How to Help Your Kid Survive Gossip: 5 Things to Know About Kids This Week

Our curated list of kid-related news for April 29, 2016.

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Dana Villamagna, Toca Magazine Writer
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  • 1. How to help your kid survive gossip. When a hurtful rumor about your kid spreads through school or on social media, parents can feel powerless. The Washington Post recently published six tips from a school counselor and parent on how to support kids through this painful but common experience, including how to know “when to call for backup.” (Six Ways Parents Can Help Kids Survive Gossip)
  • 2. Kids’ in-app purchases equal trouble for Amazon. This week a judge ruled that Amazon must reimburse parents for kids’ unauthorized in-app purchases from 2011 to 2014. According to a report on The Verge, “…Amazon surprised consumers with charges because it failed to sufficiently inform them that games labeled ‘free’ could later allow purchases to be made.” The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed the complaint against Amazon and earlier settled similar complaints with Apple and Google. Apple and Google refunded $50 million total related to unauthorized kids’ in-app purchases. (Amazon illegally billed parents for kids’ in-app purchases, judge rules)
  • Soundbite_BOOK_900x9003. Can more play save American schools? A growing body of research shows how important playtime is for kids in school, for everything from academic success to reduction in behavior issues. Tech Insider’s ideas reporter Chris Weller wrote about the issue this week, and he predicted: “As the political climate around education finally begins to move away from standardized tests, that older conventional wisdom is starting to make a comeback. This time, however, schools won’t be extending recess from 15 minutes to 30 because of some whimsical notion that kids should be kids. It’ll be a decision made based on extensive inquiry into the proper route for childhood development, performed by people with clipboards.” (The secret to saving American education is something kids have been doing for centuries)
  • 4. Or will more money improve education? Not usually, according to a report this week on NPR’s All Things Considered. The story highlighted the school district of Camden, New Jersey, in which, despite increasing spending to $23,000 per child, “a third of the district’s seniors don’t graduate on time, and more than 90 percent of high school students there are not proficient in either language arts or math.” Listen to or read the full report on NPR’s website. (Can More Money Fix America’s Schools?)
  • 5. Prince’s gift to get more kids coding. After the death of Prince, news outlets reported on his extensive, quiet philanthropy, including monetary gifts and visits to many kids’ causes, such as schools and music programs. The Los Angeles Times published a story this week about how Prince was instrumental in starting the #YesWeCode program to help more minority kids get involved in the tech industry. (How Prince helped launch the #YesWeCode initiative after the Trayvon Martin verdict)

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