Devora Trapp, 24, picks up her 8-month-old son, Dardarius Taylor, late one evening at the Opportunity House's Second Street Learning Center, a 24-hour day care center for low-income families in Reading, Pa.
Credit Kainaz Amaria / NPR
Meghan Gonzales, 25, a mother of four, lived in a homeless shelter in Reading, Pa., a few years ago. She recently graduated from nursing school and now works full time in a nursing home.
Credit Kainaz Amaria / NPR
Tracy Boggs, 49, walks her daughter Emily, 7, to the Second Street Learning Center in Reading, Pa.
In the middle of the night, most children are home in bed. But at the Second Street Learning Center in Reading, Pa., a half-dozen tiny bodies are curled up on green plastic floor mats, fast asleep.
Conversations are hushed. The lights are dim. At 1:30 a.m., day care worker Virginia Allen gently shakes two little sisters, snuggled under the same blanket, to tell them that their mother is there to pick them up.
What do you think makes a better city? Do you like a mix of old and new on the same block?
Several urban thinkers joined us for a discussion on Twitter, including Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution, Carol Coletta of ArtPlace America, writer and blogger Aaron Renn, The Atlantic Cities editor Sommer Mathis and Diana Lind of Next American City.
California's Silicon Valley remains by far the dominant arena for high-tech startups and venture capitalists looking to back innovative projects.
But Europe is starting to make its mark on the startup scene. London, Paris and Berlin are starting to hold their own as more and more European startups look to compete on the global stage and attract investors.
For the last 18 years, the Essence Music Festival has been the go-to event for African-Americans, especially African-American women. For three days in New Orleans, hundreds of thousands show up for R&B and gospel concerts and panels on politics, financial planning and parenting.
If it's a party, as creator George Wein describes it, it's a party with a purpose.
"New Orleans is a party city and they party," Wein says. "People party here. If you go to the hotels — 40-floor hotels — [there's] like 40 floors of parties."
Melissa Block speaks with Jennifer Cooke, director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, about the deteriorating situation in Mali. Islamic militants in recent days have destroyed sacred tombs in the ancient city of Timbuktu. A military coup there in March created a power vacuum, allowing the rebel and Islamist groups to take over the northern part of the country. West African leaders this past weekend urged Mali's interim government to request outside military assistance.
In Scranton, Pa., city workers are fuming about their sudden pay decrease. The city's mayor says there isn't enough money to pay employees their regular wages. So, the most recent paychecks reflected minimum wage — no matter what workers' previous salaries had been.
The southern African nation of Botswana is grappling with a relatively new problem in the evolving AIDS pandemic: It now has a large group of HIV-positive adolescents.
The teenagers were infected at birth before Botswana managed to almost wipe out mother-to-child transmission of the virus. These children have survived because of a public health system that provides nearly universal access to powerful anti-AIDS drugs.