Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Getting in Touch

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Getting in Touch

Article excerpt

IT'S JANUARY, the month when most of us are thinking of shedding some excess pounds, exercising more vigorously, and refraining from yelling at the dog. And that's all well and good. But this month I am making a different resolution: to get more closely "in touch."

Two of my favorite people -- Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld and Carol Bucheri -- put me on this track. First, Mimi shared with me her article from the summer 1992 issue of Day Care and Early Education, titled "'Only One Child in the World': Notes from a Doting Grandma." In it, she describes a flight from Columbus, Ohio, to New York City to visit her first grandchild -- an infant blessed with caring parents and grandparents, with security, with creature comforts, and with the kinds of support and guidance that will enable him to become the best that he can be.

Just before the plane touches down, though, Mimi's husband hands her the Columbus Dispatch, featuring a Children's Defense Fund report on the status of Ohio children. According to that report, 450 babies are born in Ohio every day. Of those 450 infants, 140 have mothers who require Medicaid because they are poor, 125 are born to unmarried parents, 80 have mothers who received late prenatal care, 60 are born at low birth weight, and four die before reaching their first birthday.

"We walk the mile to the baggage area and grab our suitcase heavy with warm infant stretch sleepers, flannel snugglies, the tiniest Ohio State University sweatshirts: a suitcase filled with gifts for our little grandson," Mimi reports. "Carefully, I fold the newspaper into my bag. …

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