The Springfield News-Leader has launched a public-service journalism project to focus public attention on critical challenges facing children, foster discussion and build on existing initiatives. You can read Executive Editor David Stoeffler's introductory column for more information on the project.

The recently created News-Leader's Every Child community advisory committee -- with representatives from the business, government, education, nonprofit, law enforcement, health and faith sectors -- will play an important role. It will educate and advise journalists and help engage other stakeholders and the general public in a discussion and, ultimately, action.

At school: Parents can also star — or fail

May 14, 2013

Parental involvement is crucial to a child’s success in elementary school. Not only must parents monitor and help with homework, they have to be a stable enforcer of bedtime in the evening and out-the-door time in the morning.

Third grade: How are Springfield students faring?

May 12, 2013

Experts call third grade a pivotal year for children: the first year of standardized testing; the transition to the A-F grading system; applying skills instead of simply learning them.

'It feels never-ending'

May 12, 2013

Weller Elementary teacher Shayla Bernelis arrives an hour before the first bell.

Every Child continues to teach

June 23, 2012

It was the kind of photo that made you want to turn your head away, or simply turn the page. Published with a story Feb. 5 as part of our Every Child series, the picture conjured up thoughts of starving children in faraway Third World countries.

Program puts focus on importance of healthful foods

May 26, 2012

Sometimes we need to rethink and relearn what we should be eating, says Torrie Bedell, mother and stepmother of four. This realization came after Bedell went through Family First, a pilot program under the nonprofit Heart of the Ozarks.

Nutritious options don't have to cost much

May 26, 2012

Many low-income families struggle to feed their families healthy food when they’re on a tight budget. But there are nutritious buys for less than $1 a serving and many are 50 cents a serving (less than a candy bar).

Parents as Teachers pays dividends

May 19, 2012

The Mayor’s Commission for Children is a citizen advisory board with the purpose of studying the needs of young children in our community.

The basic skills for kindergarten

April 29, 2012

Springtime signals a new beginning for many things. Nearly two thousand families in Springfield will have a kindergartener to get ready for school this fall.

Principal foresees a successful future for Robberson

March 31, 2012

Kevin Huffman talks about Robberson Elementary as “my school” and the students there as “my kids.” He has been the Robberson principal for 16 years, the longest stretch any current Springfield principal has been at a building.

Community school concept excites many

March 31, 2012

Twice in the past 12 years, families at Robberson Elementary fought just to keep the school doors open. They successfully defeated efforts to close the landlocked, three-story building on busy Kearney Street, just a block west of National Avenue.

Tulsa-Springfield connection continues

March 31, 2012

Years before Springfield school officials went to Tulsa to look at the “community school” concept, Tulsa was looking to Springfield for inspiration.

Schools are the life of the neighborhood

March 31, 2012

Much higher test scores. Happy kids who are excited to learn. Supportive parents involved in decision-making. That’s what “community schools” have achieved in some of Tulsa’s poorest neighborhoods. Now, Springfield hopes it can happen here.

Working hard toward child abuse prevention

February 5, 2012

It began as a very simple idea: Why don’t we prepare future parents for what we know they’ll face? Tantrums will come. Frustration with a baby’s constant crying is inevitable. Junior is not always going to be fun or cute.

Schools search for solution

November 4, 2011

Hunger and a lack of food was ranked No. 1 on a survey of Springfield students’ most pressing needs.