Throughout her long career in television, producer Angela Shelley has been interested in issues affecting children in need. Collected here are several of her award-winning stories produced for KCET's California Connected — the previous, statewide version of SoCal Connected.
In one, you'll discover a school in Stockton, Calif., created specifically to meet the special needs of homeless children. The other three are part of Shelley's "Kids for Real" series, which takes a unique approach to documenting some of the toughest social issues facing needy children by letting the kids tell their own stories — in their own words.
The first segment tackles a rarely recognized side effect of living in the cultural and linguistic melting pot of California. Many children here must serve as interpreters for their foreign-born parents, which is especially troubling when it comes to medical issues. Meet a brother and sister afflicted by the same life-threatening condition, who must explain their own complicated medical information to their worried mother.
Next, one young boy tells what it's like for his family to cope with hunger, day in, day out. His father, a migrant farm worker, movingly speaks about the irony in picking fruit for others while his own family chops cactus for dinner.
Finally, you'll meet a child who knows that his parents have to pay out-of-pocket for his chronic medical condition. He worries so much that he tries to keep it a secret when he's sick.