McDowell County, WV, is a hard place to be a kid. Public schools in this former coal mining community were so bad that in 2001 the state took them over. At home, life wasn’t much better: schools estimate that up to 46% of children do not live with a biological parent, having lost them to overdose, suicide, incarceration or court ordered removal from their homes. However, that may be starting to change. A partnership of businesses, nonprofits, state agencies and the teacher union, called “Reconnecting McDowell,” is making an all out effort to revitalize this tragically depressed community.
In part one of our two part report, John Tulenko looks at how challenges are being addressed inside schools.
In West Virginia’s McDowell County, parents and caregivers often lack the support necessary to raise happy, healthy children. In the second of this two part report, John Tulenko looks at new programs that offer a ray of hope.
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