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February 28, 2020

Letter to the Editor: To stop youths from becoming disconnected, we need to reach them when they're children

Chicago Tribune posts letter written by Executive Director, Taal Hasak-Lowy

Taal Hasak-Lowy reflects on Chicago Tribune's panel discussion, part of the editorial board's "Chicago Forward: Young lives in the balance" series, centered on finding ways to connect with youth ages 16 to 24 who are not working or in school. Hasak-Lowy's solution: early childhood intervention. Here's a preview:

Missing from the conversation was the reality that children become disconnected from school and community much earlier than adolescence. There are too many kindergarteners whose parents or caregivers are disconnected from the larger community. These are parents and caregivers who, often because of untreated trauma, lack hope for themselves and their children and who do not trust the schools and often do not respond to calls from teachers or principals about their children's behavior, attendance or academic needs.

Friends of the Children–Chicago is featured in Chicago Tribune's Chicago Forward series, read more about the six-month initiative.

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