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Father of Sidwell Friends student killed in Sri Lanka attack mourns what might have been

Alex Arrow keeps expecting to see his son, Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa, walk around the corner. He imagines his boy trailing behind him at the supermarket the way he would as a young child or playing the board games he loved or the two of them making home movies as they did earlier this month in San Diego when Kieran visited on spring break. That he will never do those things again is like waking from a bad dream every single minute and praying it isn’t real, Arrow said in a phone interview Tuesday. Kieran, an 11-year-old who was on leave from Washington’s Sidwell Friends School and was finishing 18 months of school in Sri Lanka, was killed in one of the bombings on Easter Sunday that left 319 dead and more than 500 injured in Sri Lanka. He was supposed to return to Sidwell in the fall for sixth grade.

Diverse Novels in Verse for National Poetry Month

Organized by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month, in April, has been celebrated annually since 1996. While reading, writing, even performing poetry should be a year-round activity, National Poetry Month is a welcome catalyst to get verse newbies and doubters interested and involved. In addition, research has repeatedly shown direct correlations between poetry and early literacy as well as poetry and reading fluency. Novels-in-verse provide an ideal fusion of poetry and narrative. Here are some affecting diverse titles by #OwnVoices authors to explore and savor this month and throughout the year.

Fifth-grader on leave from Sidwell school in D.C. killed in Sri Lanka bombing

The mother of a classmate remembered him as "an extremely artistic, sensitive, brilliant and thoughtful child." A neighbor on his street in Northwest Washington said he expected the boy "to grow up and cure cancer or become secretary general of the United Nations." And at Sidwell Friends School, which he attended from prekindergarten through fourth grade and where he planned to return for sixth grade, Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa was described as someone who was "passionate about learning" and adoring of his friends. Kieran, who was on a leave of absence from the prestigious school while living in Sri Lanka, was among the victims of the bombings there on Easter Sunday.

Brothers Who Fled Dangers in Honduras Face New Menaces in U.S.

Eric and Alberto remember exactly when their life changed in Honduras. It was 2012. Eric was 8 and Alberto was 10. Even though the family was poor, they were content. "We were all together, and we lived very happy until my uncles were killed," Alberto said. The uncles were police officers and their killers were members of an influential gang, the boys said. So when their mother complained to law enforcement that their murders weren't being investigated, instead of justice, she began getting death threats. The family went into hiding. That marked the end of their "happy life." And it was also the end of the boys' schooling. Now, Eric is 15 and Alberto is 17. They can barely read and write, even in Spanish. Their mother decided their only hope for survival was to make the long and dangerous trek to the United States.

'Deprofessionalization Is Killing the Soul of Teaching,' Union President Says

The teaching profession is in the midst of an "ongoing and alarming crisis," Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in an address on Thursday. In her speech at the National Press Club, Weingarten condemned the "two major roots" of the crisis that she said have led to both teachers quitting the profession and others staying far away from it — deinvestment and deprofessionalization.

For Seattle area's Sri Lankan community, news of Easter bombings hits 'close to heart'

Roshan Liyanage immediately recognized some of the bloodied sites shown in photos from the deadly Sri Lanka bombings as he read updates from his Seattle home over the weekend. Liyanage is part of a small — but growing, they emphasize — community of Sri Lankans in the Seattle area. Community members estimate there are about 700 Sri Lankans in the Puget Sound region, with many living in Seattle and on the Eastside. The number has grown significantly in the past decade as more come to work at tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft.

Longing for His School, Grandmother, and Friends in Guatemala

Fernando is 12 years old, with smooth, baby skin and long eyelashes. He came to the United States from Guatemala, but he's not sure when. He's lost track of time since he left his village alone with a coyote who was paid to ferry Fernando for the first leg of the long trip.

Facing Segregated Schools, Parents Took Integration Into Their Own Hands. It’s Working.

For months, in two of New York City’s most politically progressive neighborhoods, parents debated what to do about their deeply segregated schools. Now, after adopting a series of initiatives last year following many spirited and emotionally charged discussions, these neighborhoods are starting to see swift changes in enrollment, according to city data released on Monday. Several schools in districts in Manhattan and Brooklyn will be more racially and socioeconomically diverse on the first day of school this fall than they are today as a result of these new measures.

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