model program designed to help “los invisibles,” the invisible ones — English speaking children who were born in the United States, who have been deported to Mexico, and are struggling in Spanish speaking schools.

High School Anxiety Gretchen Ertl, The New York Times, April 5, 2017 As part of the “Be a Part of Happiness” display at Lexington High School, students indicated how they deal with anger, anxiety or depression. The campaign is by the town’s newly formed suicide prevention group, a chapter of the national organization Sources of Strength.

Films Like ‘The Boss Baby’ Can Be Painful for Adoptees and Foster Kids John Anderson, The New York Times, April 5, 2017 Not everyone in the audience is part of the proverbial ideal 2.5-child nuclear family. But there’s no escaping the fact that rooted in our culture’s literary DNA is a proclivity for treating the disrupted family unit as a conveniently poignant narrative device. The parentless child — one whose mother or father has been killed, kidnapped, lost or just left — is a mainstay of our fiction. Evil stepmothers predate the Grimms. Fagin was a truly bad surrogate father. Tarzan probably got the best of it, being raised by apes.

In the Shadow of a Fairy Tale — On Becoming a Stepmother Leslie Jamison, The New York Times, April 6, 2017 As a stepparent, I often felt like an impostor — or else I felt the particular loneliness of dwelling outside the bounds of the most familiar story line. I hadn’t been pregnant, given birth, felt my body surge with the hormones of attachment. I woke up every morning to a daughter who called me Mommy but also missed her mother… Family is so much more than biology, and love is so much more than instinct. Love is effort and desire.

Do Preschool Teachers Really Need to Be College Graduates? Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times, April 7, 2017 Several meta-analyses by different researchers analyzing dozens of studies have found positive and statistically significant relationships between teachers’ education and the quality of care and children’s outcomes. But each of the researchers emphasized that the studies could not determine that education caused the difference.

New York Set to Become First State to Offer Free Tuition at Public Four-Year Colleges Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, The Washington Post, April 8, 2017 Budget negotiators struck a deal late Friday that could make New York the largest state to offer tuition-free public higher education. The $163 billion state budget agreement includes the Excelsior Scholarship, which covers tuition for any New Yorker accepted to one of the state’s community colleges or four-year universities, provided their family earns less than $125,000 a year.

Best Books for Kids New York Public Library Librarians, 2017 Every year, a team of NYPL librarians reads thousands of new releases to select the best books for children. Discover their 100 favorites.

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