Our Children Our Future, brought to you through a collaboration with KC Schools, Suddenlink Communications, The Underprivileged Children Foundation and Jim Strawn & Company, is a monthly 30-minute television program that focuses on issues effecting children. What kids are facing in today’s society, services offered, and the fundamental rights they deserve.
Jim Strawn is the host of the show.
The show airing July 20, 2020 – July, 27 2020 at 8:30 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. features Think Kids.
We interviewed Kelli Caseman, Executive Director of Think Kids. Think Kids is newly formed 501 c 3 organization that fosters ingenuity, inspiring change and cultivating generations of healthy, happy kids. They envision a day when all of West Virginia’s children are safe, healthy, and aspire to do great things.
We discussed how the COVID-19 virus affects children. Currently, 12.89% of West Virginia’s COVID-19 cases are children between the ages of 0-19 and represent 7.81% of those who have been tested.
We discussed the children’s development beyond the physical dangers of the pandemic; such things as mental health, socialization, etc.
Kelli also talked about the importance of nutrition for children. In West Virginia, 1 in 5 kids struggle with hunger (Feeding America, 2018). The physical and psychological impact of hunger on growing bodies is linked to a host of downstream physical, emotional and social consequences. Because of this, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pediatricians screen all children for food insecurity. They also recommend that pediatricians keep on hand a list of community resources, such as food banks and pantries.
To learn more about health and hunger, Think Kids is hosting a virtual summit on this.
Kelli also discussed the very serious issue of the drug epidemic in West Virginia.
At the heart of our nation’s opioid epidemic lies West Virginia, and in the middle of this crisis are its children. The increase of parental drug misuse and abuse, impaired parenting, incarceration, extended separation from parents, overdose deaths, and introductions into the child welfare, court, and foster care systems have resulted in a children’s health crisis in our state.
The statistics tell a dark story: According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, since 2013, there has been a 67% increase in the number of children in state custody, from 4186 to 7000. Nationally, the number of children in foster care has slightly decreased.
Additional links to learn more about Think Kids include:
For more information on the Our Children Our Future TV Show, contact Jim Strawn, Executive Producer, at 304-541-4756.