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Problem Solving Must-Reads: A small town’s unique fight against opioid abuse

Plus: Killer wasps killing climate change, and Pittsburgh's successful bike-share program

In small town Cottageville, West Virginia, it is all too common for children to be able to describe in detail how to shoot up heroin or other drugs. If the child doesn’t know, it’s very possible they were removed from their home before they could remember: Over one-third of the children there live in foster care, mostly due to drug-abuse problems, and the entire Cottageville elementary school is low-income and receives free breakfast and lunch. But the teachers and school district are finding ways to help children to be successful, despite their traumatic upbringing.

Through several small tactics to ensure student success, like police calling a student’s teacher to warn them they had visited one of their student’s houses the evening before, the school and community are fighting back against the rising opioid issue in the area. A community-based effort has created a mentorship program for students who have extra needs where they get a mentor from a local plastics company as well as several other approaches to combat the traumas students faced.

Watch the full PBS News Hour and Education Week report here (via Education Week).

Here’s what else we’re reading:

The Small Signs of Bike-Share Success

Photo: City Lab

It’s hard to measure a bike-share program’s success, because the changes don’t happen overnight. But in Pittsburgh, there has been some solid headway for bike-share programs across the country to brag about: In one neighborhood, nearly 70 car trips per day and 2,250 daily parking events have been replaced by biking since the city’s bike-share program opened up. This might not sound huge, but researchers estimate that the level of trip replacement in this neighborhood alone would create 1,346 fewer car trips, 82.5 fewer gas gallons used, 76,470 calories burnt and 0.73 fewer metric tons of CO2 emissions on trips to the neighborhood—not bad for just one neighborhood in one city. (via City Lab)

Tiny, Murderous Wasps Are Fighting The Bizarre Effects Of Climate Change

Photo: KWQC

After accidentally introducing the emerald ash borer insect to beautiful (and culturally important) black ash trees from trade deals with China, over 25 U.S. cities and two Canadian provinces are fighting against the insect that is costing them $1 billion in damages each year. The bugs have capitalized on climate change to spread further across the country and ruin more of the black ash trees. But researchers have found the emerald ash borer’s enemy: stingless, parasitic wasps. The ash borer’s natural enemies have been released to fight back and help save the 52 million ash trees in rural areas and 3.1 million in urban areas. (via GOOD).

Photo header: Education Week

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