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Archive: Social services

Study: Md., Va. Prep Kids For Success. D.C. Doesn't.

Maryland is among the best places in the country in preparing children for success in school and beyond, according to a new study by Save the Children, the Washington-based non-profit. Maryland ranks eighth among all states and the District in measures such as parental encouragement, preschool participation and quality of home environment. Virginia landed 13th on the list and the District was way down at the bottom, at 42nd in the nation. Overall, the report paints a dismal picture of parenting and schooling in America. It finds that 68 percent of American fourth-graders are not reading at grade level--64...

By Marc Fisher | May 5, 2009; 07:48 AM ET | Comments (9)

Flu Not As Contagious As Fear

Swine flu is in the air, but the bug to watch out for is the germ of fear. The school year was coming to a close, and federal health officials, having convinced the president that swine flu was likely to infect huge numbers of people in just a few months, were racing to make a good vaccine for children. So in May of 1976, doctors at Children's National Medical Center turned to kids they knew best. The president of the hospital's board had his kids at Beauvoir, the private elementary school on the grounds of the National Cathedral. The principal,...

By Marc Fisher | May 3, 2009; 12:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Couple's Nuptials a Hiatus From Life on the Streets

She had heard all the lines, knew all the games. So when Dante White's first words to Nhiahni Chestnut were "I want you to be my wife," his chances did not seem strong. "I said, 'You are really putting it out there,' " Nhiahni recalls. But her retort came with a smile. Something about Dante made his preposterous opening line seem not just plausible, but a downright heart-melter. Such are the mysteries of love: Come Saturday, Dante and Nhiahni will marry. People will journey from every corner of Washington to see them exchange vows -- wealthy Georgetowners and people who...

By Marc Fisher | April 26, 2009; 10:18 AM ET | Comments (3)

After Mom's Troubling Words, A Maternity Ward Inquisition

Woozy from pain medication after a Caesarean section, swinging from joy over her newborn boy to exhaustion from the strain of delivering him, Karen Piper mentioned to her doctor that she'd been hoping for a girl. She would come to regret those words. There she was at Washington Hospital Center on an early spring afternoon, three days after giving birth. She'd be taking Luke home to the room she had lovingly prepared, to a time she'd dreamed about for years, just the two of them getting to know each other, reveling in the miracle of new life. When nurses finally...

By Marc Fisher | April 23, 2009; 08:36 AM ET | Comments (9)


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