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A Junior Recession?

Today, we looked at how the recession is taking it's toll on children in communities across the U.S. Our discussion was inspired by a new report that warns that the current economic down could set back many of the gains made over the past 35 years to improve the lives of children. On the program, we were joined by Ruby Takanishi, of the Foundation for Child Development, and Cora Masters Barry, of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center in Washington, D.C.

Interesting dialogue, indeed. Takanashi suggested that the economic impact of the nation's financial meltdown could turn back the clock on the economic well-being of families. What does this mean? According to Takanashi, the recession could "essentially bring family economic well-being back to the 1975 level." Families struggling today, in other words, could show just as much progress as those tredding financial waters back in 1975. (Read the report by Takanashi's group.)

No big deal, right? Except that was more than 30 years ago.

But also interesting were comments made by Cora Masters Barry, former wife of former D.C. (now councilmember) Marion Barry. Among other things — of course, you should listen to the actual conversation — she says hard economic times have had a not-so-bad-affect on the children under her watch. At the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center (located in the inner-city of the nation's capitol), of which Barry is the founder, she actually reports witnessing more student participation in enriching programs and higher (than usual) levels of parental engagement in what kids are up to.

If you work with children on a regular, or semi-regular, basis, what are you seeing where you live? How is the recession taking a toll — or not — in your community? ...

Tomorrow: Is there really a such thing as "the Muslim world"? We look ahead to President Obama's speech in Cairo, Egypt.